Close-Up Culture contributor Anna interviews her brother who is a big fan of the American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Nathan Feuerstein, better known by his stage name NF.
How did you discover NF?
So, two things. Someone who I watch on YouTube did a challenge where he wrapped one of his songs. Second, I saw that one of his songs was going viral on TikTok. I started to recognise his name, so went back to the YouTube video and it was the same artist. I listened to the song properly, started listening to more of his music and then fell in love with the songs.
I’ve always loved rap and pop music, so it was great to discover NF.
What made you into such a big fan of him and his music?
The depth, everything he writes is so relatable. All his problems, I feel I’ve had some of them, and I feel everyone has had some of those problems too. It makes him nice to listen to, and often helps me with my problems and what I’m dealing with.
NF is a funny guy, so it’s easy to like him. I’ve watched so many of his interviews. In his music video for the song Motto, he’s the odd one out, the wacky person compared to everyone else in the video. He stands out and I love that.
He’s recently released his fifth studio album Hope under his stage name NF, what do you think about it?
I like it, I think it’s one of his strongest albums because all his music leading up to this point has been about the problems in his life and not solving them, almost focusing on the bad. But this album is a turning point, that he’s accepting the darkness inside of him, but also starting to find the light to solve the problems which gives him hope.
In NF’s first album Mansion, half the songs are from his older body of work that were released as individual singles, and the other half were him trying to fit in and find his style. His song Alone had an incredible sound, defining who NF is instead of trying to fit in when he was made to stand out.
Which is your favourite record of his and why?
The Search. All the songs in the record show him looking for a part of himself to believe in, and the listener is searching for that in themselves too, but for NF also. My favourite song on the album is Change because I can relate to everything he says. Almost everything he says I’ve lived through that exact moment, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. It’s a great song.
NF chooses not to swear in his music and some of his songs have been number 1 on the Christian charts, how do you think this makes him stand out in his genre compared to what people normally assume rap music is about?
I think it makes him stand out because he’s just so different to everyone else in the music genre. In his songs, he talks to himself so they are like listening to a conversation. He’s popular in his fan base because of this and how people can relate to him.
Some rappers feel like they’re just rapping for the sake of it, so it’s nice to listen to someone with a story.
Since you told me of your love for his music, I’ve said that when he tours the UK we can go. We’ve got tickets to one of his October shows, how do you feel about seeing NF perform live this year?
I am excited to feel the atmosphere and I can’t wait to go.
He tours the UK once every couple of years, with just a few shows here, and lots in the US. It makes it feel like a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.
I’m excited to take photos, see the merch, hear him sing, just everything.
What would you like to see NF do in his career next?
I want to hear more about the good things in his life, after all the bad that has happened to him, which he has done on his album Hope. I’m expecting more dark songs in the future, but I’m looking forward to hearing more happy songs from him. He’s got a soft and gentle voice, and with the correct music it could make an incredible song. Adding then a verse of rap would be amazing.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of NF, how would you describe him to them?
Everyone has something they can relate to when hearing an NF song. Maybe something really bad, or something really good, but he can help you through it. He’s a therapist through music, with a banging song at the same time.
At first listen, his songs are great, but when you listen again, you’re left asking questions. The more you listen the more your own problems are related too and often solved.