Welcome to In the Key of Q the weekly podcast where I chat with inspiring Queer musicians from around the world as they share stories, inspirations and of course their music.
A-Natural founded Natural City Music recording label and has himself won two international independent music awards. He's opened for T-Pain and has written and produced for multiple major artists. In 2020 he released the album, 'Kwame', a seminal autobiographical piece in 12 tracks.
Gospel church music has been hugely influential on A-Natural with the church being very present throughout his upbringing. B Slade (formerly Tonex) is mentioned as a particular inspiration - a "gospel Prince"!
Coming into college A-Natural discovered new kinds of music and went into writing and performing his own material. But the task is not easy, and as a friend of his said, musicians sacrificed their lives so that everyone can have a soundtrack to theirs.
He faces the challenges of being Black, American, Queer and Christian helped particularly by the book Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. He tells us, Faith doesn't just have to be about God. Faith is about understanding that the things that you want for your life can come to pass. If you just believe.
After a period of homelessness he gets onto his feet, but is raped on the night he loses his virginity. It's a traumatic memory that has laid dormant until viewing the BBC show 'I May Destroy You' by Michaela Coel in which the character Kwame experiences a similar experience.
He goes on to plea for musicians to give themselves time and space to be creative; to allow themselves to make their art and not just 'content'. He says with sadness, We're demanded to be these caricatures of ourselves. And we get exhausted and burnt out trying to please an algorithm that really doesn't know who we are.
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