When it comes to charisma, enthusiasm and sheer talent, Nathan Osmond is a triple threat, hailed by late night talk show favorite Larry King as “a wonderful new talent whose musical genes shine brightly through.”
Television personality Jimmy Kimmel aptly and succinctly noted that “He’s got a very nice voice,” while the Country Music Association hyped that “America and country music fans are about to see a whole new chapter in the Osmond legacy.”
A next generation member of the beloved Osmond family through father Alan, Nathan has been paving his own way in the musical world adjacent to his famous family as an up-and-coming country music star, not to mention in the non-musical world as an emcee, keynote speaker and all-around entertainer.
Originally from Provo until his family moved to Branson, Missouri, Osmond took some time Tuesday to chat with the Daily Herald about what it’s like to bring his music back to Utah for back-to-back shows at the SCERA Center for the Arts on Monday.
“This is a big deal for me to get to come and sing for all my family, friends and neighbors here in Utah,” Osmond said. “I don’t get to do that very often. … I’m so excited to bring my Homeland Band to the SCERA to perform. I really had my first starts in entertainment at the SCERA, and it’s a really fun place to come and bring my band and show what I’ve been up to the last 10 years.”
That includes diving in to country music, a stream of hit singles, a successful album release, countless big name collaborations and a second album in the works, not to mention finding footing in a new style of music.
“I always told myself I would never love country music,” Osmond said of the genre. A little Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Collin Raye later, followed by some time exploring Nashville’s Music City, and Osmond said he “really fell in love with what country music was all about.”
“I just found some of the nicest people in the music industry in country music,” he said.
Osmond met Brooks, formed a friendship with Gill and replaced his vocals on a recording with Jack Greene and just had Raye record with him on his new album, giving him the opportunity to work with all of his idols.
He’s also shared the stage with Trace Adkins, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Easton Corbin, Chris Young and more, and all thanks to a comment from his wife.
Following in his uncle Donny’s footsteps, Osmond began touring with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” right after returning from his mission to Santiago, Chile. He met his wife later on, while studying at Brigham Young University, and soon after, while participating in theater, found himself dressed up in cowboy duds.
“My wife looked at me and said, ‘You’re supposed to be a country singer,’ ” he said. “I was writing a lot of songs that were very crossover so I took her seriously and went to Nashville to pursue my solo career.”
Growing up around recording and television studios, Osmond was no stranger to music production, and was able to work with Lonestar founding member Dean Sams on his first country album, which he wrapped up with help from popular songwriter and producer Gary Baker (“I Swear,” “I’m Already There”).
Now, on the verge of another album, Osmond said he’s excited to bring his show to Utah for back-to-back performances and some family-friendly fun.
“I don’t call them concerts, I call them experiences,” Osmond said of the shows. “I want you to escape the world for even just an hour or two and remind you of the things that are important. … It’s very exciting to get to do this and I just want to do a good job. It’s one thing to perform for 65,000 at a sold-out stadium and another to perform for your parents, cousins, neighbors and people you see at church. I just want this show of all shows to be special, and I’ve really poured my heart into this. There will be beach balls flying around, and I want you to bring all your kids out and just let your hair down for awhile with me.”
Speaking of keeping his family-friendly values in his performances and career, Osmond shared about a time when his record label wanted to have a beer company sponsor the video for “The Tailgate Song” from his “Feels Like Heaven” album.
“I don’t drink alcohol nor ever want to promote it,” Osmond said, noting that Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer was headquartered in the same city as his manager. They ended up sponsoring the video and even using Osmond’s image in their future packaging and advertising.
“I couldn’t have paid for better promotion,” Osmond said. “You don’t have to shift who you are and your standards and morals in this business or any business. I learned that from watching my dad and my uncle. It doesn’t matter who you are, you be who you are.”
As to the show, Osmond said attendees can expect some new music and favorite originals as well as a focus on country through the ages, including some of the songs that inspired him to pursue country music.
“I love audience participation,” Osmond said of his shows. “You can whoop and holler and let your hair down, just don’t slap your grandma.”
Born on Valentine’s Day, Osmond said a lot of his career focuses on passion and love, and as he’s become more confident in his songwriting, he’s ready to share more of the new music his next album will offer.
“I want people to hear songs that come straight from my heart,” he said. “It’s a great day and age for artists, the only problem is there are so many artists you have to be different, you have to be great and you have to have something unique to really stand out in today’s world. I think we’ve got that, and I hope people will take a chance and listen to these songs we hand selected.”
Whether through music or the spoken word, Osmond said he’s passionate about lifting up others with the things he shares. Last year alone, his schedule included 277 live events in 201 cities, all organized through his production company, Ntune, created with the goal to “inspire the mind and lift the soul.”
“That’s what I try to do through my music, through spoken word, through books that I’m writing,” he said. “I want to be a force for good out there and inspire others to do the same.”
Osmond is also reaching out to fans, friends and strangers alike with his new podcast, “Achieving Awesomeness Now,” which releases each Monday.
“It’s the day where heart attack rates go up,” Osmond quipped, and he’s not wrong, with studies showing that the risk increases by 20% for men and 15% for women.
“I want to help people find positivity by sharing tips, secrets and things that have helped me,” Osmond said. “I say in the intro it’s to help you step into your greatness and inspire others to do the same. That’s why I created it — to help all of us become awesome right now. We’re all awesome and just need to be reminded of it sometimes.”
If you’re ready for that reminder, well, don’t forget to head to the SCERA on Monday!