Nate Utley – What Up (Official Music Video)

Nate Utley has been playing guitar and various instruments since he was 10 years old. After a few years of playing heavy rock and metal, Nate picked up an acoustic guitar at age 13 and started experimenting with singing and various pop sub-genres.

Some of his earlier musical influences included Jack Johnson, Sublime and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Nate was originally born in Pontiac, MI, but moved with his family to Miami, FL a couple of months later. After a few years in Miami, Nate’s family decided to move to Flagler Beach, FL. Nate grew up in Flagler Beach/Palm Coast, attended high school and eventually moved to Tallahassee, FL at the age of 18 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Retail Management at Florida State University. Nate graduated from Fsu in the fall of 2015.

Nate Utley’s music is a combination of Rock, Reggae, RnB and Pop. Throughout his music you’ll hear shredding guitar leads, emotional vocal segments, upbeat rhythms and quick lyrical deliveries. All of these components blend together into a harmonious composition that is best described as Acoustic Rock

Nate Utley – What Up (Official Music Video)


The track features a really unusual fusion of sounds and styles. What may appear at first to be a singer songwriter type of folk-pop song soon erupts into this part electronic rock part hip-hop meeting of influence. The hook section comes into play before any verses, and the sound is very full – perhaps a little overwhelming, and potentially lacking identity with such a wall of varying sound. However, as the verses begin to play out there’s a completely different angle to be experienced.


Some of the riffs used throughout the track are beautifully atmospheric, and the unusual nature of the beat – this slightly industrial, hard hitting rhythm section – definitely makes for something fresh and attention grabbing. Structurally the verses might have given more impact to that hook if things had been arranged slightly different, but to listen from start to finish is to get a much better grasp of what takes place.


Nate Utley undoubtedly offers a fresh perspective and an array of influences that suggest a pretty varied musical background. The fusion of the folk songwriter sound with the hip-hop driven verses has a lot of potential, and to hear it is to pay attention to it; due to everything being so unfamiliar. There’s a lot going on in a short space of time, but the more you catch of it – the more you focus on the lyrics and the instrumental moments that lie within the mix – the more there is to appreciate.

It’s a track that grows on you, and the unique nature of the sound makes for an exciting opportunity to discover and follow something new. The relationship based subject matter offers that universal appeal that is likely to draw in anyone and everyone who can relate to those feelings and ideas.

By Rebecca Cullen

Rebecca is a Musician and writer from Manchester, UK, with an MA in Song Writing.