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INTERVIEW: Natalie Estes

1. How would you classify your music?

I would say a hodgepodge of Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Bruno Mars. It’s very difficult to pinpoint!

2. Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

I love old school stuff! My parents would always be playing Carole King or Michael Jackson when I was growing up. But the first song and artist that truly made me fall in love with music was ‘To Make You Feel My Love’ by Adele. I could listen to that Adele sing on repeat a million times and still find discover something new. Amy Winehouse is all around probably my greatest influence. I think you can hear a bit of that in my music if you listen for it. John Mayer is probably my greatest influence lyrically. He is simply a genius. I hate I only get to choose 5! I have about a million more influences I could add but I’ll stop there.

3. What do you want fans to take from your music?

I would just love to impact someone in some way, great or small, with my songs. That’s really all that music is about for me. It’s there to brighten someone’s day or help them through a difficult time. Music has always been that way for me and I hope that through my experiences in my songs, I can help people FEEL whatever emotion they need to feel.

The creation of my music itself is a bit of a therapy session for me as the artist. I’m sure it’s evident in the songs, but I would most likely go crazy if I didn’t have some kind of creative outlet. I unfortunately didn’t get the painting gene from my mom, but music isn’t too bad if you ask me!

4. Can you tell us a bit about your latest album? When will it be released and how does it differ from your previous work?

I debuted my first EP titled “20/20 Vision” last April. I had the pleasure of working with David Huff who produced the album. This was the most amazing experience and it really taught me a lot and allowed me to explore my sound. Since then, I’ve continued to explore the direction I hope to go in the future.

5. What do you love and hate about the Music Business?

I hate the red tape. I wish I could just create and perform, but knowing the business side of the operation is very important and something that I’ve had to take the time to get to know. I think it’s important that every artist understands the business side of everything so that they are never in a position where they are taken advantage of. I’ve heard of this happening way too often.

6. What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

Wow. That’s a hard question. I’ve been to so many great concerts. I’m going to go with my first concert because there is nothing like your first concert. Mine was Coldplay. They played in the middle of the crowd and I lost my mind.

My favorite part about playing live is the rush afterwards. There is this moment when you step off stage and you just take everything in—the lights, the energy of the crowd, the applause—there’s nothing like it.

7. Is there a song on this latest CD that stands out as your personal favorite, and why? 

My personal favorite is “Reminds Me of You”. I love it because I see a bit of my country roots in it. I grew up in Nashville and country music has always been a strong influence. Most of my music tends to go in the pop direction because this is what I am vocally drawn to, but I love how “Reminds Me of You” is a bit of crossover.

8. How have you evolved as an artist over the last few years? 

I began singing when I was seventeen. I had always been a dancer growing up and loved it, but I never felt like it was my path in life. I still remember my parent’s jaws dropped when I first sang for them and later began writing my own songs. No one in my family is musically inclined and we had no idea where it came from. One day, I just wasn’t content to sing in the shower or windows down in the car anymore! But it wasn’t until I was maybe nineteen that I started taking music seriously. It’s hard when no one in your family is into music because you feel like it isn’t a viable option. Even though I grew up in Nashville, I was never tapped into the music scene and so networking became a huge part of my evolution as an artist. This was something that was essential to really help me broaden my horizons and understand the possibilities of my talent. And of course…just hard work! You have to put in the hours if you want make it in this business. Now, my greatest challenge is balancing music and school. I’m currently a student at Vanderbilt University.

 9. If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

AMY WINEHOUSE. AMY WINEHOUSE. AMY WINEHOUSE.

10. So tell us what’s next?

In a few weeks I’ll be performing in Austin during South by Southwest! Performing a lot of new material, which is so exciting. My hope is that I’ll put out a full album soon, but I don’t have a time frame on it yet. I’ll keep you posted!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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