‘Lost in Love’ – My Debut Album

‘Lost in Love’ – My Debut Album

 

Hi I’m Natasha Hardy, I am a singer-songwriter and I write my own music, which has operatic, orchestral, Celtic and ambient influences.

My debut album ‘Lost in Love’ has been arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered! ‘Lost in Love’ has been in the making for two and half years; I spent the first year writing and arranging the songs and spent the second year recording the album. My debut album has been a labor of love and I have put my heart and soul into it, I really hope you enjoy my album as much I have enjoyed making it! Read on and I’ll tell you a little bit more about the album in my own words …

The Story Behind the Title

The title of the debut album is ‘Lost in Love’ it is a collection of self-penned love songs inspired by my passions, heartaches and the fairy-tale fantasies that falling in love can bring. Have you ever been in love when you are at the dizzying heights? Have you ever lost a love where you are in the deepest lows? Have you ever been in love with someone that can never be yours? Have you ever met someone and thought they were perfect? This album as a whole is based on the theme of love; wanting it, finding it, or losing it. All of the songs were written from personal experience on some level and I am hoping you will connect with my songs and lose yourself in the musical journey I have created. I am so proud of the album, but most of all I am so proud that my stories are now ready to be part of your story.

Producers

I am so honored to have worked with Tom E Morrison who produced the album for me. Tom as a multi talented producer and composer has produced international artists (Bonnie Tyler, Roachford), various film scores and countless multi media. Tom recently produced the soundtrack for the movie ‘Viking Destiny‘ with Terence Stamp which features my vocals in the soundtrack and one of my songs ‘Strong’ from the album.

Tom E Morrison – Producer

I am also honored to have written one song on my album with film composer Michael A Levine who also produced the song ‘Crossing The Highway’, it is a song that was originally intended for the animated feature film ‘Rango’ featuring the voice of Johnny Depp. Michael has written for the feature film soundtrack to Hunger Games (Catching Fire) among others, and most recently the sci-fi fantasy mermaid TV series, Siren.

Michael A Levine – Producer (Crossing The Highway)

Musicians

It has been amazing to have worked alongside all of the talented musicians that are on the debut album and I am extremely honored to have Dermot Crehan, world renowned violinist feature on my album. Dermot has played on so many amazing productions and film scores including feature film trilogy Lord of the Rings, Harry Potterand with artists Andrea Bocelli, Carl Jenkins and Il Divo to name but a few.

The wonderful musicians that also play on the debut album are Stefano Marzanni on piano, Alice Sophie on Cello, Anna Quiroga on Harp, Alexander Verster on Double Bass, Nick Lacey on Flute, Graham Pike on Brass and Tom E Morrison on Keyboards and Percussion.

Working with all the musicians being in such close proximity with them in the studio setting watching my work come alive was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget and one that I want to repeat again very soon.

Dermot Crehan – Award Winning Violinist

A little side story – When I was in the studio for the first time with award winning violinist, Dermot Crehan, I was holding my camera to film some behind the scenes footage and I had tears rolling down my face because the sound and the vibration of his instrument was just so beautiful. It touched my soul so deeply, it was a dream come true and in that moment I knew that this album was going to be very special. To see Dermot play his heart out because he really liked my songs was so humbling, and it is and real honour and privilege to have experienced that.

Making of the Debut Album

I learnt a lot from making this album! This album has definitely changed my life and helped me grow as a person. I think I went through a rainbow of emotions whilst making this album from fear all the way through to joy. I learnt to stick with my original material, to believe in myself and to honour the God given ideas and inspirations that have been gifted to me.

Writing

When I first started to write the songs for Lost in Love, emotionally it was very cathartic. The songs I write are about my life, so they are based on my real life stories, thoughts and fantasies, and to let that all out I had a to go to a deep, sometimes very dark place inside and revive buried emotions. I usually write lyrics first then the melody and then the harmony.

Writing the lyrics for me is the easiest part, putting them together with music can take longer as I ‘feel’ my way through the process. I’ll sit with the lyrics at my piano and play around for a while and write down what feels right or I’ll sing the melody and work out the accompanying chords. Sometimes the process of writing a song can take hours or days but it often takes months to refine. When the final result is intrinsically tangible, I know it’s ready.

Once I had completed writing all the songs for the album, I asked my friend and pianist Stefano Marzanni, to join me in creating some classical style arrangements for eight of the ten songs on the album. Stefano is a classical trained pianist but is also an amazing jazz and pop pianist so it was easy for him to understand the nuances I was trying to create in my compositions.

Working with Stefano was one of my favourite experiences while creating the album and I loved working on the arrangements that we worked on together. For me, a song that is built on voice and piano is like the backbone of any recording; if you can strip down a production to these two instruments with the melody, lyrics and harmony all well balanced and it still sounds good then you know you have done your job well.

Stefano Marzanni – Pianist and Arranger

Production

Once all the songs were finished, my Producer, Tom E Morrison, really brought my songs to life. Because he has such a wealth of knowledge, experience and excellent musical taste he was really able to get into the mindset of what I wanted especially when it came to crossing over genres, experimenting with specific sounds and making the album cohesive.

Tom was instrumental (pardon the pun!) in making my debut album, he worked so hard not only on all the arrangements but also with me on my vocals. I am a perfectionist and we spent hours working through each production with a fine tooth comb to get the clean crisp sound!

I think producers are the unsung hero’s of any song or album and I really couldn’t have made this album sound the way it does without Tom. Tom worked tirelessly making all the arrangements and production sound amazing, and it was so lovely to work with him especially while we were recording the musicians.

