Celebrated Local Guitarist Leaving SA Permanently For UK

Renowned South African guitarist, singer and songwriter Nathan Smith and his family will be relocating to the United Kingdom (UK) next month.

The decision to leave was not taken lightly, he says, and while he will certainly miss South Africa, the UK currently offers several unmissable opportunities. “Home is home, and I will definitely miss South Africa, but there are some great opportunities in the UK. I have toured and worked with colleagues and musical directors now working in the West End and there are some possibilities. I also have a booking agent there, who will schedule shows as soon as things open up again. In the meantime, amid COVID-19-related regulations, I have some teaching opportunities lined up.”

Besides the above, Nathan is also excited about the fact that he will also now have the opportunity to release and promote his album, HERE’S TO THE NOW, in the UK and he cannot wait to kick off with the interviews and media opportunities that’s currently being lined up for him by his PR Agency, Starburst Promotions in the UK.

Nathan and his family made the decision to move in September last year and started the application process in October. “We took a leap of faith. With the help of a UK solicitor, I applied for a Tier 1 Global Talent Visa, which the Arts Council England approved in a matter of days. We were incredibly surprised as the decision can take up to eight weeks,” explains Nathan. “That said, I feel so blessed as very few applications are approved in this category each year.”

He admits that while they are excited and looking forward to this new adventure, it has been an emotionally difficult time for the family.

Nathan Smith boasts a long and illustrious musical career. A celebrated guitarist, Nathan has performed original as well as collaborative works across South Africa and abroad. Highlights of the former include original compositions for various Soccer World Cup events in 2010, as well as for Joseph Clark – The Music of Queen, which toured locally and throughout Europe.

Session work found Nathan by chance and, while not his intentional career path, resulted in the musician being booked for flagship live, recording and television productions. This led to collaborations with top local and international artists, including Ronan Keating, Richard Clayderman, Riana Nel, Laurika Rauch, Steve Hofmeyr and Juanita Du Plessis, among others.

His career highlights include involvement with flagship South African productions such as The Voice, Noot vir Noot, Skouspel, Idols, Afrikaans is Groot, Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing, to name a few.

He has also produced his own productions and is musical director for Guitar Legends – A tribute to the World’s Greatest Singing Guitarists of All Time, Don’t Stop Believing – A tribute to Rock Super Group Journey, Slow-hand Fast-hand – A tribute to Eric Clapton and Gary Moore, and more.

While recognised for his session work, original work has always been at the core of Nathan’s love for music, with 2006 seeing the launch of his solo album Songs from a Diary. In 2009 he released an experimental album with Mark Heydenrych, Paddy Smith and Kyle Rutten called The Nathan Smith Project – The Sum of All Things. His third album, Here’s to the Now, was released in South Africa during 2020.

While South Africa is saying farewell to an exceptionally talented musician, he says it “isn’t goodbye, it is just my next move. I look forward to coming back to this wonderful country to work and to enjoy it for what it truly is… Amazing!”

Nathan is proud to be endorsed by D’addario, Sennheiser, Marshall Music and Clayton Picks.


Gewilde Suid-Afrikaanse Musikant Verhuis Binnekort Permanent Na Die UK

Die bekroonde Suid-Afrikaanse kitaarspeler, sanger en liedjieskrywer, Nathan Smith, beplan om in Februarie saam met sy gesin permanent na Brittanje te verhuis.

Volgens hom, was die besluit om die land te verlaat nie ’n maklike een nie, maar hy glo dat daar tans verskeie onmisbare geleenthede op hom wag oorsee. “Jou huis, is jou huis en ek gaan Suid-Afrika baie mis, maar daar is ’n paar wonderlike geleenthede wat in Brittanje op my wag. Ek het in die verlede saam met verskeie kollegas en musiekregisseurs getoer en gewerk wat tans by die West End betrokke is en daar is ’n paar moontlikhede wat ek wil ondersoek. Verder het ek ook reeds ’n besprekingsagent gekry om konserte te bespreek sodra besighede weer oopmaak. Ten spyte van Covid, is daar ook vir my ’n paar geleenthede om klas te gee ook.”
 
