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Nate Davenport


life after labels

March 4th, 2011

They say in love, you should spend less time looking for the right person, and more time becoming the right person.  Sometimes, it seems, those who search the hardest for their soul mate end up neglecting their own “soul-improvement”. For those people, the hardest thing is to realize that it’s not bad luck or a lack of options keeping them from achieving their goal (a good relationship with a special person), but their own inadequacy. These same principles translate well into the life of an artist.

The number of parallels between music and love is staggering, whether it be a band “breaking up” or a label “courting” an act, the list goes on from there. This principle of self-improvement in order to achieve a successful partnership in music is valid; labels know how to identify not only work ethic, but also an active following. So an independent act should look to improve and promote themselves more than they should bust their asses trying to find someone who can make them who they want to be. “If you want to be different, then be different!” (Quoting myself there, but I’m sure it’s a paraphrase of someone who said it better).

They also say that the moment you find yourself content to be alone outside of a relationship, the perfect catch falls right in your lap. That irony is not lost on music. Check out this comment by Ilana Lee on 15 September 2009 at 11:54am in reply to Hypebot’s “I’m Sorry, but it Was Never Just About the Music”:

“It’s ironic that artists that are willing to embrace the platform the internet has given them and create a fan base on the strength of their own hard work and dedication (not just musical talent) probably don’t even need that Big Official Record Deal any more. But those that are clueless or unwilling, who truly need the mass distribution and marketing dollars, are seen as non-starters by the labels.

Makes for an interesting landscape going forward…”

That is an irony that i’ve struggled with, especially as a singer/songwriter who has to foot the bill for every musician i work with, most of whom command (and deservedly so) a handsome price. Labels who would provide financial support for my live show don’t want someone who isn’t established, but to get established, I have to play live shows.  There are ways around that, which is why i haven’t given up yet.  Those include licensing, radio, and grassroots, word-of-mouth support, and even finding talented friends who don’t mind playing shows for little or no money.  The point of this isn’t to identify those ways, but to develop my realization of what it means to market myself as a valuable commodity

 

Let’s look at how this relates to how you present yourself, considering this column focuses on style and presentation.

Tip #1: Be Accessible
The days of the rock star attitude are over. The new rock star is friendly, punctual, more like a great coworker and less like a deity. Ideally, there will come a point when you can’t maintain complete contact with your fans, but resist that point at all costs. Sleep less if necessary. Until then, answer every serious message, reach out to people who “friend”, “like”, “follow” you, do whatever you can to be accessible — oh and be nice.

Tip #2: Work Hard
Most people focus on the image or what life will be like once they achieve critical mass as an artist. I wrote an entire song about the fact that major changes in life don’t come as the result of one huge turning point or decision, but a long series of small decisions. That applies to a career in music as well. For those of you wondering, the song is New Hope.

Tip #3: Go the extra mile
Take this application section, for example. I really only had two tips for you, but since things always come in three’s, I had to have a third tip. Another example: I take requests on my YouTube channel, and sometimes those requests aren’t popular songs that will get me 5,000 views, but I do them anyway because it will make maybe one or two people’s day a little better. Isn’t that what music is all about?

What are you doing to present yourself in an attractive way to your fans, colleagues, and the music business in general? Leave comments below with your thoughts, I will respond to all.

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I’m on tour!

February 20th, 2011

For the last few months I’ve been working on setting up a little pre-spring tour and today I’m off! I’ll be booking it to Nashville to hit up bluebird cafe tomorrow night, and spend about a week in nashvegas and surrounding. Then it’s off to visit the Alma mater in Arkansas, and roll back through Dallas and Waco on the way back. I’m already doing a couple of house parties along the way, so if you want me to come play in your living room hit up booking@natedavenport.com and we’ll make it happen. I’m excited because this is half tour, half road trip, and all adventure. If all else fails, I’m hooking up my PA and playing on street corners! If I haven’t talked to you already about coming to see you, email or give me a call.

I’ll be posting video updates whenever I can, so be on the lookout for those. Saddle up!

