If you’ve been following Rave Review for a while you’ll know that I adore country music. It doesn’t matter where I am; in the car, my bedroom,  even doing my makeup for an event, I guarantee you that a country song will always be  playing in the background.  There’s something special about that genre of music, it just seems to grab my attention and my heart. Being a born and bred country girl from Warmbaths could have a little to do with my influences, but I think it’s something more. It’s the lyrics, the storytelling, the music. And sometimes, just sometimes, you find an artist that epitomises the genre that you love with insane talent, ferocious heart and an incredible voice. Introducing Nathan Belt!



I know a couple hundred thousand of you read our review last week about Elvis - The Show starring Nathan Belt at the Joburg Theatre (sneaky me, I went to check) and I got to sit down with him to talk about the passions in his life, the music he creates, and naturally how it feels to emulate the King of Rock n Roll on stage in front of Elvis’s biggest fans. 


When did Nathan realise he could sing? Having played the guitar and been an aspiring artist, this down to earth country boy shocked his parents by performing in his high school talent show when he was 14. Imagine their surprise when they heard ‘that voice’ coming off of the stage?! I would definitely say he won!


After the music bug bit, Nathan shifted all of his focus into becoming a country music artist. His lane? Rockabilly. Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating back to the early 1950’s in the United States. It blends country music with rock and roll and has a very distinct sound. Some of music’s biggest legends found their roots in the rockabilly style including the Stray Cats, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Coupling the music styles of the greats that came before him, Nathan was also influenced by the more modern country music artist like Garth Brooks, George Strait and Alan Jackson.



It was at a venue in Dallas, ironically called The Palace, when Nathan was around 19, that he was spotted performing Elvis songs. Trust me when I say that if you’re looking for the closest ever experience you can get to hearing and feeling what it would have been like to see the real thing perform - you’re not going to find better than Nathan Belt. It’s just that simple. And the people that saw him perform in Dallas felt exactly the same way.  Between 2001 and 2004 Nathan moved to Nashville, signed with the largest publishing company there, and performed all over, at different venues. When he was asked in 2006 to perform as Elvis Presley in his early years for a birthday party, thats when he realised he could be on to something really special. After entering and placing in tons of different Elvis tribute contests, Nathan entered the biggest one you can get. He finished in the Top 10 of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist at Graceland and was signed to Legends in Concert for about 3 years where he performed in America and also got to tour internationally visiting Singapore, Germany and the UK. Having signed with Showtime Australia to perform as Elvis, this is Nathan’s second time touring in South Africa, and his fan base here has grown incredibly in two years. 


You’d think it would be a bit daunting though? Not performing to media and VIP guests on an opening night, but to Elvis’s biggest fans, who could ultimately be your biggest critics. But Nathan takes that in his stride. It’s the most wonderful thing to watch after a show. The way people line up to meet him, even little kids. They are so excited to meet The King of Rock and Roll. Lets not forget that for them, Nathan is the only Elvis Presley they know, and its a lot to live up to. But Nathan shakes every hand, gives every hug and poses for every single picture. That to me, is a sign of a great artist. No ego. It’s all about the fans. 



So what does Nathan get up to when he’s not making women of all ages swoon? His focus is on his band, and they’re absolutely fantastic! Nathan Belt and The Buckles started up around August 2013 when they all met, and these guys have got some serious talent. I did my homework and checked them out on YouTube and iTunes and was blown away. Let’s just say I’m officially a fan. 


For Nathan, music is and always will be the most constant thing in his life. It’s like the air he breathes, its his passion. I downloaded his song Four Letter Words a few days ago on iTunes, just to get a listen to his sound. What I got in return was priceless. I fell in love with the song, its meaning and the words. After listening to it constantly I have to agree with Nathan - I can’t imagine him ever doing anything else besides making music. This singer songwriter was born to leave an indelible mark on the country music world, and when you meet him, and get to know him, you’ll have no doubt in your mind that he’s going to get there.