Thirty years. That’s a long time to suffer. But 31-year-old Nathan Feuerstein, known by fans as NF, has had enough.
If you’ve followed NF for any amount of time, you know that his albums dig deeply into childhood trauma, abuse, depression and struggles with his mental health. His music can be characterized as dark and, in some cases, difficult. Still, his work is sonically outstanding.
This time around, he’s beginning something new. He’s casting aside his past struggles and showing the world all that has changed in his latest release called “Hope.”
This track not only proves NF’s ability to make excellent art, it also declares to listeners that after 30 years of suffering, he is done with his former self and ready to move forward in hope.
NF opens his song by talking to his former self. He tells him that he’s finished waiting on false promises and that this album will be representative of the new him (“Thirty years you’ve been claimin’ your rightness/And promisin’ progress, but where’s it at?”).
He speaks directly to his deceptive inner demons (“You don’t have the strength/You don’t have the faith/You’ll never be safe”), and tells them that he is finished listening to them. Instead, NF’s confident new self will be taking the reins as he casts aside his “baggage,” “hopelessness,” “brokenness,” “hurting” and “torment.”
NF also defines success differently than the world (“What’s my definition of success?/Listening to what your heart says/Standing up for what you know is right”) and extends forgiveness to those who have hurt him in his past (“Mama, I forgive you”).
Not surprisingly, NF encourages others to follow his example of confronting their deepest struggles and demons: “I’m a prime example of what happens when you choose to not accept defeat and face your demons/Took me 30 years to realize that if you want to get the opportunity/To be the greatest version of yourself/Sometimes you got to be someone you’re not to hear the voice of reason.”
“Hope” reached more than six million streams on YouTube in its first week there. It’s the title track from NF’s forthcoming new album, and it will no doubt be embraced by fans as a positive, encouraging step forward. That’s especially true for those who have watched NF struggle with trauma.
As I watched this video (which is really a clean, wholesome work of art), I was moved by how far it seems NF has come in his own life. What a testament to the goodness of God, to the benefit of therapy and to the willingness to want to break generational cycles.
Although NF doesn’t quote Scripture in this track, its lyrics and video remind me of Ephesians 4:22-24, which instructs us to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).