When “Acid Rap” began climbing the charts last year, fans wondered how Chicago hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper came by his unique, progressive sound. The answer was simple: Songwriter-producer Nate Fox, who teamed up with Chance to craft many of the album’s beats and unforgettable soundscapes.
Thanks to Fox-produced tracks like “Juice,” Lost” and “Chain Smoker,” “Acid Rap” went Top 30 and won critical raves, with Spin naming it the #2 hip-hop album of 2013. That success led to Nate collaborating with artists such as Lil Wayne, Lucki Eck$, Joywave and Iggy Azalea. Nate also toured the country with Chance the Rapper.
Capping a whirlwind 12 months, Nate just signed an exclusive co-publishing deal with Disney Music Group, in a joint venture between DMG and songwriter-producer Freddy Wexler’s company, The Brain. Nate will write for established stars, as well as develop emerging artists.
Though only 26, Nate Fox is already a seasoned music industry veteran.
He grew up in rural Pennsylvania, falling in love with music thanks to the first CDs he ever owned, one each from Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Kenny G. That eclectic foundation led him to discover R&B and hip-hop, but one thing mattered most. “I got those elements of funk, soul and groove,” Nate says, “but I had this desire to remain with classic song structure of an artist like James Taylor.”
Throughout his teens, he experimented with writing and recording original songs. That led to his producing regional acts such as Lorine Chia and Tezo. Nate met Chance the Rapper at SXSW in 2011 and the two hit it off, beginning a fruitful collaboration the resulted in “Acid Rap.” Nate’s clever samples, from artists such as Willie Hutch, Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield, helped elevate “Acid Rap” to cult-favorite status.
“As an artist, you’re always looking for acceptance,” Nate says. “You create to have people appreciate it and understand it. When it came to Chance, everything we did was appreciated and understood. That’s what I felt made it special. It was extremely gratifying.”
Nate joining the Disney family makes perfect sense. “I should have seen it coming,” he says. “My grandfather once had a job doing electrical work at Disneyland. He had one of the Disney cartoonists draw a picture of Goofy, and signed it to me. I’ve had it since I was a kid.”
Of course, Nate Fox is no kid anymore. These days he creates some of the most artfully sophisticated music in contemporary pop. It‘s music the world needs more of, and soon. “When I’m in the creative zone,” says Nate, “my mind is open and free.”
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