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Nate Walka | Ready To Start 'Jammin' Again!

The epitome of an artist, Nathan Walker, better known by his stage name, Nate Walka, has been the pen behind numerous chart-topping, Grammy nominated and even Grammy winning singles that have dominated the airwaves of this decade. Although you can “Blame it on the alcohol” for his notoriety, Walker credits the dynamics of his free-spirited home as to what has made him the dynamic artist he is today. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Walker was exposed to the many facets of artistry by his mother Cheri Akins, an abstract painter and photographer, his father, Larry Walker, a portrait artist and landscape designer, his sister, Shimura, a gifted scholar & alto singer and his uncle, a talented baritone singer.

At a young age, a multifaceted Walker sang gospel songs in the church choir and began developing a passion for writing. His unique talent revealed itself when his mother stumbled upon songs he was writing and mistook them for poetry.I thought they were just really good poems. The wording was beyond his years.” Said Walker’s mother. Impressed with his lyrics, she entered him into literary competitions and as a result, Walker won several national and international poetry competitions which played a large role in building his confidence as a writer. A poet by accident, and a true lyricist with the pen, Walker continued writing songs & lyrics with poetic depth, sharpening his craft well into adolescence. Walker was sent to live with his aunt (Trina) & uncle (Walt Harris) in Illinois his sophomore year. It is there he attended Warren Township High School, Walker took on the role of an entrepreneur, creating rap music with 4 other friends from school and pre-selling CD’s to sell to his peers at WTHS and the schools that neighbored. “We all agreed to allow each artist on the album keep 80% of the sales they generated for themselves & to divide the remaining 20% amongst the others” Walker notes that he sold approximately “$7,000 worth of CD’s” in a single semester.


Nate Walka

After receiving his high school Diploma, poet, songwriter, rapper and now entrepreneur, Walker enrolled in Alabama AM, with the initial intent to study business marketing. His passion for music however, became a distraction to his studies when he was introduced to the world of Battle Rapping. Walker quickly became a dominate competitor due to his natural knack for wordplay and became a crowd favorite due to his fun demeanor & electric energy while performing. He went on to win competitions, frequent talent shows and build a name for himself as an emcee. In 2006, he won the Xbox 360 Battling Competition and the Boost Mobile Battle Rap Competition. Soon after, in 2007, he dropped out of college and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana with his sister in order to help devise a plan that would allow him to pursue his passion for music full time. “I went there to create a plan but then life happens. I had bills and ended up spending most of my time folding clothes at the store I worked at. None of my energy was being channeled creatively; I had to get out of there.” After a little over a year in Indiana, Walker was promoted at his job & was offered the “fast track” to managing his very own store. The excitement of the offer was short lived for when Walker arrived home that night he realize the true cost of the opportunity was to abandon his initial goal of spreading his talent to the masses. A bittersweet & slightly confused Walker that faithful night decided to refuse his promotion & make the move to Atlanta that ultimately changed his life.

Walker connected with a friend he worked on music with during his days at WTHS. His friend was finishing his senior year of undergrad at the time & had his own 1 bedroom apartment with a makeshift recording studio in his living room. Walker ended up sleeping most nights on the living room floor while working countless hours on his mixtape “Nate Obama”.. “I’d wake up, thank God, brush my teeth and immediately get back to the mission. When i needed money i would burn copies of whatever i was working on & sale them in front gas stations or at the mall. I would have my headphones with me so ppl could sample the product & purchase if they liked what they heard. Then I’d go record all night until I fell asleep, literally.” His living situation became his motivation to excel and after just a few months of hustling his music, he was introduced to Askia Fountain (Timeless Entertainment) who signed on to be his manager. “There was something unique about Nate. He had the sound, he had the talent, he had the hunger, but he also had that finesse that told me he had star quality.”

