When you stumble across a musician who’s from the same music school as Adele and Jessie J, one would think that hits would probably happen anytime soon. Natalie Shay could very well be a chart topper, and her music speaks for it: heavy pop with a sweet indie sensibility that would market well to listeners. We had the chance to talk to Natalie, and she shared her roots as a classically trained guitarist, how her dad is her biggest role model, and her undying love for the band, Little Comets.
When did you start getting interested in music? Do you remember the earliest times that you decided you wanted to be a musician?
I started playing classical guitar aged 5, so have always been playing music. I decided I wanted to do it full time around age 11 or 12 when I wrote my first songs. I played my first proper gig aged 13 and have been ever since.
Who taught you how to play the guitar?
Colin Downs has been teaching me classical for over 12 years. I taught myself rhythm and chords.
How old were you when you wrote your first song? What is it called? Will you tell us more about it?
Around age 11, it was called ‘Love Someone’ and it sounded like every Taylor Swift song written before 2013.
Do you ever feel pressure in a sense that you come from the same music institution as Adele and Jessie J?
I suppose I’m going for a different genre as those artists so there’s not really pressure in that sense. But pressure in the sense I gave up ‘normal’ education to study music so I know it’s what I should do.
It gave me the space to express myself, grow & to work at the same time as studying. I really enjoyed my 4 years there.
Who were your main influences growing up?
In terms of life, my dad, he’s my biggest fan and best support. In terms of music, probably Kate Nash and old Taylor Swift.
What about right now?
Little Comets! They’re the best band in the world. And still my dad.
What are your favorite themes or experiences to write about? Why?
Love, life and loss. Most people can relate.
I’m really into indie rock pop bands like The Vaccines and Sundara Karma, so I suppose musically these were my inspirations.
If you were to go on a tour, who would you love to tour with?
Little Comets, The Vaccines, Haim.
If you had the chance to collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Hopefully still progressing and being happy.
Just a quirky one: puppies or kittens?
Kittens of course.