‘Savior Nate’ makes a name after six years of beat-making



Nate Taylor (12) displays his set up for production in his room. He uses the larger screen above to piece together his backing tracks, or beats, and the laptop on his desk is for monitoring Discord chats and communicating with friends.

Red fades into blue on LED strip lights along the ceiling, drums echo and the ground shakes; this means Nate Taylor (12) is at work in his room, mixing melodies to create beats, also known as backing tracks. Being a producer is a path he chose to pursue seriously since the pandemic, but music has always been the outlet through which his words transcend beyond verbalization. 

“[Music is] more of the feeling that you get from it, and I like being able to interpret things that I hear and then being able to make my own stuff as well, so I can help put my thoughts into music,” Taylor said.

Producing beats takes more than inserting random combinations of tones and instrumentals, and Taylor has been fine tuning the art since he was 12 years old, standardizing the way he produces. 

“I open the program; I use FL Studio, and the first thing I do is either find a melody that I have already made or get a melody that my friend has already made or find different plugins to generate sounds,” Taylor said. “And then, I start to lay the drums down, and after that, I just arrange it … mix it and render it as an MP3 file.”

The most rewarding aspect of being a producer to Taylor is contributing to other art forms and impacting the music of others once someone raps over his beats. Rappers with thousands of followers have gone live on social media platforms to set lyrics to Taylor’s beats.  

“It’s the best feeling; it’s one thing knowing that somebody recorded on your beat because they send it back to you, but it’s another thing to just sit there and watch them hear it for the first time and start recording immediately,” Taylor said.

Taylor, who goes by “Savior Nate” when producing, has gone through multiple names and methods of processing music to reach his current point. Starting off with learning how to produce beats with his friends, he has now retained a steady following on SoundCloud, YouTube and Instagram.   

“He’s developed a lot from when I first met when we used to make music together … and we’ve been on the same trajectory for the past few years,” Dailan Caldwell (11) said. “I’ve just been trying to perfect what sound I have and understand it more [and] also listen to other people to take inspiration.”

Beats are instrumentals created to inspire songs or words to the sounds mixed, and the chord progressions and arrangements can vary immensely. Because beats can belong to any genre and suit various tastes, Taylor uses his roots in the jazz band to further explore these potentials. 

“Right now, I’m really making underground hip hop, but I really do want to expand my horizons to jazz or even classical music,” Taylor said. “I like listening to jazz, and I play vibraphone [and auxiliary percussion] in the jazz band, so it kind of comes naturally to me, but I just have to learn how to put it in digital form.”

One of the difficulties associated with music production is the constant outpour of creativity needed for the task. However, Taylor finds clarity through playing in the White Station High School jazz band and improvising his music. 

“The greatest challenge is the creative blocks for a few months at a time … when it’s really bad, and you can’t create a whole product,” Taylor said. “One thing that keeps my creativity going is being in the band because when we’re playing different jazz songs, you’ll have solos, and just being able to play solos helps you create ideas on the spot. And if you hear something really good and it sticks to you, you can put that in a beat later.”

Taylor distinguishes himself from other producers by following his own preferences for music rather than basing it on trends to mimic mainstream beats. He also consistently works to improve his production quality.   

“[Taylor has] always been in the underground rap scene, and he definitely has a unique sound … it really is toned down, but you’re still into [his music],” Kareem Norman (12) said. “He really does work at his craft and is dedicated to it … his beats don’t sound like any other beat.”