Attention all budding singers, songwriters and musicians. You need to read this.
Meet Natasha North
1. How did you know you wanted be a singer-songwriter?
I think my story is pretty different to a lot of people when it came to deciding I wanted to become a singer – songwriter. I ‘ve always loved music and it’s always been a massive part of my life, but I certainly never thought I’d end up doing it as my career. During my teenage years I was completely wrapped up in becoming a professional footballer (believe it or not). At 18 I was awarded a soccer scholarship out in the US. Something that I thought had been my dream had come true, but I really wasn’t happy about it and decided I needed to rethink my future. That’s when I started focusing on my music instead, and it’s progressed since then. So I was pretty late to the game, but am of course extremely glad it worked out that way.
2. How did you get started?
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I’ve always written songs, and enjoyed being able to express myself through music. I started learning violin at a really young age so was involved in that side of music first, but then started doing more of the contemporary stuff a bit later on. I think my first song was called ‘Eagles’, about an Eagle flying into a room, that was about it, pretty uninspiring, it was not my best work!
3. What’s been the most important moment in your career so far?
I played at The O2 in March supporting Train, I think that has to be up there with most important moments for me. To experience that whilst still in the early stages of my career was amazing, I learned a lot. That being said there have been a lot of moments over the last year that will stick with me for a long time!
4. Talk us through your day…
It really depends on what stage I’m at in the year. If I was on tour my day consists of sleeping, travelling, performing, sleeping! But a usual day starts with all the boring admin stuff, like emails, accounts etc and then lots of writing. At the moment I’m recording new music, so we pretty much wake up and start working on the music, and finish in the early hours of the morning…it’s a pretty fun job!
5. What are the best things about doing what you do?
I think it has to be performing songs that have been made from scratch and seeing people enjoy them. Lots of my songs are very personal and it’s so rewarding seeing people interpret them in their own ways. I love the touring aspect as well, travelling and playing music every night with friends is awesome.
6. What are the worst?
We talk about self-doubt later on, but that’s certainly one of the struggles. I think like any job, there are often times when everything feels a bit on top of you, but that’s just something that happens, and I’ve definitely learned to just work through it, as the positives massively out way the negatives.
7. What do you think people don’t realise about being in the public eye?
That it’s not all glitz and glam that’s for sure! The amount of times I’ve had to sleep in the back of my little Renault Clio is ridiculous; I also have a loyalty card for motorway service station hotels…that pretty much sums up how classy my life is!
8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Recently I sat down with one of my best friends, and was having a particularly tricky day. I was talking to him about the new music I wanted to make and if he thought I was doing the right thing. He just turned to me and said, “If you enjoy what you’re making, then it’s the right thing.” That was really important to me. It’s really easy to get caught up in what the ‘industry’ wants and whether it’ll get you to the next step; sometimes you can forget why you started making music in the first place. So I’ve decided from now on to make music that I want to make, and that I feel other people will enjoy, and if it gets me further in the music industry then that is amazing. And if it doesn’t, at least I’ve been true to myself.
9. What advice would you give someone wanting to get into music?
To work really really hard. I’m lucky to have really cool people around me now helping with the development of my career. But for 2 years I did it completely by myself, set up my own label, did all my own marketing, and I learnt SO much from that. If I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t feel as in control as I do now. So work hard, push yourself and don’t give up when people tell you you’re not good enough.
10. Have you ever had a moment of self-doubt? What happened and how do you get through those?
All the time, of course. I’m constantly comparing myself to others and that can of course lead to self-doubt. I’ve had days when I think maybe it’ll be better to get a 9-5 job but I’ve started to learn that those moments do pass! In a way though I think it can be a good thing, it means I’m constantly pushing myself to be better. I would be worried if I never had self-doubt…that would mean I was too comfortable and I don’t think that’s a positive thing at all.
11. What would you say to your 15-year-old self?
Work a little harder at school definitely. But also that everything will work out eventually. I went to a school where everyone was extremely driven and knew what they wanted in life. I was driven but had no idea what I wanted to do so I struggled to keep my head down.
12. What are your goals as a singer?
I just want to have a career with longevity, to keep pushing myself, and to keep making music that people enjoy. I have so many goals but overall I want to keep touring, keep making music that I’m proud of and to keep enjoying what I do!
For more information visit Natasha’s website.