An Interview With Polish Singer-Songwriter NATALIA SAFRAN On Her Newest Music, Non-Profits She Works With And A Lot More!
Get to know the multi-talented vocalist Natalia Safran!
She writes and produces with her brother, Mikolaj Mick Jaroszyk, collectively known in a band as The Forevers. They experienced success when their hit song “All I Feel Is You” was featured in the late Paul Walker’s film Hours and made her the only Polish artist to have a Billboard chart-topping single. More recently, she put out the single, “Frederique.” As part of the duo, The Forevers, they are set to debut their next music project, a new single called “Rockets Fly.” The single, soon to be released and available everywhere, is the first of many new songs they have been working on.
Natalia Safran’s current projects reach beyond acting and music, as she is also a producer with her husband, Peter Safran, through their production house The Safran Company. Top film releases from The Nun, The Conjuring, and Vehicle 19 have all come out of the acclaimed production company.
Safran maintains an image of excellence and not only through her notable work, but also through the ways she continuously and selflessly supports the community around her. She is proudly on the board of Project Angel Food delivering life-nurturing food to the ill and struggling in Los Angeles. In addition, she is also a supporter of Kidsave, an organization that hosts neglected, foreign orphans and assists them in getting adopted.
Connect with Natalia Safran Here:
Learn more about Natalia Safran in the following All Access interview:
What does a typical day look like for you? What do you have scheduled the rest of today and this week?
I am an independent artist – I make music and movies for a living, so no two of my days are really alike. There is always loads of work, whether I am writing or recording new tracks with Mick, my brother and co-bandit, collectively known as The Forevers. There is work and calls on soundtrack assignments and film projects, endless mom duties (I have an incredible 13-year-old daughter Lou Lou who is a budding singer-songwriter in her own right) and lots of travel connected with all of the above; plus the fact that both mine and my husband’s families live in Europe. You are catching me on a part work, part pleasure trip to Japan, so on this week’s agenda I have a big Tokyo music event, some sightseeing, an edit of a brand new The Forevers track – which is a collaboration with producer Kiran Shahani of Supreme Beings of Leisure and Bitter:Sweet – a reading and notes on a film project I am producing about an American blues/folk legend and some admin work on the promotion of our new single Frederique and The Mixes accompanying it. There’s also a flight back to LA and a trip to New York towards the end. Never a dull moment, but never enough hours in the day.
Now that we are more than half-way through the year, how has 2019 been treating you? What are some goals that you have had for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them or did you already? What are you already excited about for 2020?
I am a big dreamer, a perfectionist and a night owl – at least two of those are a pain in the back and constitute a major character flaw when paired together, so I am never satisfied or done with work, no matter how many hours I’ve put in or how late into the night. But, 2019 has been pretty good so far. Annabelle Comes Home,in which I play The Bride, came out earlier this Summer and has been a big hit, and Frederique, our latest release and one of our favorite songs to ever have worked on is getting rave reviews and great attention from both the fans and the critics, so I cannot complain. We also just put out The Mixes, a group of stellar remixes of the song done by some seriously amazing producers from around the world, like the iconic DJ Sandy Rivera/Kings of Tomorrow. We are about to premiere the video for Frederique shot entirely around the iconic sights of Venice Beach and will have premiered 3 more songs before the end of this year and as many new music videos. In the very beginning of 2020, The Forevers are releasing a cover of our favorite Queens of the Stone Age song, so yeah we are excited and new year ready!
