Third generation of a musical family comprising of singers, pianists and big band leaders and arrangers, it is no surprise that Russell Nash bounced into this world with a song in his heart and rhythm in every cell of his being. His talent was recognised at an early age, when he joined the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School. Perfecting his art with roles in television, theatre and as a model, he was a busy professional performer before he had reached fourteenth birthday.
Lionel Bart personally cast him for the lead as Dodger in the highly acclaimed musical Oliver and many lead roles followed in both theatre and film. He survived being painted gold on the whim of the decadent director Ken Russell, for Salome’s Last Dance, where his training as Dodger helped him side-step some of show business’s more colourful characters.
After being invited to spend time in the USA in the prestigious Lee Strasberg Studio for method acting, he outgrew the tedious need to smoke cheroots and emulate the Brando’s and De Nero’s of celluloid royalty and decided to return from the golden beaches of California to reclaim his musical roots in the streets of London.
In a garage rented from his father, a young band emerged and recognition found him again. Commissioned as a professional songwriter for Hit & Run/EMI, where he wrote a wide range of commercial songs, including for the All Saints (I Feel You, from their Platinum album Saints To Sinners) and artists of the day such as Shola Ama. During this time Russ combined creative forces with Steve Tha40rce Ellington, who was also working a Hit & Run as a sound engineer and together they formed a new band, NASH, which was soon signed with Go Beat/Universal Records.
With his musical influences ranging from an eclectic mix of soul, jazz and folk legends to classical masters, together with Tha 4orce, edgy rhythms and rhymes exploded from the cultural melting pot of their home city. Their music became a unique fusion, bursting with soul, vibrant beats and richly layered orchestration and arrangements. As the driving force behind the band, writing, arranging, producing, and performing all their material, Russ’s charismatic presence, smoky lead vocals and a new album, The Chancer, had the critics buzzing that at last an old school proper recording artist was emerging out of watered down soup of formulaic pop.
Life was exciting, crazy and creative yet, one day, riding on the crest of the fame and fortune wave, driving an expensive piece of kit through London, he had a premonition that all was about to change in his life. Within weeks a perfect storm was brewing. NASH were not willing to make crass creative compromises, disillusioned by the rise of the corporate demand for commercial monoculture, and cold, clinical digital mixing & mastering, Russ’s prophesy became reality when a surprise phone call from his manager announced that he had been dropped by the label. A studio takeover by one of the industry giants rendered his contract null and void and his musical career and highly acclaimed album were left stranded in a legal no-man’s land.
Whilst recovering from the shock of industry ruthlessness, and wanting to create a new life and adventure for his family, Russ and Tha 4Orce agreed to go their separate ways. Russ headed for southern Spain and there, amidst mountains, the Mediterranean and Moorish landscapes he quickly learnt the language and culture of his new home.
He now has a thriving recording studio and teaching academy, where several generations of fresh young talent have been inspired to make music their passion, whilst professional & street musicians, writers and singers continue to walk through his door to transform their musical aspirations into reality.
Over the past few years, this quirky, contemporary composer and performer has co written an entire musical, composed songs and music for film, theatre and commercials whilst singing and playing out both professionally and just for fun in hidden venues where the walls reverberate with Flamenco passion and the Andalusian heartbeat that makes his soul smile.