Nate Smith On The Musical Influences That Shaped His Career
There’s no doubt that Nate Smith has one of the most fiery and overall distinct voices in country music today. The singer-songwriter ended 2023 by earning his second No. 1 single with “World On Fire,” and has a much bigger year ahead in 2024. He credits much of his success to his eclectic taste in music.
His taste ranges from classic rock to pop and, obviously, country music. Smith’s early influences were no surprise to any country music fan.
“As far as country goes, Elvis and Garth were the first two that I listened to when I was a kid, and I tried to, like, mimic Elvis, but he had this, like, raspy voice when he would sing ‘Jailhouse Rock’ and it would just break just a little bit. And I loved trying to mimic that. So that’s probably where I developed some of the raspiness,” Smith said.
Smith continued, “Michael Jackson also was another one that had that raspy, high voice when he would hit like, ‘Dirty Diana’ and some of these other songs.”
What appealed to Smith most about Brooks was the classic country sound of his music and, what Smith described as, the perfect construction of his songs. He called Brooks’ music “just so smooth” and noted that he took a lot of inspiration from him as well.
When it comes to Smith’s melodies, he credits Patsy Cline for the stylistic sound.
“She’s so haunting in the way that she approaches her voice and the way that her notes stretch out in unexpected places,” he said.
Other influences Smith credits for his sound include Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, John Lennon, and even Nickelback.
“I learned a lot from Nickelback,” he said. “Like the principles of their melodies writing and the way that they put their songs together and stuff could be country songs right now.”
But who is Smith’s all-time favorite band? He says it has to be Nirvana, whom he was introduced to by his father. In fact, Smith can often be seen donning a Nirvana t-shirt.