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Natalie Shay

2nd April 2024

Interview: Amy Bell

Natalie Shay is one of the most exciting singer-songwriters emerging from the UK indie-pop music scene. Having performed at the world’s biggest festivals for new music SXSW and The Great Escape, as well as well-renowned festivals like Reading, Latitude and Victorious, the North Londoner is making her way across the globe, turning heads with her explosive live performances.

Picking up the guitar at the age of five and attending the prestigious BRIT School in her teenage years, music has always been a part of Natalie’s life and her passion from a very young age. Known for her honest and relatable songwriting, Natalie is creating songs that empower and support, from infectious heartbreak anthems to up-beat tracks on love and friendships. She also doesn’t shy away from topics, speaking openly about mental health and anxiety. 

Hi Natalie, how would you describe your sound in 2024? 

Hey! My sound is still big indie pop guitar anthems. But this release in particular was a special one, it’s the first time I’ve released one of my self-written acoustic songs as a lead single. 

How did you get your start in music, and what inspired you to start songwriting? 

I started playing guitar at 5 years old and doing musical theatre around the same time. Then when I was 11 I saw Taylor Swift doing both at the same time and writing songs about her life. I decided I was gonna try that. I began gigging my music at age 13, and released my first song at 15. And here we are!

You have surpassed 9 million Spotify streams alone, how does this motivate you to create more music and how do you try to keep up with the trends? 

I try to stay authentic underneath but I guess I follow trends when it comes to promoting my music and my image.  It’s always amazing to see such big numbers on things I’ve done. You never really know which ones will make the biggest impact. 

You have a new single ‘Like You Boy’, out now, what was the inspiration behind this single?

It’s a song about the moment you get broken up with or a relationship ends too soon and you’re accepting you somehow need to turn those feelings off but they’ve got into your head and you start blaming yourself and wondering where you could’ve done things differently. 

What was your song-writing/recording process like, for ‘Like You Boy’?

I wrote it alone one night in the middle of the night, in my room on my guitar. Which I do a lot. But these songs are usually quite personal so they don’t see the light of day often. “Like You Boy” was a special case. I’ve been playing it for 4 years, so I went to my friend Kaity Rae to record it. I’ve known her for many years so I trusted her with my special song.

Are you aware of the influence and impact your music has on your fans?

It’s always a strange thing to hear from someone but I guess it’s what keeps me pushing and doing more. I always hope to impact people in some kind of way. I really want to make my mark. And I hope I can provide the soundtrack to other people's emotions. 

What are your goals for this single? 

To show the artist I am behind everything else. Just a girl with a guitar and emotions. 

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