After the release of two successful mixtapes, NateObama and The Inauguration, Walker received an invitation to join rapper Shwayze, on his tour as the opening act for just one night. “This was a big opportunity for me. At the time Shwayze was on the MTV show Buzzin’. He was dope. He had a strong following and electric energy. I was excited for the opportunity and knew I had to rock out.” Walker rose to the occasion with a performance that showcased his vibrant personality and ignited the crowd- It impressed Shwayze enough to secure him as the opener for the remaining 30+ cities of his tour. While on tour, Walker established his first placement with “Blame It” on Jamie Foxx’s Intuition LP. “At the time, i didn’t know what a placement was or that most artist didn’t write there own music. It was a song from my mixtape i had Beenie Man performing so when i received the call from Chris “Deep” Henderson explaining that i had a record on the upcoming Jamie Foxx album that was scheduled to release in a week i was surprised to say the least. It turned out someone we both knew had tried to pass off my work as his own but lucky for me my mom made me copy-write the lyrics to every song from my mixtape. Lucky break i guess (he laughs)

Walker created the Grammy Award winning song “Blame It” in 2009. “I got the idea for the song while on the phone with my Grandmother who was complaining about my uncle who had climbed up in a tree the night before & thought he was an actual cat, lol. I remember thinking to myself how everyone blame’s it on the alcohol. It was obviously a cool concept. I knew there had to be a song someplace about it but as google later revealed to me there wasn’t so i knew i had to make it. I came up with the lyrics & melody of the hook that night. i called my friend i had ben working with in Atlanta & sang the hook over the phone. I asked him to create a track for it & send it over but he insisted we co-produce it since according to him i always have a dozens changes for everything he makes”..For fourteen weeks, “Blame It” held the #1 position, and broke national records garnering five Grammy Nominations, one Grammy win, a Soul Train Music Award, and an ASCAP song of the year award.

Although Walker was the original creator of “Blame it” there was a lot of confusion as to who did what, due to the long list of people listed as co-writers. This all changed with the release of Trey Songz “Say Ahh” since Walker was the only name associated with both hits it became obvious he was the goose with the golden pen. “Say Aah” became Walker’s sixth Grammy nomination and became Trey Songz’ first ever single to reach Platinum status. Since then, Walker has been instrumental to the success of many projects including platinum single “2 On” which was produced by Walker’s friend and business partner DJ Marley Waters. “Without Nate, I wouldn’t be as far as I am. I’ve always been talented but Nate pushed me to authenticate my brand, and educate myself on the industry before becoming involved. I didn’t know much about how to succeed in the industry before meeting Nate and now I’m a platinum selling producer with more hits on the way.”

Walker has described his goal in Entertainment as “wanting to succeed but also bringing my team with me- mentoring them, guiding them, and creating art they can be proud of.” Walker has kept to his goals despite major & minor set backs. “I’ve been the victim of immoral lawsuits, bad contracts & even been black listed by a few heavyweights. Despite the obstacles i feel my continued success in the industry is a testament to my resilience & dedication. My rise feels inevitable no matter what comes my way.” Walker now with all legal matters surrounding his artistry behind him is now ready to step from behind the scenes to take his place amongst the stars of our generation. “There’s so much of myself i’ve had to keep hidden under legal recommendation that its almost surreal that i survived the storm without hardening my heart. I’ve made peace with all & can’t wait to start “Jammin” again!”

Walker has also been helping mold the careers of other up and coming talents, such as Tony Arena (business partner & successful Pop Writer) G.O. (Hook writer & performer of And1), Alesha Dixon of “Britain's got Talent”(Gold selling Artist), Colette Carr (Pop Rap Artist & Fashion designer) Lijah NMC (17yr old Memphis rapper), 15 yr old musical prodigy Summer Skye and many more. His mentorship was specifically highlighted on reality show “American Hustle Life” where he mentored Kpop Super Group the Bangtan Boys aka ‘BTS’ who recently headlined the 2016 KCON Musical Festival which hosted over 175,000 attendees collectively.

Already holding a Grammy, the key to the city (Memphis-Shelby County 2011), and the utmost respect from the music industry’s elite, Walker has made a household name for himself as an entertainer but insists that he hasn’t even scracthed the surface musically. “I’ve wanted to do more with music but due to unforeseen circumstances I took my place behind the music. I’ve learned a lot about the industry, made solid partnerships and friendships, earned a ton of writing credits and have aided in building some truly amazing artists. Now i’m ready to show I’m much more than my pen. Get cozy world because you’ll be seeing, hearing & experiencing a lot of me from this day on!” Walker is promoting his latest, feel-good single, ‘Jammin’ which he believes represents his current state of Bliss now that the past is behind!

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