With the 2013 Billboard Music Awards rapidly approaching, we caught up with BBMA finalist Nate Ruess of breakout band Fun. to help recount the incredible high points, new discoveries and memorable moments that caught his ears during the past 12 months.
The group's breakthrough "Some Nights" spawned three top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "We Are Young" (No. 1), the title track (No. 3) and "Carry On" (No. 20). Fun. is a finalist in 11 Billboard Music Awards categories including Top Hot 100 Artist and Top Duo/Group categories.
Watch the 2013 Billboard Music Awards Sunday, May 19th at 8|7c on ABC live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as host Tracy Morgan welcomes the biggest names in music to the stage.
What was the highlight of your year in music?
Nate Ruess of Fun.: Jeez. It was my year, I mean I think the whole year has been a highlight of my life in music thus far. I think we made the album that we wanted to make and I think after so many years finally it caught on to the mainstream, so for me the whole entire year was special. It’s something I obviously want to sustain.
What song (by another artist) really made an impact on you?
I’d have to look at my phone and get back to you. Gotta be smart about it. I think it’s probably the new Lady Antebellum single. I guess the song is called “Goodbye Town." As far as adult pop music, I don’t think anybody else comes close to it.
What new talent emerged or came into their own this year that blew you away?
Kendrick Lamar. I think I just love the album and think that he’s something out there I haven’t heard yet in hip hop.
How has social media affected the way you engage with your fans?
Tough question for me. I don’t have any social media. I guess it’s been good!
Favorite music-related meme/viral video this year—and why?
"Gangnam Style" was the shit! I don’t know what a meme is. I got on the Internet to check basketball scores.
What to you was one of the biggest losses this year in music?
[The Monkees'] Davy Jones was a big one for me. I’m such a huge fan of pop music from the ‘60s. I remember feeling very shocked about that one.
Was there a surprising sound or music trend that pricked up your ears?
A little more of the electronic side. it’s never something that interested me in the past, but I went to a Skrillex show and was kind of converted from there. I thought it was amazing, and I thought the positive reaction from the crowd was something you don’t get much nowadays.
How do you live like a high roller when you're in Las Vegas?
I’m really big on the buffet. One time I saw a Criss Angel show and I was sorely disappointed for me – that was really expensive.