Over in Ireland Nathan Carter is A Big Deal – his most recent album Stayin’ Up All Night, beat Drake and Beyonce to the number one spot in the album charts.
Now the Country and Irish star, who originally came from Liverpool, is determined to crack his home country as he embarks on his biggest ever UK tour – including a show at The Kings Theatre in Southsea.
And while Stayin’ Up All Night is Nathan’s seventh album, it is the first to receive a proper release here in the UK.
But through word-of-mouth he’s already built a following that enabled him to sell out The Palladium in London on his last tour.
‘I played the pubs and clubs in the north west when I was starting out,’ says Nathan, speaking to WOW247 from his home in Ireland, ‘then when I was about 19 then I moved to Ireland and I’ve been here for the last seven years.
‘I’ve been going back every year to do a tour though and it’s grown each time, from 200 seaters up to the likes of The Palladium.
I grew up with a family that loved country music, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, all that kind of people, but I also grew up with my mum’s side of the family who are from Northern Ireland, so I also had a very strong Irish music backgroundNathan Carter
‘I played a homecoming gig in The Philharmonic in Liverpool last year and that was 1,800 people. That was in front of friends and families so that one was really important for me.
‘I played the pub next door for years, so it was weird to play in The Philharmonic.’
Nathan admits that his musical taste was a bit out of step with his peers when growing up.
‘I grew up with a family that loved country music, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, all that kind of people, but I also grew up with my mum’s side of the family who are from Northern Ireland, so I also had a very strong Irish music background.
‘I grew up playing accordion and listening to country music, which was a bit strange for a young lad – and my friends thought so as well, but I loved it and kept on it and I’ve managed to make a career out of it.’
Now though, with country music becoming a regular chart fixture thanks to the likes of The Shires and Lady Antebellum, Nathan has seen things shift.
‘In the last couple of years I’ve seen it change, with teenagers coming to gigs and listening to it on their iPods or whatever.
‘I was at the last Country2Country in London and I was amazed to see the total mix of ages – it was great to see that the music is alive and people are into it.
‘It’s not embarrassing to say you’re into country music now, which it definitely was when I was growing up.
‘I’m delighted to be a small part of that.’
n Nathan Carter is at The Kings Theatre on Wednesday, September 14. Go to kingsportsmouth.co.uk or call their box office on (023) 9282 8282.
We’ve got a pair of tickets to see Nathan at The Kings Theatre up for grabs if you can answer this question: What was the name of Nathan’s debut album?
Send your answer on a postcard, with your full name, address and daytime telephone number, to: Nathan Carter Competition, The News, 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Western Road, Portsmouth, PO6 3EN. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the same information.
Entry closes at 5pm, Thursday, August 25. Normal Johnston Press competition rules apply.