Meet the LA-based Scottish singer-songwriter Natalie Clark!
Earlier this Fall, she released her sophomore EP, “Head North.” The girl-power anthem “Grown Ass Woman” was the first track released from the collection.
Clark self-released her debut EP, Eagles, in Scotland before heading stateside. Selected as a Mercedes Benz KTLA “Artist to Watch,” Natalie was featured in the Mercedes Benz U.S. commercial campaign which also included performances at the famous Roxy on Sunset, and The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. She was handpicked to open for the Grammy award winning Indigo Girls tour and has been recording in L.A. when not busy touring the U.S. Natalie was also featured on Season 10 of NBC’s TV show, The Voice, where Christina Aguilera sang praises of her “cool, powerful voice,” and Blake Shelton referred to her verses as “incredible.”
After giving up her teaching career in Scotland to pursue her dream of writing and playing music, the rising soul-pop artist made headlines in the U.K. when Branson invited her to sing on-stage at a BBC Radio 1 Academy session in Glasgow. Clark accepted his impromptu challenge, and sang “Weakness” from her debut EP. It prompted Branson to proclaim: “That was absolutely and utterly stunning – no backing band, no musicians, no forewarning.” He later called her “inspiring.” Grimshaw, who was hosting the BBC Radio 1 Academy event, played ‘“Weakness” and further sang Clark’s praises on his BBC Radio 1 show the following day.
Learn more about Natalie Clark in the following All Access interview:
Now that the year is about over, how has 2019 treated you? What are some goals that you have had for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them or did you already?
• This year has been incredible! The major goal I had for this year was to release an E.P. as I had been aiming for this for so long! I’m excited that I managed to get the E.P. finished and finally release it into the world!!!
What are you already looking forward to in 2020?
• I’m excited about touring in 2020 and sharing the record as much as I can – in the U.S but also back in the U.K and Europe (maybe even further afield!!) I’m also looking forward to working on the next E.P. and already have most of the songs written. I can’t wait to get into the studio and get them recorded! It’ll definitely be a busy year!
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
• I was always surrounded by music growing up – my mum and dad are both incredibly musical and there was always such a diverse mix of music playing around the house or if we were in the car – from Motown, to jazz classics to Abba! I have always been passionate about music but it was only really when I started writing songs a few years ago that my passion developed even further. It took me a few years to get the courage to make the decision to be a full-time musician but once I did, I was all in!
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 actually was a school teacher in Scotland before I decided to pursue music full time, so I’d still be doing that if I hadn’t chased my dream and moved to America as a musician! I loved teaching but I always felt so much passion for music and yearned to spend more time doing it! So now getting the chance to do that I definitely feel fulfilled!
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?
• I think the biggest challenge/learning curve when I first decided to make music into a career has been the ability to make a living and pay the bills doing it! It’s taken me a while to find the balance between being a working musician and for example playing the corporate/cover gigs to pay the bills, and then to keep the creativity flowing to work on my own music. It’s a balance because on the one hand, I’m so grateful to have been playing music for a living while doing these cover gigs as it’s helped me develop as a performer/singer/guitar player, and then on the other hand, it’s been tricky to carve out time to work on creating my own music, recording it, and sharing it with the world.
• The best part is when I’ve had moments of real connection with people through my music, and my songs have resonated with them somehow!!
Let’s talk about your newest single “Grown Ass Woman.” What was the inspiration for this track?
• Talking of paying the bills! So this song came out of a moment of frustration when I was trying to live my dream of making music, but also couldn’t afford rent and was cat-sitting so I could just stay in L.A! It’s a song that hopefully offers a fun anthem like energy, but really I hope it gives encouragement and hope to all those people who are working on ‘living their dream’ – we’re all in this together and we have to just keep going!!
How would you say that “Grown Ass Woman” compares to the rest of your new sophomore EP? What was it like putting this collection together?
• I feel like this song is quite cheeky and fun, even though the message is so sincere! The other songs definitely also chronicle the highs and lows of going for your dreams, but this song has a vibe and energy that hopefully encourages people to have fun with it!
Where can people see you perform next? Do you have any upcoming tour dates scheduled yet?
• I’m planning on a bigger tour in 2020! I’m looking at scheduling it soon! Definitely excited to play in New York again as I love performing there!! But also hoping to tour more extensively throughout the States and beyond!
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music? What if anything has stayed the same about your music-making process?
• I feel like I’ve grown so much since I started making music! Having moved to the States and playing music full-time, I’ve been consistently working on my guitar playing, singing and performing skills.
How do you feel about social media? What do you think social media has done for your career?
• I think it’s such an amazing tool and can help connect with people all over the world. I do feel that I need to improve and post more consistently as it’s a way to directly share your music and experience with people who’re interested in your journey so it’s fantastic! I just sometimes get caught up in the day-to-day stuff and forget to post! I’m working on it though!
What has been the best thing a fan has told you? What comment from a fan has truly moved you?
• Honestly, anytime anyone says they related to or were moved by my music I get so excited. It’s such an incredible feeling to share your music and have someone connect with it!
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
• I’ve always had a dream of hearing my music in a movie! I’m delighted to say that I’ve just had my first movie placement in a movie coming out summer 2020, called Collection! I’m so excited!
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
• I really hope that my music offers encouragement, hope, reassurance and light of some kind! Most of my songs have an underlying (or even quite obvious!) theme of encouragement. If I can comfort, encourage or move people with my music, the way other people’s music has done for me, that thought makes me so happy!!!