My West London Life

Nat Clarkson

Nat Clarkson


Music producer and mixer Nat Clarkson aka NJC, on diving in at the deep end, Grammy goals and stealing a packet of Tunes

What inspired you to become a music producer?

In my early teens I was heavily into drum and bass and upon discovering that DnB producers like Photek, Klute and Digital and Spirit all came from my neck of the woods, I was intrigued about the process of how the tracks were made. I soon found out that by having a 30-second sampler and an Atari you could make a pretty decent track, so I sold my decks and dived straight in at the deep end.

You have mixed many types of music from dancehall to trance. What is your favourite genre?

I like music that has a strong rhythm section and have worked on many styles over the years. For me it’s about feeling the overall groove of a track and I get that from more than one genre.

You have produced for TV shows. What are you the most proud of and why?

I’ve had music signed to music production companies like Extreme (Sony ATV), Sonoton (Germany) and Carlin. It’s always unknown where your music will end up, so its pretty cool if you’re sitting watching a programme and your track pops up. One highlight was producing a signature tune for a children’s Playstation 2 game called Dogslife. I actually recorded my own vocals on this, which was the first time I’d ever stepped into a booth for vocals!

What would be your desert island discs?

Anything by Soul 2 Soul, William Orbit, Pink Floyd, Wu Tang Clan or Bob Marley.

Can you play an instrument?

Yep, drums and keys (basic chords etc).

What do you head to for live music in west London?

I was recently in Cherryjam for an album PA for Voodoo Browne who’s one of my artists. I’ve been in JuJu, Chelsea for another album launch with another artist I work with Chris Grabiec (based in west London) but I guess some of the best live venues in west London I’ve been to in the past are Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Hammersmith Apollo and The Troubadour.

What’s your life motto?

Work hard and play even harder!

What’s in your fridge at the moment?

Olives, a selection of cold meats and some Aspalls cider.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Working as a washer-upper at a posh hotel when I was in my teens.

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

It would be a studio session like this: Questlove on drums, Q-Tip and Adele on vocals, William Orbit on keys and Carlos Santana on guitar with a little bit of James Blake in between. It would sound big!

Have you ever stolen anything?

Yep, I stole a packet of Tunes cough sweets when I was nine! Got caught though, so wasn’t really that good at it.

What are your aspirations for the New Year?

Work even harder and continue to develop new music with my current roster of artists. My overall goal is to get a Grammy or two, a music producer award and to be officially recognised for one of my projects.

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