DIRECTED AND EDITED BY Greg Anthony James
Nate Maingard is a musician and modern troubadour from South Africa. After travelling for several years, Nate decided that the traditional music industry wasn’t for him and in 2011 he decided to take his career into his own hands. Armed with his infectious enthusiasm and boundless energy, he started a journey to make a living from telling stories. Nate now has a community of 123 patrons who all pay a small fee every month to help support him and his music. In exchange, Nate offers his supporters a wide range of rewards including handwritten postcards, video messages and early access to his music. This approach means that he communicates with his core fanbase on a regular basis.
“I get messages from quite a bit of regularity from people saying how my music has impacted their world. Either that it’s brought them out of a dark space or it’s helped to accept the dark space they are in. These messages are very personal and very heartfelt. And when I receive them and read them, it opens my heart completely and I often cry and have a very connected experience of being reminded why I do what I do.”
Nate’s global community has allowed him to play a series of intimate house concerts in the US, UK, Germany and South Africa. The atmosphere is a world apart from traditional venues where the music is often secondary to buying alcohol or checking Facebook every few minutes. Instead of buying tickets, fans bring food and drink to share with the group and are asked to give a small donation at the end of the night.
“It’s an incredible way to share what I do with people and experience what they have to share with me. Because my songs are so story orientated and so much about the journeys we’re on as humans that when I share those stories in the space of someone’s home that we can all open up again and in that moment all we can see is ourselves as we really are.”
Nate’s decision to stop looking for a label or management turned out to be a blessing. It allowed him to figure out what he wanted people to take from his stories and music. That wasn’t fame or fortune but a platform to share his stories and experiences. Stories that connect people together through love, loss, hurt and gain.
“When they connect with those experiences in life, they come to accept that they are not alone. My deepest desire, wish and hope is that when people hear my music that they remember that we are all one race: one big beautiful earth community doing our best to live good lives.”