Introducing: Natalie Shay

  • Interview: Iman El Kafrawi

19-year-old multi award-winning, indie pop Natalie Shay releases her latest single ‘The Feeling’. As a classically trained guitarist from the age of five, Natalie Shay found herself accepted into the prestigious BRIT school, known for award-winning artists Adele and Katy B. Natalie has since created a successful solo career, performing at The Roundhouse, Ronnie Scotts and Brooklyn Bowl O2. Natalie has received multiple awards including ‘Best Undiscovered Talent’ London Music Award and The Guardian’s Music Award and her debut single ‘Follow You Home’ reached number 15 in iTunes singer/songwriter charts.

Hey Natalie! First of all, how did you get into music?

I began learning classical guitar aged 5, so I’ve always been into playing music. Around age 11 I started writing songs and aged 13 I played my first set of gigs. I’ve always enjoyed it. When i was growing up I played classical but liked listening to S Club and Hannah Montana.

Can you tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

It was called ‘Love Someone’, I wrote it when I was 10 and posted a webcam recorded version of it on my old YouTube channel. It was awful.

You’ve performed at some pretty big venues in London, like The Roundhouse and Ronnie Scotts! When was your first performance? And what has been your favourite performance? 

My first performance was for Gigs Big Busk competition in the Sainsbury’s carpark in Balham. However my favourite performance was at Under The Bridge for Music Week Magazine’s radar showcase supporting JP Cooper.

How would you describe your music to someone who’d never heard it before?

Indie pop rock with loud acoustic guitars and hair flicks.

You’ve won quite a few awards over the last few years – when did you receive your first award, and how did this feel?

The first was Gigs Big Busk 2012, I felt so happy as this was the first time I ever took my music to the public. It gave me confidence and the recognition I needed.

Your new single ‘This Feeling’ – what’s the story behind it? 

It’s about the initial emotions of a new relationship.

feeling 1

Can you talk us through how you wrote ‘This Feeling’?

I wrote the chords first for this song. Then I came up with the ‘This Feeling’ hook. From there the whole thing just kinda came together.

Any plans to release a video for ‘This Feeling’?

Yes! Stay tuned. It’s ready and waiting.

Are you currently writing anything? When can we expect some new work?

Always writing! I will be recording some stuff soon, with new releases later in the year.

Who would you love to work with in the future?

Little Comets! They are my favourite band and favourite writers.

What are you most looking forward to that’s coming up this year? 

To play cool shows and see what we can do with the basic arrangements of songs I’ve written when I take them into the studio.

Where can we catch you live in 2018? Will you be playing any festivals?

2nd Feb – Nambucca – 8:40pm full band show. Tickets on the Camden Rocks website. Follow me on twitter for more!

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in music?

To find their sound and identity and stick with it. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Listen to Natalie Shay’s single, ‘This Feeling':