Natasha Hemmings

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Singer songwriter Natasha Hemmings has a strong background in classical and opera and is continuously diversifying and delving into a more contemporary style with her beautiful dreamy voice and heart-warming lyrics. She has just finished a successful 16-date tour supporting Ronan Keating and Cliff’s Pavillion in Southend-on-Sea saw the only date in the region. We caught up with Natasha afterwards as she was ‘recovering’.

HC: Firstly, how’s was the tour? Are you exhausted?
NH: The tour was amazing! It was tiring with all the travelling but so worth it. There were so many amazing memories from performing at new venues and the warm crowds.

HC: How do you come down/recover from having such a great time?
NH: I wouldn’t really describe it as recovering. It’s been exciting looking at the wonderful opportunities that have presented themselves as result of doing the tour. I am currently on holiday enjoying a little break before getting back to work again!

HC: Let’s get to know more about you and your music: How would you describe your style?
NH: I would describe my style as singer/songwriter. My upcoming album ‘I Am’ is comprised of personal tracks written, arranged, and performed by me that tells the story of my life. Each track is inspired by a moment, memory or feeling.

HC: Who are your influences?
NH: I have many influences both musical and non-musical. Michael Jackson, Kate Bush and Prince are amongst my favourites. I find the way in which they interpret the art of music so inspiring. Being an artist transcends just the music or song it is about your style, showmanship and creative energy and I think these artists have mastered those skills.

HC: Anyone in your family musical? Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities.
NH: No one in my family is musical, I never grew up from a musical background and yet somehow from a very early age I had already fell in love with the idea of being a singer. I have always wondered where the love originated from and if I have any musical ancestors, I am unaware of.

HC: What challenges do you face being a solo artist?
NH: I think being a musician at the moment, has lots of challenges anyway but particularly as a solo artist you have to rely on yourself for all of the creativity and inspiration for your music.

HC: What’s your song writing process?
NH: It depends really on the creative ideas that I have had. If I have a tune that has come to me or a lyrical idea, then I will start with that and build the song around it. However, often I write in a completely backwards way. I like to start with the music and will write a full score of the song before I add lyrics or a melody. I find that writing like this allows me to focus on the quality of the writing but also, I have often found great inspiration and emotion from instrumental music and therefore, upon hearing the completed music I hear the melody and feel the story that the song is to tell instantly.

HC: How would you describe the evolution of your sound?
NH: I think the evolution of my sound reflects me as a person and how I’m a journeying through life. My first album was of a classical background showing my love for both classical music and poetry. This album, however, is me sharing myself through my music and introducing who I am as a person.

HC: I really like your version of ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’, are there other tracks you would like to cover?
NH: Thank you! I love listening to other people’s work and taking inspiration from the art that they have created and it does often inspire me to re work it and make it my own as well. I think this is the mark of a great songwriter, if you have a song that people can twist and change to fit their style then it Is a truly great song. I would love to do a cover of George Michaels ‘Careless whisper’.

HC: Do you enjoy working/recording in a studio?
NH: Absolutely! There is something so calming and exciting about going to work in a studio and being surrounded by other musicians and it really is where the best work happens.

HC: Which song do you most like to perform, and why?
NH: My favourite song so far has been ‘The Enemy’ from my upcoming album because of the emotion I feel from the story of this song. I would also have to say ‘Wuthering Heights’ Kate bush. I love the way the crowd lights up when I announce that I am doing the song.

HC: Do you play any instruments?
NH: Yes, I play piano and a little bit of flute.

HC: What was the role of music in your early life?
NH: Music has always been a way of expressing myself. In my younger years I would often make up songs exploring ideas or thought that I had. I think like many children colouring or drawing and creating things are a way of expression and for me that was what music was.

HC: What is your main inspiration?
NH: My life. I think as much as other people have a huge inspiration there is nothing greater than your own experiences to draw from.

HC: What types of music do you enjoy listening to when you are hanging out?
NH: I love all genres of music and will often delve in and out of all different things depending on my mood. I love instrumental pieces such as Einaudi to rock bands such as Muse and then Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy. I don’t think I could list them all because it would be a very long random list.

HC: When is your next gig/release? What can we promote/highlight?
NH: I will be releasing my latest single ‘Invisible’ this autumn, followed by the album ‘I Am’.

HC: You were Miss England, do you like to talk about it?
NH: I think it is important to talk about it as I have often found people have the old view of the competition. It is something I am proud of, and I like to share with everyone why. Miss England is an amazing competition that bring women together empowering them to do amazing things such as, raising thousands of pounds for charity, getting actively involved in their communities and striving to reach their academic, creative, or inspirational dreams. It is about beauty on the inside not the outside.

HC: How do you think being Miss England has influenced your music?
NH: I think every experience in my life so far has influenced my music. Miss England opened my eyes to so many sights and experinces of the world that I would not have seen and so has definitely had an influence.

HC: What was your favourite activity this year?
NH: The tour is by far the favourite. I think after waiting so long to be able to go out and take part in live music again meant that the experience was better than I could have anticipated.

HC: When you are not making music, what hobbies do you enjoy?
NH: I enjoy walking and spending time with my two dogs. One of my biggest passions is reading and I do this every day. I also love skiing and exercise.

HC: Do you have a non-musical skill/talent?
NH: I wish I could say cooking. As much as I want to be good at it, I can’t say that I am. I do think I have surprised myself with long distance running, which I am starting to realise I am quite good at.

HC: What is the weirdest or funniest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?
NH: What animal do you think is most likely to swear at you.

HC: What was the last book you read?
NH: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, (I am so excited about it because I am going to watch it in concert at the Royal Albert Hall this October)

HC: When did you last remember a dream?
NH: I find that I often remember my dreams and they are usually things that are on my mind and so therefore music related.

HC: When and what did you last dress up in fancy dress?  
NH: New Year’s Eve and I was fem bot from Austin Powers.

HC: How do you fit an elephant into a telephone box?
NH: With magic.

HC: If you could only eat one thing for a whole week, what would you choose?
NH: It wouldn’t be a healthy choice but Pasta!

HC: What album has got you through some hard times?
NH: Haszimmer, The Holiday soundtrack.

HC: Name your favourite uplifting songs that always cheers you up.
NH: Mr Brightside, The Killers.

HC: Who is your favourite superhero?
NH: Wonder Woman

HC: What do you consider your greatest achievement, so far?
NH: The completion of my album ‘I Am’ and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

HC: Do you prefer a camping holiday or a beach holiday?
NH: Beach Holiday

HC: What was the last movie you watched?
NH: Hacksaw Ridge

HC: Do you prefer Sparkling water or still water?
NH: Still

HC: What do you like on your pizza?
NH: Ham and pineapple or chicken and Jalapenos

HC: On a scale of 1 to 10, how sarcastic are you?
NH: I think a 4

HC: What book do you think everyone should read?
NH: The Untethered Soul

HC: What is the stupidest thing you ever did on a dare?
NH: Eat a tablespoon of mustard

The shortened version of this interview first appeared on GrapevineLIVE



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