INTERVIEW: Multi-Platinum Selling G.R.L Member Natasha Slayton

Photographer: Nick Gilligan

1.) Vents is happy to welcome renowned singer/songwriter Natasha Slayton at a moment in her career which we know must be exciting – Welcome Natasha! Before getting too far down the proverbial rabbit hole, how have you been so far in 2021?

Hello, Vents Mag! Thank you so much for chatting with me 🙂 …First of all, I can’t believe how fast 2021 has been speeding by! This year hasn’t been without challenges, but I feel very grateful and lucky that my loved ones are healthy and that I’ve managed to stay productive during this crazy time. Releasing my first official solo single has definitely been a positive highlight of 2021 for me.

2.) Major congratulations and sincere kudos for your recent solo debut, the lovely single Love Me Like Me. Does it feel like a major step for you as an artist to branch out and work as a solo?

Thank you so much! & Yes absolutely! I’ve always been working on solo music, but until now, I hadn’t felt like I’d written a song that could accurately capture my sound or what I wanted to say. With this release, I feel like I’m finally showing the world who Natasha is.

3.) What made 2021 feel like the right time to try out the solo waters?

You know, it’s really hard to say other than that it just feels like divine timing. We wrote this song at the end of 2019, but it didn’t feel right to release during 2020, and in 2021 I’m feeling like a brand new me. I feel ready to share my story.

4.) Is there a Secret Origin story behind Love Like Me? You put such emotion and soul into this beautiful number that it’s impossible not to think that you’re quite connected to it.

It means the world to me that you are able to hear my spirit through the song! I felt the message of my first official solo release had to be a strong one. When I started writing this, I knew I wanted to create something that could speak to everything I’ve gone through as well as elude to the tools I’ve used to help get me through. From being born with a serious illness, to grieving major loss of loved ones and overcoming alcohol and drug addiction, I just felt in my heart there were so many things I could share that might help other people and also help me come full circle on my healing journey. From write to release, this song has been very therapeutic for me!

5.) What do you hope fans who listen to Love Like Me walk away feeling?

I hope fans who listen to this song will walk away feeling empowered, inspired and full of hope. I really want to let my listeners know they are not alone and that no matter what storm they are going through, there is always light at the other end.

6.) You’re a rare breed in the music industry in that not only are you an accomplished vocalist, but you also happen to be a superlative wordsmith when it comes to writing a song. Which comes first for you: The lyrics or the music?

O wow thank you so much! It’s always different for me, but melody usually comes first. I’m such a melody girl. With Love Me Like Me, the concept came first, then the melody and lyrics followed. I also had an incredible team to work with.

7.) You were such a dynamic and integral part of the multi-platinum band G.R.L. With the 2014 passing of Simone Battle who was such a fresh light and who left us way too soon, will there ever be a chance that the surviving members of G.R.L. reuniting, or has that ship sailed?

We’ve actually been working on a reunion of sorts for a little while now. It’s been a bit challenging because we are no longer with a label, but we’re doing as much as we can with the tools we currently have. It feels so good to be back with the girls but also feels like such a piece of us is missing without Simone. With this reunion, we hope to honor her and know she will be with us in everything we do.

8.) What did you learn as an artist during your time with G.R.L.? Was it a learning experience for you?

I’ve definitely learned so much during my experiences with G.R.L. The lessons are seemingly endless, but some of the most important takeaways for me have been to enjoy the journey, make the most of where you are and last but not least to pay closer attention to what other people are going through. Not a day goes by where I don’t wonder if there was something I could have done or said to change the outcome of what happened with Simone.

9.) Is it too soon to ask you about any future plans you have in releasing an album of your music?

Never too soon to ask! I’ve been doing as much as I can as an independent artist who has little to no budget to spend. There are a couple of other songs in the works, but right now I’m planning to show “Love Me Like Me” as much love as I possibly can.

10.) Considering the ever-shifting ground in the world when it comes to COVID-19, do you have any plans to tour in the near future?

I don’t have any dates planned yet, but I absolutely can’t wait to get back on stage and perform!

11.) Word ‘round campfire has it that, on top of your prolific work in the world of music, you also are attending school for Ayurvedic Medicine. Can you talk with us a little bit about your decision to pursue higher education?

Oh my gosh, you’ve done your research! Natural medicine and spiritual work has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to somehow integrate myself into the world of wellness, and my friends are constantly coming to me for advice, so I figured I should probably legitimize myself in some way! Lol. I’ve also always wanted to attend college but just never had the chance with such irregular and unpredictable schedules in the entertainment industry. It’s a lot of work, but I’m excited to be doing it!

12.) A lot of musicians eventually segue into the world of film, either as actors or as composers (Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam would be an example of the latter). Do you have any plans along those lines that you would like to pursue? Interestingly enough, I started my professional career in the entertainment industry as an actress and worked quite a bit when I was a kid. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for acting, and my mind is definitely open to more opportunities in that world. I’d really love to get my music onto the big screen!

13.) Musically, which artists out there inspire you?

I know it sounds cliché, but I really get my inspiration from so many different artists. I listen to everything from pop and country to hip-hop and r&b. I grew up on Motown and blues and The Rolling Stones, and I was always super inspired by powerhouse singers like Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. Some of the current female artists I really love are Ariana Grande, Summer Walker, H.E.R., Maren Morris, but I could honestly go on all day.

14.) Final – SILLY! – Question: Best film about the world of music – Almost Famous or The Five Heartbeats?

These are both such great movies! The music from The Five Heartbeats is definitely more reminiscent of the music I grew up on and love so much, but there’s something about Almost Famous that makes me have to choose that one! I hate choosing! Lol

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