In Conversation with NAT SLATER, the Voice of London’s Gen-Z Community

“I wrote a track during quarantine about me putting on makeup to go to Tesco because it was my only outing of the day”. Nat Slater tells us as we emerge into a not-quite-back-to-normal world. And seeing the 19-year-old sat on the edge of her bed in west London, clothes flung over the chair and fairy lights draped across the wall in the relatable scene kickstarting the video to her latest single “Pattern Up,” it is not hard to imagine this. “[My] favourite place to be creative is pretty much just being alone in my bedroom with my guitar,” she confesses, perhaps explaining why these past few months of isolation have been nothing but a creative blessing for Slater. 

“Pattern Up,”Nat Slater’s latest offering of chilled pop, sees her collaborate with Croydon-based artist Ziezie. “The song is basically about realising that someone is treating you like shit and telling yourself to pattern up and clock that you’re better than that,” Nat explains. Following the high-energy release of “Every Weekend,” a Mark Hill-produced track that taps into Nat’s UK garage influences, a heady reminder of those pre-lockdown weekend thrills, “Pattern Up” slows things down, combining her emotive vocals with a gentle guitar and sparse beats. 

Her experimental style is the result of years spent in a house full of music, absorbing her mum’s love of 90s RnB and being swept away into the world of Stevie Wonder at the age of 11. Following this musical introduction and after weeks spent writing songs in her bedroom, Slater entered a song-writing competition, coming in first place and landing a slot at the Isle of Wight Festival. Thrown into the deep end and forced to begin writing music fast, she hasn’t looked back since. “The way I work has kinda’ stayed the same since I was a kid – writing songs in my bedroom on my ones,” Nat admits. 

Slater spent her teenaged years performing at open mic nights across London, immersing herself into the city’s diverse and ever-expanding music scene. Allowing this to feed into her writing, Nat’s fusion of pop, RnB, and UK garage captures her fiery Gen Z attitude and the hectic energy that comes from living in London, being surrounded by its culture and plunged into its nightlife scene. 

Now she has a clear vision for exactly what sort of artist she wants to be, her music is ready to be heard. So, on the release day of her latest single, we dive into the life of London’s Nat Slater. 

You’ve made a track during lockdown and released it into a not-quite-back-to-normal world. Have you found music to be a distraction?

Writing and releasing [music] has definitely helped me get through lockdown. Having so much time is such a blessing, some days I’d get so lost in writing that I’d look at my phone like WTF how’s it 2AM? I wrote a track during quarantine about me putting on makeup to go to Tesco cos it was my only outing of the day. Lol. 

Living and working in London and being surrounded by London culture, how has that shaped your creative vision?

It’s such a creative melting pot – I love it. When you walk out your front door and see someone busking outside the tube or going to small intimate gigs and open mic nights at the sickest venues… that is the best part about London. I’m missing it a lot right now; I can’t wait to get back to performing live again. 

“I wrote a track during quarantine about me putting on makeup to go to Tesco because it was my only outing of the day,”

What does the British music scene mean to you?

It means a lot to me. I’ve been surrounded by British music since I was a kid and growing up doing open mic nights around London has definitely shaped the way I perform. Me and my mates are always finding new British artists and rinsing their tracks. I’m currently really into Tiana Major9. 

Since you began to write songs at a young age, to releasing your latest track “Pattern Up,” what have you learnt about yourself as a creative? And what have you learnt about the way you work?

The way I work has kinda’ stayed the same since I was a kid – writing songs in my bedroom on my ones. I’ve definitely learnt to step out of my comfort zone and collaborate with artists and producers rather than just writing on my own which is fun. I love the energy in the studio. 

Where is your favourite place to be creative? Set the scene for us.

Pretty much just being alone in my bedroom with my guitar, and if it’s raining it can be a vibe. 

Aside from sonically, how else are you expressing yourself?

I just write songs. I do love clothes though, I go thrift shopping a lot and try and put outfits together. I actually made the trousers in the pattern up video with the bandana patches on them. 

Are there any other avenues you’d love to explore creatively?

I really enjoy getting involved in the artwork and music videos to my tracks, I love coming up with ideas for them so maybe something like that. 

Aside from your own music, who else have you been listening to? Give us a glimpse inside your lockdown playlist.

Oooh I could talk about this for hours! I’ve got really into Giveon, I think he’s sick. Brent Faiyaz, Tiana Major9, Ambré, Miraa May, Lennon Stella, Alina Baraz, Benee and SZA are some of my favourites from my lockdown playlist too. 

What artists can you go back and listen to time-and-time again, never getting tired of?

Frank Ocean, always. And Stevie Wonder. Timeless. 

What is next for you?

Just making and releasing music that I really love and am proud of. It’s honestly the best feeling. 

Tell us why we should listen to Nat Slater?

You tell me 😉 

“Pattern Up” is out now. Listen HERE.

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