Nate Venturelli “Man of Steel” By Kathryn Shipley
There is a song that grabbed me a few months ago called “Rather be Fishing” … It’s a country song, but has some soul wrapped around it. But then I listened to “Union Man” by the same artist, and I was sold! These two songs are by, 2022 Josie Music Award winner Nate Venturelli, who won, “Male Rising Star of the Year” The show was held last October at the historic, Grand Ole Opry House, in Nashville. I attended the JMA’s as well that evening, and when his name was called and the excitement surrounding his win as well as hearing his name from a few folks at the JMA festival the day before, I pretty much knew Nate had a cool story, and I was correct! Nate Venturelli brought his "Josie" hardware back to his hometown of, Demotte, Indiana. I love to hear the stories of how someone started in Music and Nate is no exception to that. The song he released, that I touched on, called “Union Man” is pretty much about his craft, being a union steelworker, and how much pride he has in being a Steelworker. The song is based on and pays homage to his late grandfather, Larry Venturelli, who was also a union steelworker. Larry was part of the Union for 31 years, as well as serving as President for USW Local 1053, In Riverdale, Indiana. When listening to “Union Man”, you can hear his love and pride that his grandfather had for being a steelworker. And when you hear this song, it grabs you into having pride for loving what you do. To me, it’s a perfect song to go into a movie. To be quite honest, I would probably name the movie “Union Man”. There is a motto for the steelworkers, and it is as follows: To unite in one organization, regardless of creed, color, or nationality, all workmen and working women.” This principle/belief was written for the United Steelworkers union, in 1942. This commitment continues to be at the heart of everything they do. Nate has taken his work ethic as a Steelworker and placed them into his passion for music. In the world of music, you always wonder what led someone, to become a singer. You will hear people say, like myself, I started in church, or I come from a background of singers. Nate came by it very honestly as a lot of us have, the infamous, “singing in the shower”, and it also evolved into nights at a karaoke bar and living rooms with family and friends. In between his crazy 70 hour work weeks at times, Nate was able to give me a little of his “downtime” to answer a few questions, for me to share with all of you. Enjoy the interview with my version of “Man of Steel” – Nate Venturelli- Kship: So great to be able to catch up with you, and I have been reading, that even before your big win at The Josie Music Awards, how much you and your band were already starting to evolve, since the release of “Union Man” How has it been going so far? Nate: Yes, before we won the award we became a band, my frst band, about 2 years before the award. We’ve opened for 10 national acts including Travis Tritt, Darius Rucker, Rodney Atkins, and more. Also played casinos, festivals, and country venues, one being Country Thunder in Wisconsin. I’m very proud of my guys and I thank God every day we found each other! KShip: “Union Man”, rose quickly when it frst came out on all digital platforms, so obviously it placed you on the radar and gave you more exposure as well, and then winning a JMA award in Nashville. Did you ever think, things would unfold so quickly like this, and opportunities come your way as they have? I read that the inspiration behind the song was from your grandfather who was a steelworker as well. Nate: I wrote the song as a tribute to my grandad and the unions across our nation. I never would’ve expected anything from the song. I just wanted folks to relate to it. I’m so shocked that people throughout the country are streaming the song now and I’m so thankful. My granddaddy was union president of USW 1053 in Riverdale, IL, he was someone who was dearly loved and he died at 54, way too soon. Kship: you and I both have something in common, coming from a small town. I see your hometown of Demotte; Indiana is a bit under 4,500 folks. What I love is that being from a small town you pretty much know everyone. I am sure you get a lot of love from your hometown folks. Nate: Yes! I love the fact that I know 75% of the folks in my town lol! We would be nowhere without the support of the towns in northwest Indiana and the Chicago suburbs. KShip: So, I will call it as I heard it, you began this journey as a “Shower singer” and doing karaoke and just hangouts singing at friends and family homes and now look at you, selling out event venues and packing bars. What moment did you know that “I think I can do some things on a music level”? So, if you were a self-taught singer did you also learn to play the guitar on your own as well? Nate: yes, I always sang in the shower but never in front of anyone until about 5 years ago for family. I was terrifed. Then it turned into karaoke, open mics, acoustic shows, and now a full band. The moment I thought, we can do this for a living, is when we played a show, and the whole crowd sang back “union man” to us. I was speechless. I learned to play guitar about 5 years ago from YouTube. KShip: Tell me a bit about your siblings, I know your sister Brittney is going through a battle right now. And I also see she has a huge support network. Nate: I have 5 sisters and 1 brother. I love them dearly; my family is everything. Brit is just fnishing her last treatment; she is cancer free! Brittney was a huge part of the reason I started singing, she always pushed me. KShip: Nate thanks so much for your time. The folks at IndiesVoice Magazine, wish you all the best and send love and prayers to your sister as well. Nate: thank y’all so much!
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