I had R500 (around $50) to my name, a full tank of gas and a box of brown rice and I hit the road on my first tour as a professional musician. I had been booked to play at the 2011 White Mountain Folk Festival in the Drakensberg (dragon’s mountains), a very magical part of South Africa, and so had planned a 6 week tour around it.

Then disaster struck (disclaimer: everything turns out great in the end)! I played my first show of the tour just outside of  Cape Town and discovered that I wasn’t going to be paid cash. This was my mistake, being a newcomer I just assumed I was gonna get cash in hand and had planned for that money to be there…but it wasn’t. I sat in a beautiful cabin, gazing out over a lake and asking myself the questions, “Should I go home? Should I just accept that this was a mistake and I’ve bitten off more than I can chew? I have no money and no idea how to get over 1000 kilometres to the festival, am I crazy?”

Being who I am and choosing to live in faith the way I do meant that there was really only one possible choice to make. I would continue!

To give you some background to this adventure, it was in 2011 that I finally committed to the life of being a musician. Before then I had been too afraid of all the ways it could go wrong, afraid that I wasn’t good enough, afraid of failure and my own insecurities. Finally something snapped and I made the decision to make a go of following my dreams! I moved back in with my dad, telling him, “Papa, I’m gonna be a full-time musician.” Thus began a year of incredible triumphs and challenges. This tour was both. I had committed everything I had to getting on the road, to making this tour real, to playing my first real folk festival.

So, back to the road…
I committed to the journey no matter what, not sure how I was going to afford fuel to make it to the fest. The stars aligned and my two shows on the way up to White Mountain Festival made me enough money to afford getting to the festival itself. I had made it!!!

Watch the video to hear the rest (multi-format, oh yeah!)

And there you have it, that is how signing a grandmother’s jeans was a part of a life-changing moment for me.

Since that incredible first festival I’ve played many others, been awarded a National Arts Ovation Award and released several critically acclaimed albums, but time and again I come back to the infinite little magical moments that make this whole journey absolutely worth it for me.

This is what it comes down to: It’s people like you, who listen to my music and come to my shows -and ask me to sign your jeans-, who make my world sparkle and shine…and I appreciate that more than I can say. Things have come so far now and I’m supported by a rapidly growing community of patrons from all over this beautiful planet. What a blessing on all levels!

I am so excited about the incredible adventures ahead and grateful to have you along for the ride. Thank you for listening to my music and my stories, you make it all matter.

Yours in music (and magical hugs)
Nate

PS: if you’d like to be a part of the latest milestone in this beautiful journey, CLICK HERE, yay 🙂

 

 

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