DJ/Producer Nathan Dawe talks to us about how his career started, getting signed to Atlantic Records, and how the rest is history! From sell-out shows, to travelling the world, and releasing chart-topping records, Nathan Dawe takes time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions…
Nathan Dawe interview by Ben Farrin
Can you please tell us a little bit about how your music career began?
I got into DJing when I was about 8/9 years old, I played at every school disco for years. When I was old enough I started playing the club circuit, spending my weekends going up and down the country. It was during that period where I started to really make a name for myself and I built a fan base by putting mixes on SoundCloud and started producing tracks. In 2018 I got signed to Atlantic and the rest is history!
The first song of yours I heard was Flowers feat. Jaykae. As someone who grew up listening to the original I was really impressed with your remix. How you managed to revive and modernise the old school garage classic is brilliant. This wasn’t the first time you’d worked with Jaykae. Do you have any more plans to collaborate together in the future?
‘Flowers’ is a special tune for him as it was my first chart hit. We released it in October 2019 and I don’t think it peaked until July 2020 which was crazy!! I’ve worked with Jay a few times. He’s a great mate of mine and an unbelievable artist. We’ll definitely work together again in the future no doubt.
Congratulations on your recent dance track 21 Reasons, featuring Ella Henderson. A perfect summer track and festival banger. How did the collaboration with Ella Henderson come about and what was it like working with her?
At the back end of 2021 I was playing with the idea of sampling Calabria as I play it in all my sets and it goes down amazingly. As soon as the track was done, I knew I had to bring Ella in to help with the lyrics and vocal. Me and Ella worked together on my single ‘Lighter’, so we’ve already got a great synergy in the studio and I knew she’d absolutely smash the top line. Ella’s vocal is one of the best in the country and she just bought the track to life.
A very smart idea to sample Calabria. 21 Reasons grabs your attention immediately. How does the sampling side of things work?
A lot of it stems from what I play in my sets and if it goes down well then I’ll try some bits in the studio. It doesn’t always work but when it does it can be a real winner. I think it’s just about making it authentic and different enough from the original.
You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the music scene including KSI, Little Mix and Anne-Marie. You’re clearly smashing it – what was your breakthrough moment would you say?
‘Cheatin’ was my first single and even though it wasn’t a Top 40, I always feel as if that’s the one that got things started. To this day it always goes down amazingly in my sets and has sold over 400,000 records, so it was my introduction into the industry. All my records have been special moments for me and different stages of my career, so it’s difficult to pick one on its own.
As a professional producer/artist, what is your main aim and what are your dreams?
It’s to just keep making music that people love and can dance to. I think as a DJ/producer that is always the aim. I’m very lucky to do what I do and I’m just going to keep working hard to deliver these singles and to keep performing.
What advice might you offer to anyone who wants to make it big in the music scene?
To work hard and stay true to you. When I’ve done the latter I’ve always seemed to have success. Whenever I’ve strayed from doing what my gut tells me to do, that’s where I’ve had harder moments.
As someone who has collaborated with many massive names, released your own productions, performed at festivals and residencies abroad, and also had your own sell-out tour, what part of your career excites you the most / what do you most enjoy?
I think performing will always be the best feeling in the world. There’s nothing better than playing a track that’s yours in front of thousands of people and hearing them sing it back. It’s honestly the most incredible feeling.
What are say, the next 3 goals for Nathan Dawe?
More releases, more shows, more fun!