EXCLUSIVE: NATALI IS READY FOR THE RIDE OF HER LIFE 0 131

Twenty-year-old Natali Felicia is keeping busy. Not only is she working towards establishing herself in the music industry, she is, by her own admission: “working in a clothing boutique as well as at a café on Södermalm.” She is also a woman of many passions, including but not limited to “travel, exploring new places and meeting new people.” She adds: “I also love vinyls, yoga and Netflix.”

nati

When asked about what makes her unique in terms of the music she’s creating, she’s reluctant to say much, but she does admit: “I have my own voice and my own way of expressing myself…my own personality, you know? We’re all unique creatures with unique personalities. I’ve started to create my own world in music, though I think that is a constant journey.”

She lists her influences as Mazzy Star, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and The Cardigans. “They’re bands and artists that have been a big part of my life growing up,” she says. “I have always listened to very different kinds of music in different time periods. In recent years, I have started to listen more and more to a lot of Scandi artists such as Ane Brun, Nikki And The Dove, Fever Ray and Jenny Wilson – lovely, strong women with interesting ways of expression and interesting personalities.”

Natali’s family are artistic and such creativity has had a big impact on her as she carved out her own career, as she explains: “My dad has always been working within drama and theatre. I believe that has opened up a creative world for me. I have always loved to express myself through different creative ways: playing theatre, writing and I practiced figure skating for quite a long time. Music and singing was something I first started to explore more about six years ago when my friends in school told me I had a good voice and that I should sing more. That really motivated me to continue and explore it further.” So did she enjoy music in school? It would seem not. “It wasn’t my favourite subject,” she confesses. “I moved to Stockholm five years ago, got a guitar, joined a creative writing group and a couple of choirs, one among them a gospel choir. Eventually I started to write my own songs and performing them at different musical events, open mic shows etc. Things started to click.”

Reflecting on the first album she bought, it takes her a minute to remember. “The Beatles 1967-1970’ – I had asked for it for my 10th birthday. My dad always listened to The Beatles in the car. I loved that and I know all the songs by heart. As soon as I got home from school or practice I listened to this album in my room as I just lay on the bed, studied or whatever.  I guess this is where the interest of music started growing – as I started to really listen to the lyrics, singing along and picturing the songs in scenes before me.” She also remembers seeing The Sounds live in Stockholm and muses: “I thought Maja, the lead singer, was awesome and that I really liked their sound. I remember that was when my dreams of being in a band started…”

natali long

So when it comes to her song-writing influences, which would she say comes top? “That would ultimately be the different experiences through life,” she says quite seriously. “Sometimes it´s an easy process and sometimes it’s very hard. Often I write down something I think about- different phrases I come up with in the moment. And then I sit down and try to figure out what it is I actually want to say… eventually these phrases start to come together. Then, I might share the idea with a producer and we can continue to develop that further. I like to co-write – when you can have an open dialogue through the process with someone and try to see the lyrics through different perspectives. It’s a varied process for me as I think it is for a lot of people.”

When asked to pick which one of her songs she’s most proud of, she pauses for a moment. “That’s hard,” she admits, “But ‘Used To Be’ is a song very close to my heart. It’s a song that was left to rest and evolve for a few years before it came to be what it is today. And that’s what’s so beautiful I think with the process it went through, the fact that it wasn’t hurried. I had to grow and develop myself before I felt this song and I were ready to be heard by the rest of the world.”

So does she find it easier to pick her favourite song by another artist? Not really. “I have many favourite songs. But if I have to pick one, I would say ‘Both Sides Now’ by Joni Mitchell. It contains such brilliant lyrics about life and love. What I think is so interesting is when listening to her first recording of it from the album ‘Clouds in 69’ and comparing it to the recording from the album ‘Both Sides Now in 2000’, you can really hear how she’s grown and actually got more experience of life in the expression of her voice and singing. She and her music are just brilliant.”

Hailing from Sweden, unsurprisingly she grew up listening to Abba while other artists such as Robyn have also gone on to achieve huge success. Is she proud of that success and how does she feel now she’s on her own music path? “I’m so proud of the fact that this small country is delivering such good music and the artists are doing so well internationally. It is a tough world and competition is tough out there. So it is definitely inspiring to see how we Swedes find our way into it.” She adds, after a pause: “I believe Swedes, in general, are very open and social. We’re a very multi-cultural country. We travel a lot, are curious, open to meet new people, open minded and very dedicated. Still we’re quite down to earth and humble. I think maybe that makes us interesting and lively to work with.”

As a keen user of social media, she admits: “Social media platforms are a vital part of the connection between me and the listeners. I have quite mixed feelings regarding managing the socials though. On one hand I think it can be quite fun, as I like to take photos and write. But on the other hand, it takes a great deal of time and energy. Nowadays you see people staring down at their iPhones and iPads etc all the time and that scares me a bit. I believe it is about finding a good balance in all this sharing and connecting so it doesn’t take over your life.”

