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Natalie Shay

Interview: Amy Bell

Natalie Shay is an indie-pop artist hailing from North London. The multi-award-winning musician has established an ever-growing presence and loyal fanbase through her explosive live performances and unforgettable anthems, recognising her as one of the UK’s hottest emerging talents. Her relatable lyrics touch on love, self-discovery and the everyday experiences of a twenty-something. 

Combining her youthful and charismatic aura with her classical training and time spent at the prestigious BRIT School, Shay has finessed the ability to produce undeniably catchy music, whilst maintaining musical maturity. Compared to the likes of Haim, Little Comets and Fickle Friends, the Londoner has absorbed similar energy and dynamics within her new music, resulting in a sound that oozes with passion and allure. 

Energised and glowing with her signature pop vibrancy, “New Wave” talks about the butterflies and excitement of entering into a romantic direction with someone. There is an uncertainty of not knowing how it will play out, but also a desire to remain in a bubble of amorous emotions. “New Wave” also touches on how the end of a relationship gives you a fresh slate to kickstart into a new chapter, better and wiser than before. Shay confides, “After a relationship, there's that little period of time where you need to find your way, then the new wave comes and it's a super exciting start of something new”.

Hi Natalie, in 3 words, describe ‘New Wave’?

Intense Pop Magic

How do you think being in the music industry, as a female, has helped but also not helped? 

Starting out 9 years ago it was a negative, i was always put on stage first, for literally years, as the only girl on a line up,

ive always had a bit of that prejudice before i start playing guitar, with sound techs assuming i have no idea what i'm doing etc haha

but in more recent years, i think it's definitely been a positive, not an advantage, but attitudes are changing and i feel almost proud to be involved with that!

Congrats on the new single ‘New Wave’, what is the message behind it, and what do you want the listeners to get from it? 

This song is quite conversational and literal. I wanted to capture that amazing butterflies type feeling you get when you first notice you might be onto something new with someone, but also don't really know how to play it out just yet but want to hold onto that excitement for as long as possible. With all of my songs I hope people can relate to them!

What was the inspiration behind the single?

It mostly came from how, for me, entering a new relationship is kind of always the marker of a new life chapter for me, I guess quite embarrassingly I mark out the chapters of my life timeline with relationships I've had. Because after a relationship, you come out (hopefully) a better, wiser person, but also there's that little period of time where you need to find your way, then the new wave comes and it's a super exciting start of something new.

Favourite lyric from ‘New Wave’?

I guess the chorus :

'This feels like a new wave bay
Something changed in the water
And I’m feeling it now
Can’t you feel the new wave baby?
Coz I’m holding My breath
just to keep you around'

I like how well we managed to keep the 'wave / sea / water' theme throughout without it being forced.

When you look back at your earlier releases, how do you think your music style has changed? 

I do feel like ultimately, if you played them all on an acoustic guitar, the only difference would be my maturity which comes out in the lyrics, my productional style has developed / changed over my releases, but I try to keep my writing style the same, as after all, that's me!

You managed to sell out 2 headline shows in 2019, how did that make you feel, knowing that they were here to see you on that stage?

I can't express how a headline show makes me feel, nothing tops it, i also get so extremely stressed when they are approaching, it's such an incredible release and feeling when it all pays off. so humbling.

Have you got any other shows in the works at the moment?


What is next for you?

The big headline show!! ... and then maybe a surprise EP...

Check out Natalie Shay's new single below... 

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