Singer Nathan Pacheco is no overnight sensation. And that’s just fine with him.
“I started in the music business about six years ago,” says Pacheco, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife Katie. “Even though things haven’t come together all at once, things have been coming together little by little.”
On the heels of the September release of his debut solo album,”Introducing Nathan Pacheco,” the pop/classical crossover artist performs at Strathmore on Sunday.
A Fairfax County native, Pacheco, who signed with the Disney Pearl label, says Sunday’s concert is somewhat of a homecoming.
“I consider it a hometown performance for me,” says Pacheco. “That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited ... [family and friends] have been some of my biggest support so I’m excited to be able to share the show with them.”
The stop at Strathmore is part of a month-long national tour.
Growing up, Pacheco’s mother taught piano lessons out of the family’s home. Though Pacheco took piano and violin lessons as a child, it wasn’t until high school that he started voice training.
“I just discovered how much I loved singing even more than the instruments I played,” says Pacheco. “I loved the connection I could feel with people singing on stage.”
Pacheco studied music at Brigham Young University and has traveled extensively, performing in Lucca, a city about an hour outside of Florence, Italy, as a part of a study abroad program and playing folk music throughout Brazil.
“That was a turning point,” Pacheco says of his travels. “I thought, ‘I’ve got to find a way to do this as a career.’”
Though he had studied opera, a love of folk music led Pacheco to the crossover style he’s now gaining recognition for.
“I’ve always loved pop and folk and I think that’s why I keep coming back to that crossover style,” says Pacheco. “I think it fits me a lot better.”
Pacheco says fellow crossover artists like Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli have served as inspiration, but other artists in other genres also have influenced his music.
“My iPod has everything from Luciano Pavarotti to Coldplay to Eminem,” says Pacheco.
“I love [Eminem’s] writing because it helps my writing even though it’s a totally different genre.”
Pacheco’s first solo album is a combination of covers and original songs. He co-wrote seven of the 12 tracks.
“For the current album, it’s half and half,” says Pacheco. “There are definitely a few covers on there but ... the rest are ... originals.”
“What I love to do is not only perform songs people are familiar with but share some of these original songs,” he adds. “So that’s what this tour will be about.”
Pacheco’s first big break in the music industry came in 2009 when he was invited to join internationally-renowned composer Yanni and a collection of other composers and singers on the Yanni Voices Tour.
“It was an incredible learning experience,” says Pacheco. “Every night I would be performing with just world class musicians ... [those] experiences have been invaluable for preparing me for a solo career.”
Pacheco got another boost in his career last winter when he was a guest on British singer Katherine Jenkin’s tour of the UK with the British Symphony Orchestra. He plans to join Jenkins again this winter on a Christmas tour, an experience Pacheco says he is looking forward to.
“To take in the culture of the UK [and] to be able to perform with someone as talented as Katherine ... it’s been a neat experience and I’m excited to go back.”
Although Pacheco might not have rocketed to success over night, the singer/songwriter is enjoying the ride.
“I had to learn to enjoy the journey,” says Pacheco. “I’ve been learning that you don’t have to reach your dream to find fulfillment ... Maybe I’ll never really break into the music industry but even so far, I’ve been able to write music, perform for people and that brings me fulfillment.”