Drive, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, is a tough movie to get through. It’s only 195 minutes, but those 195 minutes are pretty slow for an action movie. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little bit addicted to my phone, so I must plead guilty to scrolling through Twitter at some point as my friends and I watched the film in their South Campus apartment one night last March. I felt a tap on my shoulder, and turned around to find one of my best friends, Nate Currie, pointing me back towards the TV because he loves Drive and wanted to share it with us.
Nate Currie is a junior studying Television, Radio and Film in the S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communications at Syracuse University. Shocker: he loves movies and TV, and can recommend a solid watch (or 10) for anyone who asks. He’s the kind of person who will give you a novel of an answer or recommendation because he’s smart and really passionate, and you don’t mind listening because he makes everything sound genuinely interesting. And if you want to talk to anyone about Comedy, Nate’s the person to go to. There’s a special place in his heart for comedy, and he dedicates a lot of his time to keeping up with his favorite comedians via YouTube, Netflix – any medium they’re putting content on.
“I’m constantly fighting my inner snob when it comes to comedy because it’s my favorite and I love it lots,” he says. “I like making people laugh and I spend a lot of time working on my voice. Voice here means something like perspective combined with a subject. I always spend time thinking about what I want to say and it just takes time and work. The next step is really building my courage.“
While comedy is paramount, music comes in at a very close second for Nashville-grown Nate Currie. It’s common knowledge that Nashville is essentially the music capitol of the country, so growing up in such a city means there’s no real hiding from music and inspiration.
He’s been making music for a while, but when he got to Syracuse University in fall 2014 he’d all but given up on the art. He says that his good friend Andy Horvath is the reason he picked up bass again, and Nate now plays bass and synths with Super Defense in addition to working on a lot of his own music.
“My music is two different projects. I have a really secretive, kinda going-nowhere electronic project that takes a lot of cues from fast club music and guys like Claude Speeed – that stuff is back-burnered right now, though, because I bought a guitar! That stuff is right around the corner. I’m kind of right into the deep end on songwriting and guitar, but I used to play bass so I just took two strings off and started writing.”
The Nashville element of his musical being exists in the form of an unadulterated love for local music.
“It’s embarrassing because I won’t shut up about them, but JEFF the Brotherhood released a new album and I’m basically only listening to them and a lot of other Nashville bands right now. That is, folded in to my constant rotation of electronic tunes that I use to relax. Drone-y stuff like Eliane Radigue, maximalist stuff like Rustie, sparse stuff like Mssingno and Koreless. I’m listening to a lot of southern music right now. Barefoot Jerry is my secret weapon, even though I’m not nearly as fancy as they were.”
Nate’s experience in Nashville was not all music and joy, though. He grew up a bit of an outcast.
“I was a weird kid. Kind of bad-weird to a lot of folks. If you asked me in middle school, I would have told you I don’t need to fit in. But I didn’t have a ton of friends growing up and it really wore me down after a while. So, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on just being with people I like. Like, unscheduled time. I had plenty of play dates, but those dry up when you get older and by that point I didn’t really have any regular friends I hung out with for very long. But there was a lot of good, too. Nashville and I kind of grew up together. It’s always been a fantastic city, but the last ten years or so have been explosive. I love my city and I love the music and I love the food and I’m so blessed.”
The college version of Nate is an intrinsic part of an eclectic, supportive, awesome community of friends, and he’s maybe still a little weird but only in the best ways. He’s impressively self-aware, and similarly aware of the world around him and his place in it.
Right now his place in the world, physically at least, is in Syracuse, New York. It’s a far cry in pretty much all respects from below the Mason Dixon line in Tennessee. Where Nate will end up next, he doesn’t know.
“Home. I don’t know where it is yet, but the biggest goal for me right now is to build myself a home. That means, to me, a space with a kitchen near a community I belong to and something to sustain me. I’m so ready to be done with moving every few months and knowing that all my friends are going to scatter come graduation. I do also see myself traveling and growing, but I want the chance to build a home on my own terms. I want it badly enough to know that’s what the future holds.”
Nate is a mature, wise 21-year-old. He seems like he’s got an answer for everything, and if he doesn’t you end up in an engaging conversation. He’s someone you don’t get tired of talking to because he has a lot to say and, on the flip side, is a good listener. He loves what he loves with no bounds and wants to share that joy with anyone who’ll let him.
It’s almost unbelievable to me that we’ve been friends only since last semester. He’s introduced to me to tons of new music, TV shows, movies and has honestly opened my mind to a number of different perspectives. He’s understanding, smart as heck, quite quirky and pretty particular and I really do feel lucky to be friends with such a grand human being.