Singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield knows how to make an audience feel good. In fact, the UK native’s soul mission with her music is to produce incredibly catchy hits that simply uplift people’s spirits. Bedingfield demonstrated her raw talent and optimistic capabilities with smash hits “These Words,” “Pocket Full of Sunshine” and the unofficial theme song of 2006, “Unwritten”. But the songstress is hungry for more, and she uses her audience’s experiences with her music as motivation to keep the feel-good train rolling. Bedingfield sat down with Metro to talk about the release of her first album in nine years, her new tour and dive into why her greatest inspiration comes from her fans.
Natasha Bedingfield talks first album in nine years and using positivity as a motivation
“Roll With Me” is your first album out in 9 years, why was now the right time for its release?
I don’t think it’s ever a bad thing for a singer/songwriter to take breaks between albums—I think that it shows the thoughtfulness. I feel really excited about this music, I just love how it flows, and I think that it still has that catchiness that I’m known for but also a lot of depth and growth musically. It’s really incredible production-wise. I met Linda Perry years ago, and we had just an amazing flow right from the start, we kind of brought something different out in each other. Linda started a label and I was the first artist she called. She knew I left my label and when she asked if I wanted to make a record, I immediately said “Hell yeah.”
Do you feel as though your inspirations for songwriting have changed over time the longer you’ve been in the industry?
I listen to a lot of music, and right now specifically Motown and incredible female artists like Aretha Franklin, I just love how her music has a spirituality to it. But performing so many live shows, I’m influenced by my listener. I’m always thinking in my head about what I want the experience to be like for someone who is listening to my music. That’s influenced me more than anything—- I’ve heard so many stories about how my songs have touched people in different ways. Sometimes a song can help someone get through a really hard time, and yet that very same song can be just like a complete fun let-go kind of song for someone else. I love that music can do that.
Are there any tracks from your new album that stick out to you?
Oh yes— I love the song “Hey Papa.” It’s exactly about the world today, It’s very now and it feels really good to sing as well. It tackles some of the hard issues that we see and this sort of hopelessness that I think my generation is in, or even just helplessness. It’s basically saying let’s not lose hope, let’s actually do something. I’m excited to sing that. There’s also another song called “It Could Be Love” which is just a feel-good song. It’s really an amazing, energetic song.
Since we’re talking about songs, I have to ask how it feels to have “Unwritten” remixed for “The Hills” re-boot on MTV?
When MTV came to me and asked for a song for a brand new show that hadn’t been released yet I thought yeah sure, why not? It was more of that kind of thing. But who knew that “The Hills” would become the biggest show ever at the time? It was such a wonderful experience to write a song like that— that song is beyond me, it’s beyond the show and it’s its own kind of thing now. I love singing it on stage, everyone always sings it at the top of their lungs and that truly makes me so happy. So when I knew they were re-launching, I approached them and basically said wait, you better be using my song! We had a meeting with them and we decided to do a remix of it—it’s ten years later and it has a new feel with everyone in the show being grown-up, so it was suited for the new version.
Now jumping to your tour, what do you love the most about being able to perform live for audiences?
I just love how songs change depending on who you sing them for. When you sing live there’s this interaction that actually influences the music, and I love that. It’s fascinating, it’s exciting and when I go on stage I lose all self-consciousness and I feel very swept up in the music. There really is no other high like that. I’m very sensitive to energy, and I can really read the energy in a room. So I like to send out positivity, which is one of the things I actually love about on of my inspirations Motown music– it doesn’t have to be a positive song but you still always feel this kind of power and uplifting energy. But different parts of the country also have different types of flavor for sure.
Overall what do you hope fans take away from attending one of your concerts?
I want people to put whatever it is that is on their mind on hold and just let themselves be swept up in the experience. It’s going to be intimate, it’s going to be real and most importantly it’s going to be fun.
For a full list of tour dates and cities visit natashabedingfield.com