Singer Nathan Duty appreciates many styles of music

Story and videos by Zoe Ekeh

“The first thing I ever started doing was singing – ever since I was little, I sang,” Nathan Duty said. “I think a lot of us that’s the first we connect with is our voice because it’s just part of us.”  

Singing, playing the piano and playing the saxophone are all the musical skills and gifts that Duty has acquired throughout his life. He considers himself to be a vocalist. As a musician, it is a gift to him and the skill he devotes the most attention to.   

In fourth grade, singing became a vocal instrument for Duty. He played the saxophone when he was in fifth grade. Then he started playing the piano when he became a senior in high school. 

Singing is something that has always been done for fun. He performs for his friends sometimes and is a worship leader for his home church in Wisconsin.  

While Duty sings classical music for his college major at Cedarville University because it is required of him in the program, it is not necessarily a music genre he likes a lot. 

Jazz, heavy metal rock, indie music and R&B are genres Duty enjoys listening to. 

“I kind of listen to everything,” he said. “I feel like every genre there’s a reason people like it and part of why I listen to music is because I like to try and listen to what people love about it.” 

 Jacob Collier is a pop artist Duty likes now. He feels Collier has bridged a gap between the classical and pop music genres. It is something Duty admires because he is studying classical music now and respects Collier’s process in making music. Mark Hayes is another musician Duty likes because of the work they he does with worship music. 

Besides performing classical music in college, Duty is also a part of a barbershop quartet in his hometown in Wisconsin. He considers the music he performs with this group to be a silly genre. In his junior year of high school, Duty’s choir teacher was passionate about him and some of his peers competing in a barbershop competition. 

“It was a really interesting, weird thing that he loved,” Duty said. 

He has also created an informal band with his friends back in his home state of Wisconsin. They all play instruments and perform live music together. 

Duty views himself as a musician because he wants music to be his main craft. It is a title he claims because it is a job for him and a craft for him. 

Life experiences are something Duty applies to his musical craft. He believes bringing such experiences to the music he makes, makes him unique as a musician. 

Duty’s father and worship pastor have been mentors to him in two completely different ways. His father has always been supportive of his interests, while his worship perspective has displayed how music worship can be done in more than one way. 

Becoming a choir teacher, getting a PhD, and performing music are what Duty wants to pursue in his future as a post-college graduate. He would love for music to be more than a job for him in which he can find all sorts of opportunities to perform his musical skills. 

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