>> Natalie Shay is an 19 year old multi award-winning, indie pop/rock artist from North London. One of London’s hottest emerging talents, this young artist already has an impressive array of awards, including London's 'Best Undiscovered Talent', The Guardian's Music Award Winner, and two time winner of Mayor of London Gigs. Her debut single "Follow You Home" was number 15 in the iTunes singer/songwriter chart! This talented woman won't stop! Shay's fusion of indie-pop and live instrumentation is beautiful and mesmerizing! Her latest single, "This Feeling" is about the excitement of young love and desire for someone. Check out our chat with her below!
What was it like being surrounded by your future industry competition every day while you attended the BRIT School?
I suppose it’s a mixture of things. You feel a lot of pressure to succeed and often forget there’s room for more than one new musician in the industry and it’s not really a race or competition to success. It's also very inspiring, you meet a whole range of new and interesting people, many of which have shaped me and taught me a lot.
You started your career at such a young age. What’s something cringe-worthy you look back on from your early years?
I got a set of stickers printed when I was 12/13 with just my face on and stuck one on my guitar.
You’ve said that the majority of the music you listen to is sung by males, is there any particular reason?
It’s more about the genre, I feel there aren't many women in indie rock/pop, females I listen to are Haim, Fickle Friends, and Anteros. It’s a very male-dominated genre and I hope we can change that.
Regardless of subject matter, your songs always seem so genuinely impassioned, are there other ways you let off steam besides through your music?
I suppose, I love musical theatre when I need a release. Besides writing a song, I sing through a playlist of my favourite solo musical theatre songs I made on YouTube karaoke.
Fact or fiction: “And They Stare” is a ruthless exposé of some jackass who has a fundamental lack of respect for women.
How does your involvement with musical theater influence your music?
I've been doing theatre a lot longer than I started music, however, I feel the two go hand in hand. Without my initial training, I'd never have discovered my love for music and performance, it has helped me with confidence and a knack for expressing story and emotion through song.
What’s the deal with the color yellow? It seems to be the (very fitting) theme of your latest branding.
I love yellow, it's such a happy and memorable colour, I love my new yellow theme and it’s fun seeing how much I can fit it into my life (ie, I just bought a yellow capo and some socks).
Have you traveled much outside of London for shows thus far? If so, where was your favorite audience that you’ve had?
I haven’t really played much outside of London thus far, however, I am going on a big UK tour supporting Guy Jones starting late April this year! My favourite audience so far was probably the audience at the Time Out magazine music event at the 229.
Your band always serves up powerful drumbeats and badass guitar solos; do you prefer performing with them or just relying on your killer vocals in a stripped down setting?
I enjoy both! There’s a certain magic that comes with performing full band, you feed off of each others energy and it’s nice to be hearing all the parts of the song rather than imagining them. However, I've always enjoyed playing solo, I enjoy the level of intimacy it brings and the way I can show my songs the way they were written.
On a scale of 1-10, how gnarly is your American accent?
I just finished playing Velma in a small production of Hairspray, my accent was patchy but mildly convincing. I'll say 7/10.
After the recent release of probably your biggest single yet, what can we expect from the music that will follow?
More bangers in the pipeline! I’m looking forward to future release projects coming together. <<