Ultra Nate: I loved a wide range of artists as a kid. Everyone from Marvin Gaye to Boy George. Anyone with a soulful vibe, it didn't really matter what the genre or style. I was pretty much a sponge when it came to music.
RS: How, if at all, have they influenced your career?
Ultra: I think it's definately made me more open to be experimental with style and production.
RS: Did you desire to be a top 40 mainstream crossover artist?
Ultra: Absolutely! But on my own terms of course.
RS: The reason I asked is recalling the hit "Desire" from 2000, it gives a feeling of wanting more. Is there more of a personal meaning to that song?
Ultra: It's actually speaking of wanting the greatest love of all. And not being afraid to shout it out loud. Many people think it's hot to say 'f*** the world! I don't need anyone or anything.' But that's not my reality. I'm very clear, I need a mighty love!
RS: How much ability and freedom do you have to write your own songs, and could this be the reason the messages are bounced all over?
Ultra: I've always had the freedom to write what I want. Sometimes it may be focused to something specific like a TV show, a movie or an album concept. But it's all my personal take coupled with the producer. I'm not sure what you mean by "bounced all over" but if you mean that subjects vary greatly, I see that as a good thing. Things don't become "cookiecutter" that way. That predictability happens to much in the dance genre as it is.
RS: Which producer have you enjoyed working with the most?
Ultra: Most people I've worked with have been very cool and there's something to take away from every experience. I've had more concentrated periods with Basement Boys early in my career and Mood II Swing later. So those 2 teams are definite standouts for the considerable amount of growth during those years.
RS: When you wrote "Free," did you have any idea it would become as big as it did?
Ultra: No. I don't think you every really know. I was completely on the floor when it started to blow.
RS: What's the story on your song "Ain't Lookin' for Nothin'"?
Ultra: It's actually pretty autobiographical. I met a guy who was really diggin' me but he was freaked by my career/star thing. He was a state trooper (a very meat and potatoes, everything is black-or-white type of person). I think he really didn't know how to be with me and "Ain't Lookin" was just saying RELAX!!!! this ain't rocket science dude. We're either gonna work and figure it out as we go or we're not and we'll still be cool.
RS: "Grime Silk Thunder," sounds like a dark title, what should we look forward to with regards to the songs?
Ultra: Yea, so was "Situation Critical". I'm a very melancholic writer and singer so it reflects that vibe. The music is more experimental in an edgey and electronic direction while maintaining the warmth and depth of my vocal and writing stylings.
RS: How does your personal spirituality guide your musical artistry?
Ultra: It's a constant influence, whether subtle or overt. Not that I'm all holy roller but my just my basic make-up.
RS: You're well known in the gay community. Any reasons why you think that is, and, does it affect you at all when recording something new?
Ultra: I' ve been fortunate to be embraced early in my career by the gay community. They've been very educational and supportive. I don't really consider the gay community specifically when writing because their tastes are as varied as anyone elses.