Having recently taken a trip to London, did she enjoy it and does she hope to come back? “Absolutely!” she cries. “That was a fun but very short trip! I love London and the English people. I would very much like to be back soon again. I got such a wonderful response to ‘Used To Be’ from the UK, I would love to come and play in London and other cities in the country sometime. I’ve recently played a show supporting Paolo Nutino in Stockholm, and I’m playing a festival there too shortly which will be fun, but aside from that, I don’t quite know what my live show plans are. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted though! Playing live is hugely important to me as it gives me a chance to meet and interact with fans as well as my band. I dream of touring internationally, so hopefully I can work my way towards fulfilling that. Ultimately, I’m excited for what lies ahead, but like to enjoy each and every day. At the moment, my focus is on my new single ‘Easy Ride’ which I am thrilled to be releasing soon. I hope everyone likes it!”

Easy Ride is available on August 5.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natali-Felicia/896756537022705

https://twitter.com/natali_felicia

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MAC MILLER FOUND DEAD… APPARENT OVERDOSE 0 44

Mac Miller has been found dead at the age of 26.

The rapper, who dated Ariana Grande for around two years, was found in his home in the San Fernando Valley at around noon on Friday (September 7) and was pronounced dead at the scene, TMZ reports.

Image Credit

THE LAFONTAINES TALK NEW TOUR & GETTING BACK IN THE STUDIO 0 47

Following the release of their new single “Up” and as the band prepare to embark on a tour of the UK and Europe later this month, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with The LaFontaines guitarist Darren McCaughey to talk live fan favourites, the venues he’s most excited to play and post-tour plans.

TITL: You’ve just released your new track “Up.” What is it about the song that made you decide it was a good fit for your next single, and is there a particular story behind it?

Darren McCaughey: We had a slight line-up change at the beginning of the year and this was the first track that we wrote following that. It felt like a new chapter for the band and a positive uplifting track to come back with. It’s maybe my favorite song we have ever written.

TITL: You’ve just completed a UK and European tour supporting Don Broco, and are gearing up to head out on your own headline tour of the UK and Europe this month. Are you ever NOT on the road, and what do you miss most about home when you’re away for long periods? 

DM: We relish every opportunity to get out there and play our music to as many people as possible so apart from the obvious things like friends & family etc. there’s nothing else we would rather be doing. The weather here can be pretty grim so it’s nice to get away sometimes.

TITL: How do your support slot shows differ, if at all, to your headline ones?

DM: With the support shows you want to get out there and make an impression and win over the audience. I’d say the majority of our fan-base have heard about us by seeing us support someone else. With the headline shows, we have already won the audience over so we just have to focus on giving them a night to remember. If you were to compare the two side by side there would be no difference in the actual performance just what’s going through my head.

TITL: For fans who are seeing you for the first time on this tour, what can they expect from your performance?

DM: A unique, entertaining and energetic performance.

TITL: Which of your songs do you find go down best with live audiences? Is there one that stands out or can it differ from place to place?

DM: We have a song on our latest album called “Torture” which has been going down really well. It’s a lot slower and mellow than the rest of the set but gets a great reaction and brings a different type of energy.

TITL: Is there one particular venue you’re most excited to play on this tour and if so, which is it and why?

DM: I’m excited to play in Milan & Warsaw as we have never been to either of those cities before and both look like great places to visit.

TITL: You’ve amassed quite a following since first bursting onto the scene, but how much of that might you say is down to the power of social media, and how have the likes of Twitter and Facebook helped get your name and your music out to a wider audience?

DM: We have always gained fans from supporting other acts and people seeing us live at shows and festivals. Social media has allowed us to promote our music to them and helps existing fans stay up to date with what we are up to.

TITL: Do you think, as a band, there’s such a thing as too much ‘reliance’ on social media? Do you think you could have drummed up the support you have over the years like you have without it – if you had to go ‘old school’ like in the 80’s and earlier? Is it possible for bands to succeed today without that online connection? 

DM: I think for us personally we could have drummed up the support we have without social media as we have always gained fans through live performance. Although I think now it is such an important tool and such an ingrained part of the culture that it would be very hard to get by without an online presence.

TITL: Finally then, with this new tour taking you through to early October, what does the remainder of the year have in store for you? Are there any plans or projects you can tell me about? 

DM: We’ll be heading back to the studio as soon as we come off of tour and in December we have a big festival appearance in India, then we round off the year on the 23rd of December for a homecoming show in our hometown of Motherwell.

The LaFontaines UK & European tour kicks off on September 12 in Perth, Scotland. Tickets for all shows are available now.