Three Rivers Commercial News | Alek Haak-Frost, Managing Editor
A NOTE ABOUT THIS ARTICLE: Here at the Riviera Theatre we’ve been lucky to have some amazing local talent performing in both our bar area, and on the theatre stage. Nathan Moore is one of those local musicians (both in the bar and on our stage), and we were thrilled to see this artist spotlight gracing the front page of the Three Rivers Commercial-News. Congratulations, Nathan Moore!
THREE RIVERS — The Nathan Moore Affair will grace the stage during Thursday’s Open Mic Night at Lowry’s Books and More in downtown Three Rivers, where they will interweave an array of sounds across a variety of genres in a one-of-a-kind performance.
Nathan Moore, who has been performing music for more than 20 years in Southwest Michigan, is a singer-songwriter who also happens to play a pretty mean keytar. Moore will perform alongside fellow songwriter and musician Chris Schleuder of Kalamazoo, who is always looking for new ways to approach his guitar playing.
Moore spoke to Managing Editor Alek Haak-Frost Monday about his upcoming performance and of course, his keytar.
Haak-Frost: First and most importantly, I couldn’t help but notice the awesome keytar. Obviously the use of a keytar is unique, especially in 2019. Why the keytar and how long have you been performing with one? What does it bring to a performance?
Moore: Well, here’s the short version of the story: I’ve been playing the keytar for a little over a year. For most of my life, my musician’s identity has been that of a vocalist… exclusively. Many years ago, I set aside my instrumental practices to focus entirely on singing, which hasn’t been a bad thing for me. However, two years ago I found myself wanting to be the instrumental point of origin for my songs, as opposed to always providing lyrics and melodies for someone else’s songs.
Essentially, I wanted to be the captain of my own creative path. Having been out of practice for many years, sitting down in front of a piano was a humbling experience. Thankfully, my dear friend Chris Schleuder was on board to be my musical conspirator, while helping me work through my insecurities. I chose the keytar because it’s unique, and it gave me access to a wide range of MIDI sounds and features. Besides… I already stick out like a sore thumb in most singer/songwriter circles. It’s the perfect instrument for weird outsiders… my people.
Haak-Frost: Give me a little background information about you; where are you from, when did you first take an interest in performing?
Moore: I was born in Flint, Michigan, but I graduated from a high school in Swartz Creek, Michigan. I came to Kalmazoo to go to Western Michgian University. I’ll be 46 in a few weeks. I started singing in church when I was 11 years old. My first instruments were brass: cornet, trumpet, euphonium. I started playing those around the same time. I’m a self-taught pianist/keyboardist.
Haak-Frost: How would you describe your performance style? What does a performance from The Nathan Moore Affair look/sound/feel like?
Moore: I’m an introvert who can wear an extrovert’s hat when necessary, so my performance style tends to vary depending on the audience. Personally, I prefer intimate and informal setting where folks can listen and ask questions if they’d like.
Haak-Frost: What type of subject matter do you attempt to explore with your work? How have your upbringing and life experiences to this point influenced your art, if at all?
Moore: My songs use simple arrangements to highlight complexities and tensions that show up in relationships. To name a few: engaging with loved ones across difference, estrangement, homelessness, acceptance of loss, belonging, fear, courage, spiritual journey, inner growth and of course (everyone’s favorite) love.
Haak-Frost: Who are your musical/lyrical influences?
Moore: I have way too many to list here, but I would say all things Motown. Especially Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and the Supremes. I’m a huge fan of Nina Simone as well. Also Crowded House, King’s X, Jeff Buckly, and Jamiroquai. At the moment, I’m really loving Mitzki and Sleater-Kinney too!
Haak-Frost: Do you have any music you would like to share? If so, where can folks find/purchase your work?
Moore: You can find my six-song EP (Reconciliation) HERE.
This was recorded before I started using the keytar, so folks will have to wait for the full album to hear those parts.