MY final interview of the weekend is with Natalie Shay...
who has been talking about her new single, Yesterday. I ask how the song started life and whether she might release more material later this year; how she got started in music and whether there are particular albums that are important to her.
Shay recommends a rising artist to look out for and reveals where we can see her play; what her favourite period from her career has been and the advice she would offer artists emerging right now – she ends the interview by selecting a pretty cool song.
Hi, Natalie. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! I’m well. This week has been crazy, but in a good way!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Natalie Shay. I’m twenty and from London. I play guitar and the music I make is kinda Indie-Pop/Rock.
Can you reveal the story behind your new single, Yesterday?
Yesterday is about being in a one sided relationship. The song is written from the point of view of when you’re finally realising that this is a waste of time; nothing is ever going to happen and that you can do better.
It has already been received well and featured on Spotify playlists. How humbling and important is it knowing that?
The song got featured on nine New Music Friday playlists, including the U.K. It also just hit 50,000 streams! I never expected any of this because, as an unsigned artist, there’s a certain level of uncertainty when releasing a song. This has been such a brilliant response and has made all the work worthwhile.
Do you think there will be more material coming this year?
Definitely more material this year. Not sure what or when but watch this space.
Have you got a plan of attack for this year? What do you want to achieve by the end of the year?
This year, I plan to play more festivals; write and release more music. But, most of all, work with a lot of new people.
How do you think you have grown and changed as an artist since your early days?
When I started music, I wore a flower headband and played Country songs that were six minutes long. I wouldn’t say I’ve really ‘progressed’, as I’m doing something completely different now, but I’ve definitely grown up and think that my music has matured with me.
Was there a particular moment you knew you wanted to be a songwriter? Did you grow up around a lot of music?
My dad’s a huge music fan but not a musician. He got me classical guitar lessons from the age of five so I’ve always been playing music and doing musical theatre. I think, after I got accepted into the BRIT School, I finally believed in myself doing music as a career.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
This is the honest truth: this whole week has been the best part of my entire career.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Little Comets - Life Is Elsewhere
Because they are the best songwriters in the world and I cannot fault a single song they’ve released.
Taylor Swift – Fearless
The album that made me start writing songs.
Kate Nash - Made of Bricks
The first ‘big girls’ album I ever got - even though my mum wouldn’t let me listen to any of the songs with swear words in until many years later.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I would support Little Comets. Best band ever. They inspire me so much and they’re so humble and good people. As a rider, I’d choose twenty bags of Mini Eggs and a pint of milk.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Advice: stay true to yourself. Only make the music you enjoy making because - then it’s far more rewarding when it does well.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
My first headline show is on 2nd February in London at Thousand Island. There are still a few tickets left so grab one fast. Ticket link on my website or just search ‘Natalie Shay tickets’.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jade Bird
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I would recommend checking out Jade Bird. She went to school with me and she’s incredible and doing so well.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I hardly ever unwind. Music is so time-consuming (but I love it). When I do unwind, it’s just by hanging out with friends.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Little Comets - M62
Follow Natalie Shay