Interview: UK producer Nat Powers talks working with Public Enemy, Run DMC, working on NWA movie and more!

In Interviews by Nick Russell

UK based Nat Powers is a hip hop producer with an incredibly impressive list of production credits including Run DMC, Jurassic 5, Three 6 Mafia, Busta Rhymes and tons more. He is also exclusive producer to Dr Dre’s son Curtis Young, and is scoring the upcoming NWA biopic!
Nat is also mentored by Sam Sneed, producer of Jay Z & G-Unit, and Dr. Dre’s former music partner!  We spoke to Nat exclusively recently take a look!
Hey Nat how you doing today,what have you been working on in the last few weeks?
Hi, how you doing. In the last few weeks I’ve been working on several projects. I’ve been writing concepts for my upcoming solo single’s and videos, working on material to submit for Will.I.Am, J Cole and Trey Songz, as well as having meetings in London.
How did you first get into production? Did you teach yourself?
It was a long and detailed process. I could already play drums and keys, so it helped having the experience with rhythm and melody. I basically taught myself strenuously, by learning from the bottom to the top, and I’m still expanding into further areas today. I first got into production by needing my own music, it encouraged me to produce for myself, as opposed to working and relying on someone else, and the same goes for everything else, I try to learn myself so I can be a one man band. 

You have an overly impressive list of production credits such as Public Enemy and Three 6 Mafia to name just two – how on Earth did this happen?!
It didn’t happen overnight I can say that! It was over eleven years of constant development, practise, experimenting and long hauls in the studio that enabled me to push through international doors to show that I was worth taking a look at, and I’m happy to say that once they looked they were hooked!
When one door opened, I went searching for a hallway of doors, and now I’m searching for a skyscraper of doors – so metaphorically I’m constantly building and working hard, and it just gets you great results.
What are some your favourite tracks to have worked on?
It has to be the song I did for DMC and Spice One, “Message To P Island”, I love it and it almost sounds like I didn’t make it. I like to imagine it was an unreleased song from the 80’s. Another one I love is “Suffer” by Three 6 Mafia, it contains real opera singers that I recorded in Kent.
Tell me about your connection with Sam Sneed and how it lead to exclusively producing for Dre’s son.
Sam discovered me on Facebook, and we worked solidly from there, and that was nearly three years ago. He mentors me and schools me on industry and music knowledge, and pushes me artistically and develops concepts with me. Once I had a solid relationship with Sam, the roads were open to hook up with Dre’s son.
What’s your involvement in the forthcoming NWA movie, and what can we expect from it?
I’ll be doing some film scoring along with Mel Man who produced 2001 with Dr Dre. It’s hard to give details now, as I am waiting on further news from Capitol Records and the team. It’s going to be amazing, that’s what I do know. The NWA story is phenomenal. 
Have you worked with many UK artists? Whats your thoughts on the current scene?
Yes I have upcoming projects and songs with Mystro, Genesis Elijah, Juice Aleem, Split Prophets, Dr. Syntax and many more. I love the UK Hip Hop scene, it has a rich flow of wonderful talent, it’s just not given a good platform to grow on, and seems to be either ignored or polluted by artists who don’t have UK Hip Hop in their hearts.
Any tips to current producers trying to get into the game?
Be different, stay original, find your inner sound and style, stand out and don’t ever let the industry or people in it get you down about your dreams and abilities. Treat your career like a 9 to 5, and be patient, it takes time and a lot of dedication to pay off. And believe things will happen, anything is possible!
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