Nathaniel Bassey was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He is from Ikot Ofon Ikono, Uyo local government area in Akwa-Ibom state, South-South Nigeria. His father, Mr E Joshua Bassey, was a minister in The Apostolic Church Bashua Assembly and from an early age he developed a love for both music and the gospel.
He was inspired when He saw Dr Panam Percy Paul, a prominent Nigerian gospel music icon in concert over twenty years ago and since then, His passion for music has grown and translated into various musical experiences.
In his early years, he developed a rather uncommon interest for jazz music and began listening, imitating and playing to the music of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davies, Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz and Kirk Whalum, Phil Driscoll, Hugh Masakela and other Jazz luminaries. His zeal for the Jazz form would later stir him to seek out bands and groups along the Jazz lines. He then joined a top jazz quartet in Lagos, Spectrum 4, where he played alongside his childhood friends.
About that time Nat, as he is fondly called, was approached by one of the most respectable figures in the Nigerian jazz and music circle, Elder Steve Rhodes to lead, arguably, the first Jazz Orchestra in the country – THE STEVE RHODES ORCHESTRA. He served as band leader and lead trumpet player for a period of two years and later moved on with his music career. His peculiar and particularly soulful trumpet playing style caught the ears of top Artistes and composers within and outside the country. Teemac, Ayo Bankole Jr, Cobhams Asuquo, Wole Oni, Yinka Davies, Adlan Cruise, Funsho Ogundipe, Peter King, Sotiris Papadopoulus, Paul Petersen, The French Cultural centre, American International School, are but a few individuals and organizations that have sought his musical ingenuity.