Nato Caliph Presents "The Build" at Blank Space

A still From Nato Caliph's "Polarity" video shoot at Kayak Coffee. - Omar O'Hara
Omar O'Hara
A still From Nato Caliph's "Polarity" video shoot at Kayak Coffee.

In this weekly column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to say whenever they Fill in the Blank.

"Your music is not for everybody. Artists need that wake-up call. It's hard to believe, but that's a fact," says hip-hop artist Nato Caliph. "Focus on making quality music for the people that want to hear it, and that will spread itself. That's the reality, but that's what makes it beautiful."

Whether he's writing for new tracks or booking shows, Nato stays humble, with a strong sense of community. That humility shows in the poster for his next show, on which his name sits at the very bottom, despite his role as its main promoter. Catch him, along with ten-plus additional performers, at The Build at Blank Space on Saturday, April 26.

For all his work in the local hip-hop scene, Nato might be too modest -- not that he should be. He has been writing and recording for nearly twenty years. Starting as a teenager, he took his poetry to paper and even rap battle, cutting his teeth on rhymes of raw skill.

"For me, I've always sought music that had knowledge -- that dealt with wisdom and understanding. We should know what's going on, do the right thing, and see the bigger picture," he says. Though his music reflects a mature approach, Nato has kept those values in mind from the beginning.

"I think it boils down to having knowledge of self. If you know who you are and what you want, you're not relying on people to tell you what's good. You're your own tastemaker," Nato elaborates. "What you listen to and what you create should be totally different. You can tell who's easily influenced by what's trendy by how they sound in their music."

Continue to page two.

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