Why NF (Nathan Feuerstein) Is Underrated
“It’s probably gonna be a long journey, but hey!
It’s worth it though”
- The Search
On 30th May 2019, Nathan Feuerstein (NF) released the title track of his 4th album (“The Search”). His album will be released on 26th July 2019. In just one night, the video has raked over 1.4 million views and stayed on YouTube’s trending page — bagging both 5th and 8th place.
I remembered the exact moment I stumbled across NF’s music. I was at a stage in my life where I’ve reached the pinnacle of success in the capacity that I was in — however, this was only its surface. Behind all that, I was struggling between accommodating my emotions for others in the public eye, versus feeling too much or being absolutely numb behind closed doors. I was searching through YouTube for songs that would at least make me feel something: to feel heard, comfort, just to drown myself in. A few of NF’s songs from his first album “Mansion” was in a Christian playlist I came across. Although NF openly believes in God, his music isn’t just aimed at ‘the Christian market’, nor is it his intention to evangelise to his fans through his music.
In anticipation of his 4th album, I would like to appreciate not only his work, but also how his music has brought such comfort to me. These are my reasons why there should be a greater appreciation for NF, his music, and his message:
1. He is honest — blatantly honest.
In an interview with Numero, NF admits that the music he puts forth are inspired by the experiences he has been through in his own life.
NF opened up about his struggle with depression and hinted at his mother’s drug problem on his debut album “Mansion”. In his song “Breathe”, NF raps: “I had a lot that was bottled inside, couldn’t express it. And this pain won’t leave, I can feel the depression. It’s taking over my body, feels like I’m always stressing. Doctor told me I should sleep, but I’m always restless.”
Although NF pushes back against the label of being a ‘Christian artist’, NF has been candid about how his faith has shaped him. “I stand by these words: I’m a Christian but I’m not perfect,” he says. He retains an objective view of his faith, where he is upfront about the attitudes of many of us who seek for God only when we need Him. In his song “Oh Lord”, NF muses: “It’s easy to blame God but harder to fix things, We look in the sky like ‘why ain’t You listening?’”.
Despite everything he has been through, NF continues to uphold the well-being of others before his own. In an interview with Sway’s, NF explained that the motivation of him being so honest with his experiences is that knowing that it was going to be extremely relatable to others, because there are so many out there that could have been through what he’s been through — or even worse.
In an interview with AMBY, NF admits to being a really negative person — he always plans for the worst. In explaining his album “Therapy Session”, NF explained about how music has become his therapy, the internal battle between the 2 versions of himself: the person that he is and the things that he didn’t know about himself but have discovered through music.
2. He does not need to cuss or act out to stay relevant.
A trend that has become worryingly present in many of today’s mainstream artists involve cussing in songs and how this has become a norm. NF however is a professional rapper who doesn’t curse in his rhymes. In his songs, he chooses to be up front with his weaknesses, that he is still recovering from his troubled childhood — he is not afraid to embrace his intensity.
Another pressing trend in our modern day of social media is the ‘bragging’ culture: ‘flexing’ on our haters, showcasing all the material items we own (when in reality most of it belongs to their parent/s), and flipping off the people who disagree with us. NF does not brag nor address any of the riches he has made from his music career. Instead, he admits that he does feel guilty for being somewhat wealthy. What NF brings to the table is his authenticity. Through his lyrics, we are able to relate to the emotions and events that he addresses. In an interview with NME, NF believes in sticking to being himself — and through that, he has become (and continues to be) a voice for many others. He continues to remain humble and hopeful, despite all that he has been through.
3. His lyrics comprises of all the emotions many of us feel, but are scared to admit or even say out loud.
NF admits that he wouldn’t know what he would have become if it wasn’t for music. “Music really helped me to get out of my malaise, to live something else apart from abandon and failure,” NF explains.
These are snippets of song lyrics he has written:
“Is it me or the fear talking?” (Mansion, NF)
“I’m scared to live but I’m scared to die.” (Paralyzed, NF)
“Ask me how I’m doing I’ll say okay. But ain’t that what we all say?” (If You Want Love, NF)
“You don’t like me? That makes two of us.” (No Name, NF)
Whatever we may relate to, everyone is able to take something away with them. To think about our lives, future, re-aligning towards who we aim to be and to not succumb to who we don’t want to be.
Taking into account the lyrics of his newest single The Search, these were some of the lyrics that stood out for me:
See, we’ve all got somethin’ that we trapped inside
That we try to suffocate, you know, hopin’ it dies
Try to hold it underwater but it always survives
Then it comes up out of nowhere like an evil surprise
Then it hovers over you to tell you millions of lies
You don’t relate to that? Must not be as crazy as I am
The point I’m makin’ is the mind is a powerful place
And what you feed it can affect you in a powerful way
It’s pretty cool, right? Yeah, but it’s not always safe
Just think about it for a second, if you look at your face
Every day when you get up and think you’ll never be great
You’ll never be great — not because you’re not, but the hate
Will always find a way to cut you up and murder your faith
4. He is not just “the next Eminem”.
There has been many comparisons made between Eminem and NF over the years of his music career. NF does not aspire to be like him, though he does admit to enjoying his music quite a bit. “[Listening to Eminem] was one of the first times I felt like I heard something that was super raw. I just felt that authenticity. I like music that moves you; I like music that can take you to a place that you just wouldn’t be, you know?,” he mentioned in his interview with NME.
If you need another reason to give Nathan Feuerstein’s music a chance, this is another reason why: he’s real, and his music has personally saved me. NF’s music has not only provided me space for the days where I was unable to feel anything; but NF and his message has uplifted me out of many of my darkest days. His music helped me become more real with the people around me, with myself, and with God.
You don’t have to be a christian, or a rapper, or super ambitious to relate to music that has purpose. If you are looking for someone who is ready to bare their soul to you through their music, this is the music and the man behind it that you are looking for.