Nathan is veral opgewonde oor die feit dat hy nou die geleentheid het om sy album, HERE’S TO THE NOW ook in die VK te kan gaan bekendstel en bemark en kan nie wag om te begin met die onderhoude en mediageleenthede wat sy PR Maatskappy, Starburst Promotions besig is om vir hom te reel nie.

Nathan en sy gesin het die aansoekproses in Oktober 2020 begin. “Ons het ’n kans gevat en met die hulp van ’n Britse advokaat het ek aansoek gedoen vir ’n Tier 1 Global Talent Visa, wat binne enkele dae deur die Britse Raad vir Uitvoerende Kunste goedgekeur is. Ons was baie verbaas, omdat hierdie proses tot agt weke kan neem,” verduidelik hy. “Ek voel so geseënd omdat daar jaarliks baie min aansoeke in hierdie kategorie goedgekeur word.”

Hy erken dat alhoewel hulle opgewonde is en uitsien na die nuwe avontuur, dit ’n baie emosionele tyd is vir hulle almal.

Nathan het oor die jare bekendheid verwerf in die plaaslike musiekmark as ’n musikant en liedjieskrywer. Hy is ’n ervare kitaarspeler en het al verskeie solo- en gesamentlike optredes plaaslik en oorsee gedoen. Van sy loopbaanhoogtepunte sluit in oorspronklike verwerkings vir verskeie Sokkerwêreldbekergeleenthede in 2010, asook vir Joseph Clark – The Music of Queen, wat plaaslik en in Europa getoer het.

Alhoewel sessiemusiek heel toevallig oor Nathan se pad gekom het, en nie oorspronklik deel was van sy plan nie, het dit een van sy hoofbronne van inkomste geword en gelei tot verskeie opnames en televisieproduksies. Dit het hom ook die geleentheid gegee om saam met groot plaaslike en internasionale sterre te werk, soos Ronan Keating, Richard Clayderman, Riana Nel, Laurika Rauch, Steve Hofmeyr en Juanita Du Plessis, om maar net ’n paar te noem.

Nathan was verder ook betrokke by verskeie Suid-Afrikaanse produksies soos The Voice, Noot vir Noot, Skouspel, Idols, Afrikaans is Groot, Dancing with the Stars en Strictly Come Dancing.
 
Hy het ook sy eie musiekproduksies vervaardig en was musiekregisseur van verskeie verhoogstukke, waaronder Guitar Legends – A tribute to the World’s Greatest Singing Guitarists of All Time, Don’t Stop Believing – A tribute to Rock Super Group Journey, Slow-hand Fast-Hand – A tribute to Eric Clapton and Gary Moore, en vele meer.
 
Alhoewel hy bekend is as sessiemusikant, het oorspronklike musiek nog altyd vir Nathan na aan die hart gelê. Dit het ook aanleiding gegee tot die uitreiking van sy debuut-album, Songs from a Diary, in 2006. In 2009 het hy ook saam met Mark Heydenrych, Paddy Smith en Kyle Rutten ’n eksperimentele album uitgebring, naamlik The Nathan Smith Project – The Sum of All Things. Sy derde ateljee-album, Here’s to the Now, is gedurende 2020 in Suid-Afrika vrygestel.
 
Alhoewel Suid-Afrika ’n besonderse musikant verloor, meen hy dat dit nie “totsiens is nie, maar eerder die volgende stap. Ek sien uit daarna om in die toekoms terug te keer na hierdie wonderlike land om hier te werk en dit te geniet vir wat dit is… Fantasties!”

Nathan is ’n trotse ambassadeur van D’addario, Sennheiser, Marshall Music en Clayton Picks.

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By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za Instagram: instagram.com/andrewgerm_za IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/