SIRPLUS In Conversation: Nathan Ball

The process that any creative goes through when making their art – whether that’s designing, composing music, painting or writing – has always been something we’ve found hugely inspiring. And that’s what we loved so much about this conversation with Nathan Ball, whose music fuses together elements of the house and folk genres, meaning that his inspiration can often come from anywhere. We went on a walk with the singer-songwriter to discuss everything from his recent move to rural Cornwall, his memories of the first SIRPLUS store, his pre- and post-gig routines and how his music is inspired by the Cornish landscape.

One listen to Nathan’s music and you understand that it’s super original, partly thanks to the two opposing genres that he manages to seamlessly fuse into each of his songs. Having grown up listening to electronic music and going to underground clubs, Nathan often looked to the DJs and the ways that they controlled the crowds – all according to the type of music that they played. But he also grew up playing the guitar and writing folk songs, saying “it’s exposing a subject through your lyrics with just a guitar and there’s something so beautiful and fragile in that.” Making subtle nods to electronic music has been powerful in more ways than one, though, and has helped Nathan have exposure to cult-famous brands like Faithless, where he featured on their latest record.

And then there’s his most recent move to Cornwall, which has provided him a huge source of inspiration and it’s a place he feels genuinely lucky to call home. “I’m very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world down in Cornwall. It’s so inspiring in so many ways; the landscape, the people, the storms. I feel so lucky to be there,” he says. “The storms that roll through the southwest in the winter are truly a thing of beauty, and that’s what I find most inspiring. When you take the dog out for a walk and see these wild waves and driving rain hammering against the cliffs, it’s a reminder of just how small and insignificant we are.”

I often think my favourite time listening to music is with other people in a car and a song comes on and without knowing you all descend into silence and drift off into your own thoughts.

So, what is it about making music that he loves so much? Transportation, first and foremost. “I often think my favourite time listening to music is with other people in a car and a song comes on and without knowing you all descend into silence and drift off into your own thoughts,” Nathan explains. “That’s such a magical thing that someone's creation can do that to you.” And as a once-neighbour to SIRPLUS in Notting Hill, Nathan cites a couple of tracks that he found would transport him as he wandered past our Portobello stall, lost in his own thoughts. We’ve linked those tracks below.



But what about the way he feels? How does he prepare for the all important role of transporting his listeners to another place? Preparation is everything and while he used to be able to rock up on stage without much in the form of a warm up or a thought to his throat and vocal cords, today it’s a different story. “I got to a point where I was really struggling with a sore throat and found gigs really hard work – I never knew when I was going to be hit with this stabbing sensation in my throat, so I had to start preparing properly. Unfortunately, now the beers have been replaced with honey and ginger tea and I try to get to sleep as soon as I can after a show to rest for the next day.”

While at the store, Nathan picked out several items from our relaxed tailoring collection that resonate with his personal style – simple yet comfortable everyday outfits. He combined a navy wool silk suit with a white tee and completed the look with a bandana.

 Listen to Nathan’s latest single - Set You Free on Spotify

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