Rarely does an album find its formation in a linear pattern. Antihero, from Nathan Fouts, is no different. At its core, the project is littered with self-exploration, conflicting narratives, and production that spans over the past few years. The 11 track album shows Fouts at his most vulnerable, yet grounded, than any of his previous works. Maybe that’s due to his continued work with megastars like producer Jim Jonson or Austin Mahone, or more simply his relentless pursuit of sonic greatness. Either way, Antihero caters to a wide range of hip-hop fans and continues to propel Fouts legacy inside, and more importantly, outside of Nashville.
The past two years are the undoubted catalyst of Fouts’ creative endeavors. While the workload hasn’t changed, his mindset has. Speaking on his thought process for Antihero, he didn’t hold back. “Life was the hard part. Finding the motivation to get out of bed and rationalize everything going on in the world during 2020. There was nowhere to go. I knew people felt the same, but there’s no platform for these types of feelings. They are unwanted feelings. It would sound nice to say this album was like the light at the end of the tunnel but truthfully it was more like vomiting. No one actively wants to throw up but you feel way better after. Once I accepted my affliction I knew I had to pull the trigger or be stuck in that twilight.”
It’s [Antihero] unwanted feelings. It would sound nice to say this album was like the light at the end of the tunnel but truthfully it was more like vomiting.
While Fouts found himself spiritually vomiting throughout the creative process, others like Austin Mahone were filled with fervor. The two met via Jim Jonsin, a producer based in Nashville with credits like “Lollipop” from Lil Wayne, and “LSD” from ASAP Rocky. Jonsin had been working on Mahone’s latest project when he felt obliged to bring the two together. Since the initial meet, both artists have kept in close contact and offered guidance to the other on their respective projects.
To Fouts, and the rest of Hip-Hop for that matter, Jonsin is a tour de force. “I think what has made it special is our ability to let it develop on its own through the years. He’s kind of like my crazy cool uncle. I can hit him up about anything and am always eager to listen to his stories whenever he recounts his incredible life and career. It never feels like work,” Fouts explains.
In the midst of hard times but better relationships, Nathan Fouts was able to craft a thoughtful and fulfilling project. Through countless Monday night sessions with Fouts, it was abundantly clear to me that his passion matches the hustle.
Early favorites from the project include “Last Night’s Dream,” “Our Light Saves,” and “Attention” Check out the project below and let us know what you think! You can follow Nathan Fouts on IG @littefootnate for new updates and snippets.