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be in this industry? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music is my passion, my obsession and my life’s work so yeah, it’s pretty important 🙂 I have been obsessed with it ever since I can remember. Back in the 80s in Poland, where I was born, there was very little good music around, so I had to find my own way to it and my own idols I could use as inspiration. I remember latching on to the rare broadcasts of Bruce Springsteen’s live performances and being spellbound by his delivery, discovering classic rock, Leonard Cohen in concert, Polish singer songwriters like Kaczmarski or Russians like Okudzawa and Vysotsky. Later on it was Soundgarden, Blur, Massive Attack and I would obsess over every song and performance while my contemporaries worried about dates and proms. I think music was my destiny and something there was no escaping. I never consciously planned on making it my career, I just knew I had to write and perform for my own sanity and self expression. It was Mick’s doing to get us more organized. He is 7 years younger so he came of age a little later and with some other music influences too and when we first got together to spontaneously write our first song it was kind of an instant magic fit. He is as much a music fanatic as I am and, while in my late teenage years I’d made my way to Paris earning a living as a model that would later allow me to transplant myself to the States, for him there was only one thing to do in life: build a career making music or die trying. It was Mick who thought we should open a profile on Sellaband – a crowdfunding music platform where in just a few weeks we rose to number 1 of over 10,000 independent artists and gathered $50k to make our first album High Noon. It’s been a long journey of back breaking work, but it’s what we love so it’s the only thing we’d rather be doing.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
I’ve never thought of giving up music, but I hate what I call the ‘admin’ part of the music business. We are fully independent artists now so we don’t have to deal with labels and outside sources telling us what to do anymore, but there is so much energy you still need to put into promoting each project, putting it out through all the distribution channels and making sure it gets to the audience. If I could just write and perform I’d be in heaven, I could do without the business side of show business altogether. But, I can’t even imagine not making music. I have used my film work as a distraction though, as it often provides the balance I am not naturally good at finding when I get too absorbed in the music. I also love interior design and do a bit of that on the side, flipping homes and designing houses.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? What has been the best part about it all?
Getting approached by DJs to remix our songs and getting into a totally unexpected music genre that way has been pretty wild and awesome. It was crazy when we released our track All I Feel Is You Cajjmere Wray Mix and four days later it became the top debut on Billboard’s club chart! It went all the way up to Billboard’s Top 20 Club Play and stayed there for 9 weeks. Every time we get asked to record a song for a movie soundtrack it is a brilliant adventure, a sort of vote of confidence from a film director, a fellow artist in a different art field. And the fans, hands down the best part of being an artist, to find your most personal creations making somebody else’s day, becoming somebody’s inspiration, passion or escape – that is the ultimate reward and realization that we are all connected and in it together.
Let’s talk about your song, “Frederique.” What was the inspiration for this track? How does it compare to anything else you have previously released?
A good friend of mine from Paris inspired it, which is why it has French in the intro. It’s got a super happy vibe and energy that will put you into an instant chill state of mind. One reviewer said it embodies “the ethereal spirit of the 60s French New Wave movies like ‘Breathless’ and ‘Belle de Jour’” and I just love that so much. You better just take a listen instead of me trying to describe it. The video is the perfect visual for the song – a hot heeled pursuit through the iconic places along Venice Beach at sunset. Both recording the track and shooting the video were such a good time that it felt as if the song was just waiting to happen and meant to be. It’s not always that easy or natural.
I would love to know more about your involvement with the charities Project Angel Food and KidSave. How did you first interested in these organizations?
I feel like with all the good fortune I’ve had in life I need to give back and I work with two incredible organizations to help me do that. I am on the board of Project Angel Food, a local LA foundation which feeds our city’s critically ill and forgotten. We cook and deliver over 600,000 meals a year to those affected by life-threatening illnesses, who are too sick to shop and make food for themselves. This year I also started working with KidSave, a project that finds adoptive families for older foster children who have a low chance of being adopted. KidSave is run by two brilliant fearless women who put hundreds of amazing kids in new loving homes! They help American kids via the Weekend Miracles program and international foster youth via Summer Miracles, where a group of children from another country get to spend 5 weeks with American families that help advocate for them. We hosted an 11 year old Lilly from Colombia this Summer and it was a truly unbelievable experience for both sides.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Oh, I love this question so much! No-brainer: Bruce, Eddie Vedder, Mike Patton, Willie Nelson, Damon Albarn, Viggo Mortensen, Everlast, Deftones, Tina Dico, Goldfrapp, Alex Turner, Tricky!
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
In that fantasy scenario, I would have my two favorite directors James Wan and James Gunn join forces and come up with a crazy wild scenario that would involve cameos from all of the above artists. Or I would just do a super pared down simple shoot of a live performance of Bruce, Eddie and The Forevers (Mick and I) doing a song together 🙂
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Whatever they need. Hopefully, it brings them what the best music does: good energy, excitement, peace, feeling of being understood, connected and lifted into that cosmic sphere we only sometimes get to dwell in, usually when listening to our favorite tunes.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
It’s best when listened to, so just go check it out and enjoy yourselves. Connect with us via social media if it resonates with you. We could not really do this without you. Thank you for the great questions.