PRESS BREAK: Natalie Alexander – Timbre Interview
By Amy Thomson
Country songstress Natalie Alexander uses her strong voice and powerful storytelling to create astounding songs. Her single ‘Cruel’ from her recent EP reminded me of Country royalty; Carrie Underwood. Her own unique style draws on this influence, giving her music strong emotional power and making it incredibly catchy. She spoke to me about ‘Cruel’, living in LA and where she hopes to be in the future.
What inspired you to become a musician?
I come from a really musical family, so music was always a huge part of my childhood. That early influence was the reason I was introduced to music in the first place, and I fell in love with it!
Was that what you always wanted to do?
It’s definitely always been a passion of mine but it wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I decided to pursue it professionally.
What inspired the song ‘Cruel’ and how did that come about?
I felt instantly connected to Cruel from the moment I first heard it. It talks about ending the cycle of hurting others like you’ve been hurt yourself in relationships. My main goal as an artist is to create music people can relate to, and I think Cruel does that.
What can we expect from you in the next year?
Some performances! I’ve also been writing a lot so hopefully, that will be ready to share soon.
What song of yours would you recommend to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
Either Cruel or I Don’t Want To Catch My Breath. Cruel is my best friends’ favorite song and I figured it would be the most popular, but I Don’t Want To Catch My Breath has nearly 1,000,000 spins on Retail Radio Network!
What artists influence you? Who do you admire?
Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift were stapes of my childhood. I think they’re so talented and I look up to them as strong female icons in the industry.
Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
I’d love to write with Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd.
My Mom insists that in every interview I ask; what apps do you have on your phone and which one is your favorite?
Ok so I love this app Ballz it’s a HIGHLY addictive game that I have wasted hours playing. It’s so fun. Also, I love Instacart because I can order groceries and have them delivered which is very ideal given how much I hate parking in LA.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I cut out dairy and sugar a week before because it makes the voice more clear and almost buttery if that makes sense. I have my normal warm-up routine and I love drinking tea!
What would you like to achieve through your music?
I hope to connect with everyone who hears my music in some way. Relatability is so important to me for my audience and to be a sense of support or inspiration for them through my music.
To you, what is the most important part of a song?
That I connect to it. Otherwise, I can’t expect other people to. I think it needs to be genuine to me or else it doesn’t seem geniune to audiences.
What do you think is the easiest and hardest part of a song to write?
The hard part for me is always starting the song. Usually, I get a little hook/chorus line and can develop that, but then figuring how to get there melodically from the first verse is my biggest challenge. Lyrics are the easy part for me. I love to write and use language in a creative way, so that’s my real strength in songwriting.
If you’re buying music, how would you do so: CD, vinyl or digital?
Digital… I just that I like so many different kinds of music so I enjoy being able to switch between artists and genres easily. However, I buy all my favorite artists’ full albums, even if I end up just streaming it on Spotify because I know the importance of the traditional buy to play model for the industry and I want to support those artists.
What is the most challenging song to play live?
Cruel. That song starts at the bottom of my range and then jumps suddenly to a C/C# area and stays there, keeps pounding away on the high notes, then flips down again. Shaping the sound to resonate at the bottom of my voice and then giving it a rounded sound at the top is much easier when you do the same area of the voice the whole time. Going back and forth is the biggest challenge for me, keeping the quality of my voice consistent throughout.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
Singing “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain with the band at our family’s favorite bar and grill when I was 4.
What’s your fondest musical memory?
This wasn’t my musical experience, but watching my 8-year-old twin brothers play Highway to Hell by AC/DC at their Catholic School talent show was probably my fondest musical memory. It was so cute.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Be true to yourself. Don’t try to be another artist because they already exist. You’re the only person who can be you.
Have you ever met an idol and freaked out about it?
When I was 8 my favorite song was Wake Up by Hillary Duff so my dad took me to her concert and got me a backstage pass to meet her. I was so nervous I took a photo with her but didn’t say a single thing to her. Dead silence.
What would be your dream tour?
I’d love to tour all over the world but I’d really like to see as much of the South as I can I absolutely love it there and they’ve shown so much support of my EP.
Where would you like to be, ideally, in 5 years?
Still making music, growing and evolving in my sound and as a person.