We discovered singer-songwriter Natalie Duque after hearing her latest single ‘Stay’. Even though it’s been nearly a month since the official release, we are happy to have an opportunity to share a more in-depth conversation with Natalie who describes herself as a folk-pop songwriter, but recently she’s been venturing into the piano pop ballad world.
‘Stay’ is an emotional ballad that has a different meaning. We wanted Natalie to share more about it. It is not what you might expect. I bet you will look at the song very differently after you read this interview. The song itself is minimalistic, however, Natalie’s vocal totally takes over and combined with raw emotions it is such a teary treat.
Congratulations on your most recent release! Can you tell us about the journey you had until ‘Stay’?
Thank you! My musical journey has been a long and bumpy road. I’ve tried to quit a few times, but I can never stay away for too long; it’s what I’m meant to be doing. So about three years ago, I finally stopped trying to fight it! I’ve been working really hard on honing my craft, and finally felt ready to release music again in the beginning of this year. I got in the studio to record scratch tracks for “Stay,” and then COVID hit. So the release of the single was a bit delayed, but worth the wait.
‘Stay’ was inspired by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant along with his daughter. Can you tell us more about what you wanted to achieve with the song?
When I first started writing this song, I was just trying to process my emotions around the shock of such a tragic experience. As a mom, I was completely gutted at the thought of Kobe Bryant knowing his daughter’s life was going to end in those last few moments before the aeroplane went down, and of his wife, Vanessa Bryant, having lost both a child and her husband at the same time.
I’m an empath and I tend to take on the feelings of those around meNatalie Duque
I’m an empath and I tend to take on the feelings of those around me, so this just hit especially hard. As I began trying to craft the song a little bit more, and share it out with my local songwriter community, it became clear that this was a song so many people could relate to, and to me that’s what music is all about. So I hope when people listen to this song they feel a little more connected and a little less alone.
Where do ideas for songs come from? Tell us more about your creative process.
Ideas for songs come from everywhere! They can come from a song prompt I find online, a personal experience, the news, a line from a book, a quote from a movie or tv show… the list is endless. Songwriting is how I process the world around me – it’s my thoughts and feelings in song form. Sometimes I’ll just start journaling and realize there’s something on my mind that I need to write about, and other times I pick up the guitar and start humming along to a chord pattern that I’m feeling at the moment. I don’t have one way of writing- it just depends on the day and my mood.
In your bio on Spotify, it says that sad songs make you happy. Can you tell us more? Have you written a happy song yet?
Haha yes! I have written happy songs, I just prefer the sad ones. For me, the songs that tackle challenging emotions bring me the most joy because it’s in those songs that I feel less alone. When I’m feeling at my lowest, I don’t put on a dance song to cheer me up. Instead, I’ll find a song where the person is able to eloquently articulate the exact thing I’m going through, and it makes me feel so much better. Music has this amazing ability to bring people together and make you feel heard and seen, without ever leaving your bedroom.
The songs that tackle challenging emotions bring me the most joy.NATALIE DUQUE
Do you remember the moment you decided to become a singer-songwriter?
I’ve always been a singer. I think I was singing before I was speaking! But I started songwriting and dreaming about becoming a singer-songwriter in middle school. I was obsessed with all the ’90’s female artists like Alanis Morissette, Jewel, and Sheryl Crow. They still heavily influence my songwriting to this day.
You sang for the marketing campaigns (TV Spots) for several movies, The First Purge being one of them. What was the feeling when you first heard it on the screen?
Having my vocals featured in world-wide campaigns for movies has been surreal. It’s definitely the kind of experience where I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s real, no matter how many times it happens!
What are your biggest musical idols that you look up to?
I’m going to cheat and say ’90’s singer-songwriters (listed above), Adele, and Miranda Lambert. 90s singer-songwriters are at the core of who I am as a person and songwriter. I listened to those albums on repeat and they helped me process and survive some of the most confusing years of my life. Adele is a powerhouse, one of the best vocalists of all time, and is so dang charismatic. I’ve seen her perform live in giant arenas, and she still makes you feel like you’re just sitting down with her in your own living room, chatting in your pyjamas over a bottle of wine. I wish I could be friends with her in real life! And Miranda Lambert is someone I’ve become obsessed with over the last few years. I just really admire her songwriting. I also want to be her bestie
What do you want to achieve with your music?
I want to be able to connect with people, and I want my music to bring people comfort and happiness in knowing that they’re not alone.
Music to me is my therapyNatalie Duque
Do you have a song, that when you hear it, you’d say, “I wish I’d written that”?
Tin Man, by Miranda Lambert (co-written with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall). It’s clever, it breaks all the songwriting “rules” (it doesn’t even have a real chorus), yet it makes you feel so much and is so relatable.
What are your plans for 2021?
I want to work on a solo EP project. I already have the songs I want to record, I just need to figure out a plan to get it all done. I also want to continue to collaborate with other artists and songwriters. And since it doesn’t look like live music is coming back any time soon, I’m planning on performing live more consistently on social media so that I can engage with fans of my music, and continue to bring everyone along with me on my musical journey.
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