P.S. For those of you still scratching your heads, Anjie is the name of my lovely automobile

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The Necessity of Change

January 5th, 2011

as i’m thinking about beginning of 2011, i hear people talking about the excitement of the new year. some people have had a rough year and are excited to put 2010 in the rearview, others have exciting things happening in this new year. but i think the one universal concept we all share, is the necessity of periodic change and refreshment. from the basic unit of the day changing to night, to the phases of the moon, to the path of the earth around the sun, change is built right into creation.

in 2010, i’ve undergone a lot of change in my life, probably more significant than any other year in recent memory. from the end of a relationship to the fabled “quitting my day job”, there’s been a lot going on.

“people get up every day, tell themselves they’re going to change their lives — they never do. i’m gonna change mine.” —the town

many people live their whole lives with the intention of something greater, but most of the time reach an equilibrium that’s somewhere in between giving up and achieving their goal. it’s a fascinating idea for me, how few people ever truly give up on their dreams, in spite of little or maybe even no progress toward them.

for some reason i don’t like the word “resolutions” when talking about goals for 2011, but here are my goals for this year:

1) play at least six full-band shows in texas and at least 70 acoustic shows around the country
2) finish recording the remainder of my new EP
3) gain ten pounds of muscle
4) read the rest of the harry potter books in time for 7.2
i think there are more but that’s all i can think of at the moment.

as an aside, i’d like to recommend an awesome web-based to-do list app i use, called TeuxDeux. it’s free on the web, and i downloaded a cheap app to my iphone which syncs with my online version, so i’ve always got it with me. it really helps me now that i’m self-employed and infamously forgetful. check it out if you need something like that.

what are your goals for 2011? let me know in the comments below, i’d love to hear them.

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Buying Things Dressed As A Bank Robber

December 23rd, 2010

i want to get a tv show just so i can do things like this..

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welcome to the new natedavenport.com!

November 7th, 2010

for the last few months i’ve been working with long-time friend and fellow webguy/musician vin thomas on ideas for my brand new site, and we’ve finally launched! aside from being sleeker and generally more bad-ass, it will also be much easier for me to keep up to date, which means those of you who like using it will find it more informative.

1) check out the shows page, which will have all my live appearances, 2) the cool music player in the top right, 3) dynamic flickr integration on the photos page and video integration on the videos page!

more good content to come, stay tuned

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my dewey color system results

February 18th, 2010

The Dewey Color System® is now the world’s most accurate career testing instrument.

This report based on your personality traits indicates your two most enjoyable day-day-day occupation skills. It’s a summary of the full report, the Color Leadership Evaluation 5.0.

“Studies indicate workplace enjoyment is the key to success. So as you read, consider only “Was I mostly having fun at work?” Disregard your present and past employer’s environment.

Best Occupational Category

You’re a CREATOR

Keywords:
Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

CREATOR OCCUPATIONS
Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer.

CREATOR WORKPLACES
Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature.

Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries.

2nd Best Occupational Category

You’re a SOCIAL MANAGER

Keywords:
Tactful, Cooperative, Generous, Understanding, Insightful, Friendly, and Cheerful

This very social type enjoys working in groups, sharing responsibilities, and being the center of attention. Fields of interest are instructing, helping, nurturing, care giving and instructing-especially young people. They discuss and consider feelings in order to solve problems, lead, direct, persuade, guide, organize and enlighten others.

take the test here

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erik hassle acknowledges youtubesday

February 2nd, 2010

Nate’s YouTube program, YouTubesdays, has been recognized by an artist he covered.  On his official website, Erik Hassle recognized ND’s version of “Hurtful”.

YouTubesdays is a weekly YouTube program produced by Nate Davenport Music, which features covers by established or new artists, as well as original songs Nate is writing.

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Time Capsule

December 16th, 2009

i found this post on my xanga (yes, xanga) from summer of 2006 and wanted to recreate it based on the evolution of my music taste. so first the old post, then i’ll do the exact same thing again today.

