“Know your craft. Know the business you’re in. Outwork and outsmart everybody.” This is Nate Robinson’s simple philosophy, which has carried him through the notoriously tough music industry.
Nate’s passion for drums is clearly evident when he performs at venues across the country—perpetually stunning his listeners night after night. When not on the road, Nate and his wife Traci oversee Music Life Studio, an organization that offers music lessons in drums, guitar, bass, piano, and voice. “Music Life has been a dream come true,” he says, “I enjoy seeing students progress in their musical curiosity.” Nate also runs a nonprofit organization called Get a Music Life!, which gives marginalized children the education and resources to learn music. Knowing that music should be cultivated at an early age, Nate and his team at Music Life Studio are committed to making it happen.
From banging on pots and pans at the age of two, Nate eventually landed his first drumming gig at age 16. Soon after, he could be routinely found playing in nightclubs shining like a prodigy, and quickly built a name for himself in Houston’s smoky jazz and dance scene. In high school and college he played in the marching band, all the while maintaing a relentless class and gig schedule. Academics soon found itself on the back-burner as Nate advanced himself in another discipline, music. Too busy teaching drum lessons, gigging and writing music for production houses, Nate eventually faced the tough decision of pursuing music over college. A decision he’s never regretted. Having toured the globe since his college days—gaining enlightening experience and perfecting his chops—he exemplifies the aura of persistence.
Nate has played with a variety of Grammy-winning and Billboarding-topping artists including: Wayman Tisdale, Kelis, Tank, Angie Stone, Lecrae, Jermaine Dupree, Sarah Morrow, and Tyler Perry among others. His style is flavorful and unique. He never plays to hog the audience’s gaze, but rather to form the greater whole of the musical experience through unity and balance. Though 2013 is booked with concerts, Nate is committed to his new album, Heard Not Seen, now halfway completed. He listens to many different styles for inspiration—anything that can lead him in new directions. Nate gathers ideas and rhythms from unexpected sources like the youngster program Yo Gabba Gabba! or the rhythm windshield wipers. “When you’re in the mode of creativity, you run with it,” he explains.
Nate strives for balance between music and business, fully aware that both must be merged to succeed. He is committed to God, himself, his family, and his students. He loves what’s happening in the musical arena right now but yearns for a different future. “I hope real music like jazz comes back and runs the world,” says Nate. If this indeed happens, Nate will surely be a force of influence in the world of music, just as he is now.