Interview with NATASHA BIANCA

Interview by Vicky Hebbs

How did you get into songwriting? Has it always been an important aspect of your life?

I didn’t start songwriting until later in my career. I’ve been singing since the age of 6 and I’d always dream about having my own songs to sing on stage and tour the world with, but I never really knew how to do it. I’d always just sing and mimic the sounds that I knew from the artists that I loved. It wasn’t until I started recording mashups of cover songs to my YouTube channel I discovered a love for writing and creating. I was challenged to think of how to make a song sound completely different to its original version without interfering with the meaning or message of the song. I loved the process of creating something so different and collaborating with amazing musicians, I then organically began writing my own songs. Writing and creating is now so therapeutic to me and I feel blessed I’m able to turn to music and write about my emotions and feelings.

What kinds of music did you grow up listening to? How have they influenced you and the music you write today?

I grew up singing and listening to the sounds of Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child, Kelly Clarkson – all of the powerhouse females. They have definitely influenced and shaped my sound today. All of the high notes and belting I definitely couldn’t have done today if it wasn’t for my younger self having Whitney Houston’s “I’ll Always Love You” on repeat in the lounge room practicing for hours.

How would you describe your unique sound? Is there a particular genre you feel your sound fits into? R’n’B?

I’d definitely say my sound is categorised in the RnB genre, but also with a mix of pop too.

Your debut single ‘Girl Like Me’ comes out September 17th! Can you share the inspiration or origin story behind the song?

I write based of off personal experiences and to outlet my emotions. I’m constantly writing lyrics on my phone about how I’m feeling and I keep them stashed for when I’m ready to put those emotions into song.  Girl Like Me was written at a time where I was reflecting back at a personal relationship where I felt mistreated and betrayed, and I couldn’t help but question why could this happen to me? I wrote this at a time where I had overcome my anger about the situation and had moved on, but still confused as to what went wrong. I believe this is something everyone does when they go through a tough period, is to question “why?” I had all my lyrics stashed on my phone and showed them to my co-writer Erin who helped make this song come to life.

What did the writing and recording process look like for you working on ‘Girl Like Me’? What has it been like working with some of the fantastic producers and writers who helped you produce the single?

Girl Like Me all started by Gwapmane who is a producer is Los Angeles, posting a snippet of a  beat he made to his Instagram in 2020 and I was instantly drawn to it and knew it had to be mine. I hit him up that day and told him I was purchasing it. This was out of the ordinary for me as my creative process usually isn’t to topline on an already produced beat, I like to bring my ideas into the studio and start from scratch, but there was something about this beat that I knew it was mine. I sat on the beat for a while when we were in covid lockdown as I wasn’t feeling inspired to create, but I kept jotting down lyric ideas on the message I wanted to convey in this song. I then scheduled a writing session with Erin McKellar in February 2021 and the song really wrote itself from there. I then recorded my vocals here in Adelaide with Ryan Martin John, and we sent the files to Sydney producer Liam Quinn who added some additional production elements as well as mixing and mastering the song. I’ve LOVED working with everyone on this project. I love collaborating with such talented musicians and creating something that was originally nothing is the most rewarding feeling ever!

What do you hope listeners will learn or take away from listening to ‘Girl Like Me’?

I’m hoping people are able to connect and relate to Girl Like Me and its vulnerability. Its okay to be upset and to speak about your emotions, and I hope this song can help someone who may be struggling in a similar situation.  I’m also hoping people can hear the pain in the song and realise its not okay to treat people poorly, and to think about their actions and how that can affect someone.

What is next for you in 2021? Do you have any more new releases scheduled, or new music in the works at the moment?

I have a lot of new music in the works! I’m hoping to have my second release out by the end of this year or the beginning of 2022. I’m currently in the process of organizing the music video for the second release so stay tuned!!

Can fans expect any live performances or even a tour from you in the near future?

Unfortunately, I don’t have any shows booked at the moment due to the unpredictability of covid, but I’m hoping to have a headliner show in the near future when more of my music is released.

What do you love most about performing live? Are there any downsides?

There a no downsides to performing live!! The stage is where I feel most at home. I love the studio but I really love the stage! I love interacting with a crowd and feeling their energy.

Your vocal journey began when you were just six years old. What did singing lessons mean to you? What do you think when you look back on how far you have come since then?

It’s crazy when I think about the journey thus far. I was the youngest student my singing teacher at the time had. He only took on students from 8 years or older, but I had a trial lesson at 6 years old and he told me to come back as he could hear something special in me and I’ve continued to sing and chase my dream ever since. Its crazy to look back at the kid belting her lungs out for hours in the lounge room, to now writing, recording and releasing my own music independently.

What is one thing you wish you could say to your younger self?

Stop doubting yourself and keep going. Not everyone will see the same vision as you and that’s okay.

You have participated in a number of singing competitions over the years. Do you have any highlights or moments you can share from those times that you still think about now?

I have to say my funniest moment and one of my highlights would have to be a competing in a competition within the singing academy I was in at the time. They had multiple rounds over different weekends and I managed to get into the grand final stage, however the grand final round fell on the same date as a school formal I was invited to. I told my formal date that I had to leave formal early as I had to compete in the grand finale. Lucky for me he was a musician also so he understood the importance (I hope), and I left formal early to perform Whitney Houston’s “I’ll Always Love You” and ended up placing third with a cash prize and scholarship.

How has the pandemic and the past crazy year affected you and your work as a music artist? Has it altered your music career plans in any way, whether positively or negatively?

The pandemic has affected my music and mental health tremendously, as it would have for all artists. At the beginning of 2020 I attended a music development workshop in Sydney run by Djia Media (American record label) and through this I was given the opportunity of having a single deal and to fly over to Los Angeles later that year. Unfortunately due to the pandemic all overseas plans were cancelled and I was unable to continue with the record deal. All gigs were cancelled and I was feeling extremely uninspired majority of 2020 to write anything creative and this played a lot on my anxiety and mental health.  I did however use the time to study and learn about the music industry and business side of things. I was also networking a lot with different producers and musicians from overseas and that’s how I got in contact with Gwapmane who produced Girl Like Me.  Although 2020 and the pandemic has affected me so negatively, I feel so much stronger and motivated coming out of it.

Where do you see yourself in a year’s time in your music journey?

In a year’s time I’m hoping all restrictions are gone and I’m releasing all my new music and booking shows.

If there is one thing you could achieve in your music career, what would it be? And why?

It’s so hard to mention one thing as I’m such a dreamer and want to achieve so many things in my music career, whether its touring and selling out shows or meeting my idol Beyonce, but ultimately the main thing I want to achieve in my career is to be able to help someone through the power of music. If my music can touch someone in need, I feel like my job is done.

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© Copyright 2021 by Natasha Bianca