Nate, who is coming to town for the Azure party and a special show at Arq, has been making dance music since 1989, when parties were still held in warehouses and DJs weren’t gay-household names. Now, of course, dance music and its clubs have become big business. Nate, for one, wouldn’t mind a return to the old days.

It’s a catch-22 really, she says.

I think more quality music comes out when people are hungry, and they’re struggling to forge a sound and break out from the underground. When everyone’s on it and doing it and it’s commonplace, then the quality of music starts to go down. People have saturated the market with so-so dance records and I think it’s time for people to feel hungry about breaking through and feeling creative again.

A long-time singer and songwriter, Nate has moved behind the decks in the past year, adding DJ to her resume. She hosts Sugar, a soulful house night every Friday in her home-town of Baltimore.

More so than anything it’s about having fun. It’s really interesting being on the other side of the turntables, playing the music that I love to hear, she says.

Even before I became an artist in this industry I always loved this music. Now being a DJ it’s a whole different perspective. There’s a lot of artistry that goes into it that people don’t realise. It’s like taking people on a ride.

Her latest single, Time Of Our Lives, was originally written by Gerry DeVeaux for Marcia Hines. When DeVeaux gave her a call about the project (they had worked together before) she was right into it.

I never thought twice about it. I knew it was Gerry’s project and I knew whatever he was going to be involved in was going to be done well.

Nate has become a regular at the world’s big gay parties, including our very own Sleaze a couple of years ago. Gay party audiences are an up-for-it lot, she says.

I’ve done about a million gay prides in the US and abroad.

There’s a lot more energy in the air at a big gay party. Everybody’s just feeling happy and ready to have fun, there’s no uptight feeling.

And when that’s the kind of crowd you’re performing for you don’t feel like you’re working.

Ultra Nate is scheduled to perform at the Azure party on Sunday afternoon. She will follow it up with a special performance and soulful-house DJ set at Arq on Sunday night.

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