Snowboarder Nate Haust rolled into Dew Tour Copper 2023 with some momentum after shooting hoops at The Grit Rail Jam in Utah, taking the top spot. Little did Nate know he would continue his hot streak in the Super Streetstyle competition, taking his first-ever Dew Tour win. More recently, we got to hop on the phone with Nate after making the eight-hour drive home to Truckee, California, from Utah for The Bomb Hole Cup to pick his brain on all things music. Nate’s a huge hip hop head, as we learn his heavy East Coast influences, the impact of Souls of Mischif’s 93 ‘Till Infinity in Chris Dufficy’s part, playing the saxophone, and a custom curated playlist in On Rotation.
To start this off, what’s your favorite type of music?
I definitely have an eclectic taste. That said, there’s no denying that I’ve always gravitated towards 90s hip hop, especially New York City artists. Growing up on the East Coast, I’m from Western Massachusetts, that definitely was a big inspiration for a lot of my friends and me as well.
Do you remember your first exposure to hip hop music?
I was born in the 90s, and I don’t think I found my music flow until the mid-2000s. During that time, like when I was a kid, I listened to Blink 182 and a lot of similar artists of that era. But when it comes to hip hop, it was a ton of Biggie Smalls and Wu-Tang. Those two are on my top two forever and still are today. Nas was a big one, Big L—I listen to all of Big L, Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, Souls of Mischief. I listen to a bunch of Rick Ross, even though that’s a little later.
Those are some all-time hip hop artists that never get old. And 93 Til Infinity by Souls of Mischief is a classic.
I remember Chris Dufficy used 93 til Infinity in one of the Mack Dawg videos. That came out so long ago, but when I watched that part, I was fully hooked to that song. I probably watched it 150 more times since. That’s one song that I can pop on and listen to whenever and it never gets old.
Let’s switch gears to video parts. What are some of your favorites, and how did they shape your music taste?Honestly, circling back to Mack Dawg, their song selection in almost all of their videos are incredible, especially the later ones. Those are the ones that really hit home for me. I think he was JP Walker, that used Ante Up [by M.O.P] in True Life . That one is such a legendary snowboard part.
And then continuing, video parts that hit home a lot were Chris Grenier’s parts. The song selection in his parts have been uncanny and unprecedented. He chooses a lot of rap music that connects well with his snowboarding style. I like a lot of the Videograss flicks, but again, I find appreciation in pretty much any type of music. A lot of that old school hip hop hits home for me.
What’s your approach to finding the right song for a video part?
It’s tough. I like to get a lot of insight from friends and filmers. Choosing a song for a video part has been the one thing that’s the most difficult for me. Basically, you want to choose something that goes well with the trick selection but also something that hasn’t been used in the past. I find that like one of the hardest things to mitigate.
Obviously, a lot of the bangers have been used and whether they’ve been used recently or in the past, there’s something special about putting up a video part with a sick song and then hoping that it doesn’t get used again.
Is your initial instinct gravitate towards using a hip hop song?
Ultimately, I appreciate hip hop the most when I’m watching snowboarding, and it’s obviously so hit or miss depending on the actual edit or what the film’s going to look like compared to what music is paired up with it. But I mean, hip hop goes hard. There’s no denying that. I’ve seen a lot of backcountry videos with like surf rock. That’s really cool as well. When choosing a song for a part, my first thought is, what kind of rap can I put against this?
What song would you pick if you could use any song, with all rights reserved and an unlimited budget?
That is definitely a stumper of a question. I know, we just spoke about this, but hypothetically, if I could use anything, it might be Souls of Mischief, 93 ‘Till Infinity, and I think it’s probably just because of watching Chris Dufficy’s part over and over again and falling in love with that song. Because of the song, I can remember every trick that went down in that part.
Do you ever listen to music while you’re snowboarding?
I used to a couple years ago, it would be completely mandatory, and I would only snowboard if I was listening to music. More recently, I’ve decided that I thoroughly enjoy riding while listening to music, but it’s not necessary today. It totally depends on what kind of riding I’m doing. If I’m in the backcountry, I’m not listening to music because I want to be really engaged. I want to be like one with nature, and I can’t say this enough, especially in the backcountry, you have to be alert. If you’ve got music blaring in your ears, that’s when things can go bad. The same goes for the streets. But if I’m just taking a mellow day through the park, I’ll toss in some headphones and put on a pretty poppin’ playlist.
Are headphones mandatory for you during a contest or an event?
It’ll depend on which event it is, but for the most part, I’ll put on some headphones. I’ve got a good playlist queued up and vibe out and calm the nerves. Another thing about the music I listen to is that I believe it helps with my style, tricks selection, and if anything else, puts me in the mood to shred.
Does that playlist you throw on just have your top 10 favorite bangers, and you shuffle through it?
So I’ve got a snowboard playlist, and it’s ever-expanding. It started with just a few, and now it’s probably got 60 or 70 songs. I’ll usually start at the top and let it shuffle through. It’s curated to the point where I’m fine with whatever comes next.
Do you remember what you were playing at Dew Tour?
Yeah, I remember I put on Rick Ross’ Free Mason, then got to the bottom, and someone was trying to interview me, and I could not hear a word they were saying (laughs). But for the most part, it depends on how I feel that day. It’s a lot of Rick Ross, A$AP, some Post Malone, and some of the older 90s Hip Hop.
What are you jamming to while behind the wheel?
If I’m cruising in my car, I played the tenor sax growing up, so I’ve had a lot of inspiration through jazz, and I listen to a lot of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, sometimes some Lynyrd Skynyrd from time to time. I truly will listen to anything. It just depends on what the vibe is.
How’d you get into playing the sax?
That was a school thing. In fifth grade, I went to this elementary school that was like, alright, time for you to learn an instrument. You can play one if you want, or you don’t have to. My mom and grandparents were huge into jazz, like Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. So when it was time to choose an instrument, I went straight for the saxophone.
How do you go about finding new tunes?
When I’m at the gym, that’s the one place that I like to search for new music. With Spotify, now they’ve got your Discover Weekly like they curate a bunch of random songs. That plays into the genre you’ve previously listened to, so it constantly switches.
Any last words?
Closing statement: I think if you’re listening to music through bad speakers, you’re doing yourself a disservice (laughs). We’re all guilty of it. So many people do that, I do it too. I’ll crack a song on my iPhone, and it sounds pretty cool, and then I’ll play it in my car on some legit speakers, and it’s like completely different. It makes a world of difference.