=== 9 july 2006

take your music player (like itunes) and put it on shuffle. then ask yourself the question. press “next song”. whatever the name of the song is is your answer. some of the answers are great.

how am i feeling today?
“Butterfly in Reverse” Counting Crows
“you’re better than the world”

will i get far in life?
“Speed of Sound” coldplay (sweet!)

how do my friends see me?
“Time for People” atomship (genius game)

when will i get married?
“before your love” kelly clarkson (hahahahaha)

what’s my best friend’s theme song?
“trains” hans zimmer

what is my theme song?
“small things” blink 182

what is the story of my life?
“lullaby” a perfect circle (“go back to sleep” yeah!)

what was high school like?
“better off alone” alice dj (hahahaaha, that’s a homeschool joke, this game is delightful)

how can i get ahead in life?
“deep” nickelback

what is the best thing about me?
“interstate love song” stone temple pilots (i love driving!)

what is today going to be like?
“bleed” puddle of mudd (uh oh)

what is in store for this weekend?
“america” josh groban

what song describes my parents?
“lies” evanescence (uhhhhhhh . . . not really)

describes my grandparents?
“shiver” maroon 5 (dead people don’t shiver, but i hear they’re cold)

describes me?
“lady bug” breaking benjamin (that’s kinda gay)

how is my life going?
“fade away” seether (uh oh again)

what song will be played at my funeral?
“contact” phish (yesss! “the tires are the things on the car which make contact with the road!”)

how does the world see me?
“feels like (it feels alright)” collective soul (yummy)

will i have a happy life?
“not enough” caedmon’s call (hahaha psychic)

do people secretly lust after me?
“E.I” nelly (andale mama)

how can i make myself happy?
“only one” goo goo dolls (alas, monogamy it is)

what should i do with my life?
“hail mary” 2pac (i’m off to the monastery)

will i ever have children?
“raise your rifles” autopilot off (ummmmm)

what will i name them?
“reflection” tool

who will you marry?
“a message” coldplay (dammit)

do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
“haunt you every day” weezer (hahahaah good finish)

===

so now let’s do it again!

=== 15 december 2009

how am i feeling today?
“leave me alone” -michael jackson (inaccurate but funny)

will i get far in life?
“abc” -jackson 5 (that doesn’t bode well)

how do my friends see me?
“dear enemy” -the exies

when will i get married?
“solace” -fuel

what’s my best friend’s theme song?
“new year’s day” -u2 (that’s impossibly true)

what is my theme song?
“crossing the frame” -coheed & cambria

what is the story of my life?
“this love” -maroon 5 (yes!)

what was high school like?
“day of rain” -thriving ivory (it was pretty wet i guess)

how can i get ahead in life?
“hello seattle” -owl city (here i come!)

what is the best thing about me?
“sweet pea” -amos lee (i am pretty affectionate i guess)

what is today going to be like?
“ready for change” -ben rector (sweet!)

what is in store for this weekend?
“california love” -2pac (i wish)

what song describes my parents?
“big yellow taxi” -counting crows

describes my grandparents?
“home” -foo fighters

describes me?
“electrical storm” -u2

how is my life going?
“where the story ends” -the fray (haha)

what song will be played at my funeral?
“i will follow” -u2

how does the world see me?
“anna begins” -counting crows

will i have a happy life?
“have you got it in you” -imogen heap

do people secretly lust after me?
“twisted logic” -coldplay (couldn’t agree more!)

how can i make myself happy?
“next go round” -nickelback (was hoping i made it through this without a nickelback popping up, oh well)

what should i do with my life?
“nothing lasts forever” -maroon 5 (carpe diem then!)

will i ever have children?
“far away” -nickelback (so, like, in china?)

what will i name them?
“you changed me” -michael warren

who will you marry?
“figure.09” -linkin park

do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
“when the wind blows” -the all-american rejects (couldn’t agree more)

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Nate sings national anthem for San Antonio Spurs

December 11th, 2009

Nate was privileged to honor his country by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas for the opening of the San Antonio Spurs game versus the Charlotte Bobcats.

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