QA : Nathaniel Young



1. Who are you?

My name is Nathaniel Young. 22. Male.

2. What do you do?

I’m a photographer, visual artist, DJ/sonic organizer, and record label owner/manager.

3. Where do you often create/produce?

Music is often written in my room and/or sketched via the nearest coffee shop. Photos are taken in a studio and/or throughout my daily travels.

4. When?

Indeterminate periods within a 24hr context.

5. Why do you play music?

Music is an intrinsic part of reality and producing and/or organizing it is my chosen form of interaction.

6. When did you start making music?

I’ve played multiple stringed and percussive instruments since the age of 8 and have been experimenting with sonic composition, musical structure, and production since 2010.

7. Which track defines you the most?

Jan Jelinek – Tendency (~scape Records, 2001)

8. How would you describe your own music?

Lacking confidence.

9. Any track of the moment?

For separate emotional attachments:

Exos – W.e. (Æ Recordings, 2001)

Lexicon Avenue – Here I am (Forensic Records, 1998)

10. What influences your work?

Environment. Negative space.

11. What’s your academic background? Are you an autodidact?

Autodidact effectively and holistically describes my ‘academic background’.

12. Favorite designer?

As long as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by industrial design, so as cliche as it might be, Dieter Rams is definitely a sturdy pillar of timeless design for me.

13. Favorite book?

Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music compiled by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner. I’ve been spending many a late night planting my face into this excellent and extremely thorough examination of contemporary music.

14. Favorite classic movie?

Jewel of the Nile will always hold a special place in my heart.

15. Favorite music label?

It’s incredibly hard to pin point just one favored record label as there are many offering unique and innovative music that I find myself captivated by at the moment. One in particular though that I’ve been extremely fascinated by is Berlin via Buenos Aries label, Cómeme. Their eclectic and extremely disparate catalogue is somehow unified into a very singular and distinctive sound. A few runners up for me at the moment would be: Northern Electronics, Diagonal, Umor Rex, BOOMA, Where To Now?, Thule.

16. Your dream collaboration?

Jan Jelinek or Masayoshi Fujita

17. Are you analog or digital?


18. Which soft wares/tools/ instruments do you use/play? 

I use electric/acoustic guitar rather frequently to write various melodies and create unpredictable textures. As far as software I sequence and arrange in Ableton and use an open source software sampler called, Ripple which allows for the randomization of parameters to generate unusual and extreme melodic sounds or textures.

19. Describe your creative process?

As far as writing music creative process is something that’s been incredibly ambiguous for me. Creativity has been quite the life-long journey and I try not to limit myself to any single framework for fear of missing out on the power of unpredictability. For as long as I can remember the only constants in my creative process have been experimentation and self education. In terms of my work in photography I find myself in a studio 70% of the time in which I do posses various frameworks and systems that allow me to produce a finished product in a consistent and cohesive manner. I find that the controlled studio environment really appeases my tendencies for structure and order while my less organized and blatant disregard for framework in music writing forms a pleasant juxtaposition ultimately creating balance.

20. When are you the most prolific (creatively)?

Early-mid morning.

21. Any favorite record stores? (Real/virtual)

URL: Experimedia is definitely an outstanding source for a wide range of electronic and avant music.

NYC IRL: Co-Op 87 Records or Heaven Street Records

Portland, OR IRL: Little Axe Records or Beacon Sound

22. What’s your life philosophy? 

Primarily pessimistic tendencies until I remind myself balance is the key to life.

23. Do you have a healthy lifestyle?

It’s all relatively subjective.

24. How do you manage your time effectively? (Job/hobby)

Still exploring this notion.

25. Any secret skills?

Unusually good at catching (American) footballs.

26. Any future plans?

Continued exploration of media, design, and photography. A solo 12” in the coming future. Continued development of my label, Blankstairs. Finding a soulmate. Typical aimless meanderings.

27. What’s your life motto?

“Less but better.” – Dieter Rams

28. Any “mot de la fin”?

Thanks for the marvelous interview!






> new Blankstairs’ release 




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