StepFWDTips #20: An Interview with – Nathan Holder

Wrapping up our #StepFWDTips series, I caught up with some amazing UK music artists to ask them about their most valuable tips and advice for other emerging artists. Stay tuned to see what they had to say about their creative sparks and spaces!

Today’s interview comes from the extremely talented Nate Holder, an International Saxophonist, 2017 MMus Prize Winner, author and Director of OmniMusic Education . You may have seen him playing keys live for Ed Sheeran (maybe you missed it)…  Let’s see what Nate had to share with us.

Heya Nate, how is it going? Please tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Nathan Holder and I’ve been a freelance musician for about 10 years. I currently live in London but often travel around the UK and Europe to perform with different artists and bands. I’ve been fortunate to have performed with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Petite Meller and have been hired to work as the Musical Director for two original musical theatre pieces in Hamburg, Germany. I was recently awarded the MMus Prize for Outstanding Achievement in my masters degree and founded the company OmniMusic Education which seeks to create opportunities for youth to flourish through the power of music.

I’d love to know what is your understanding of musical excellence is!

Understanding exactly what’s needed in a given situation and being able to perform/create/analyse/teach to those specifications.

Absolutely, I like how detailed that was. Can you tell us when and where are you most creative?

I don’t think I have a specific time that I’m most creative, but I’m probably most creative around people. There’s something about being in a Café or rehearsal or public transport that just gives me creative energy.

Speaking of places to go, are there any local creative spaces that you like to use?

Not really any specific places, but I had a work session at Picture House near Piccadilly Circus not long ago which was really good.

That does sound cool, I can just picture it now! What advice would you give to a new UK based artist, wanting to pursue their music?

Look outside of your immediate circle.

There’s a good chance that the people you are around the most, share many of your same interests and experiences. Your music may not be ‘new’ to them, but there are others who may be craving what you take for granted.

Secondly, keep writing and creating.

The only way to get better is to keep going!

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to ask people for advice.

Many musicians and artists have been in the same position you are in now and will happily share talk to you about their journeys and help you on yours.

That’s such good advice! I always say “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Okay, a bit of fun now – what would be your perfect holiday scenario?

Meeting new people, making music and good food.

Thank you for spending some time with us. Is there anything we should be excited for soon? Where can we find your updates?

My first book entitled I Wish I Didn’t Quit will be released towards the end of this year and a possible podcast is in the works… follow my Twitter and Instagram both at @saxo_n8

I love it! Very excited about this Nate, all the best in your endeavours 🙂


Hit the play button to hear Nathan’s super smooth rendition of the hymn ‘Jesus Loves Me