When we were recording the vocals I tried to capture my voice with it’s vulnerable yet powerful quality to compliment the Celtic, operatic, orchestral and choral elements. I actually really love how all the backing vocals that make up the choral elements turned out, recording vocals was the icing on the cake for me. After recording all the musicians and getting the track ready for me to sing on, it was such an amazing experience to finally sing my songs and literally pour my heart into singing them.

Tom and I spent a lot of time together really getting everything perfect and over the course of the year we became very good friends and it’s thanks to Tom that I have the wonderful musicians Dermot Crehan, Graham Pike and Nick Lacey playing on the album.

Just a little side note – Tom’s nickname for me was hawk ears because I was such a perfectionist in the production process, but I think the end result is definitely worth it, I hope you agree! I will be forever grateful for to Tom for helping me make my dream come true!

My Influences

I have many influences, and you will hear them in my music. I think there are three categories that I can group my influences in, Artists, Composers and Singers. The Artists that I think influenced me the most are Enya and Enigma, the operatic voices of Maria Callas, Renee Fleming and Angela Georgiou and film music producers such as Hans Zimmer Gabriel Yared and Alan Silvestri.

I love Enya, I grew up listening to her music, she has this timeless quality to her voice and music and whenever I hear her I am instantly transported to another world, which is what I had hoped for my album. I am also influenced the artists collectively known as Enigma, I really admire the production style, it is flawless and I love how the voices seem to seamlessly melt into eachother.

I love film scores and film music producers such as Hans Zimmer who has scored for some amazing films; a few of my favourites to mention are Inception, Interstellar and Gladiator. I also love the composer Gabriel Yared who scored the English Patient, Betty Blue and Amelie. But I think my favourite film composer is Alan Silvestri, who scored some of my favourite films including the Abyss and Cast Away.

The Artwork

I wanted the album artwork to capture the look of someone that is just about to tell you a great story, you don’t know how it is going to begin or end but you know it is going to be a good story with some heartache, some anticipation and a sprinkling of wonderment thrown in. I don’t know if I actually managed to capture all of that on my face, but if you knew me you will know that when I have that look, something wonderful is going to happen!

It’s a weird thing having your photograph taken, for the album cover I actually had so many photographs taken but it was only when I commissioned Maria Mirage that she was able to capture this look. I had seen some of her photographs, she takes a lot of fantasy inspired photographs of mermaids and princesses, water nymphs etc and I fell in love with her work. As soon as I saw the photograph she had taken of me, I knew that it would be the right one. Actually, during that shoot I was the most relaxed I have ever been in a photoshoot.

I wanted to be surrounded by flowers and roses to represent romance and the ethereal princess quality of a fairytale, because when you are in love that’s how it can feel, it can be completely surreal! The princess style dress along with the flowers portray the fantasy elements that I so love.

The dress I am wearing was a wedding dress that I bought from a lovely lady near the south coast of England. She had only worn it once on her wedding day and had kept the dress in a pristine condition for 10 years. I loved the romance of the story of wearing a dress that someone had been blessed with love in. I customised the dress myself, I changed the neckline and added sleeves to make it even more romantic. I knew it had to be red because red for me is the colour of passion, romance and root emotions.

The back cover where I am laying down represents the dream that I am in. If you look at my hands you can see that I am pointing to the song listings, this represents my invite to you to join me on the ‘Lost In Love’ musical journey.

In the album artwork, I also have photography by Paul Stott who is a long time friend and photography collaborator. I will be doing a special edition of the Album with his photographs at some point so watch out for future limited editions! The photograph of me laying down on the tree is a photo that I didn’t know he was taking, I was just laying there in between other takes and I just think he managed to capture a moment where I really was lost in thought, I really was one with the universe and nature and I just thought it was so appropriate to have it as part of the artwork.

I also have a wonderful photograph taken by Magdalena Smorlenska that was actually taken not very far from where I live. I commissioned Magdelena after explaining my vision to her, and after showing her my red dress and my music video for ‘In Too Deep’ I knew she would be able to capture some wonderful movement photography as I had seen some of her award winning photographs of dancers. The final artwork photograph is slightly digitally manipulated to give a feel of even more movement and it is one of my favourite photographs ever taken of me.

My hopes for the album

I think the biggest hope is that people will enjoy my music. Music is such a huge part of life; I would love my music to become part of your life story. I hope when you listen to my music you are transported to your own private kingdom where you can become lost in love, whether its to mend a broken heart, transform a dream into a magical moment or transport you to another time and place.

If I can heighten a moment of emotion and become part of your life, story and memory, I have done my job well. I am now looking forward to making my next album but most of all I am excited and looking forward to working with my band and performing my songs live for you.

I have put my heart and soul into this album; from the cinematic styled arrangements to my heartfelt lyrics, I am really hoping you will connect to the songs and they will become just a part of your life as they have been a part of mine.

Sending love & light,

Natasha x

Enter The Gate

Enter The Gate

 

Hi there,

Thanks for dropping by to read my new blog post.  This post is quite a personal post and I wrote it because I really wanted to share the background of my song ‘Enter the Gate’ and why it is such a special song to me.

It is not always easy to share feelings through words, and I am usually much better at doing this in a song form (!) but I feel that as an artist and as a human being it is really important for me to be able to allow myself the gift of ‘letting go’. So thank you for taking the time to read, I’m honoured that you are here.

For me writing and making music is all about the art of expression; expression of my feelings, my thoughts, my hopes and my dreams.  I have always found such comfort and release from being able to write from my heart, so I hope the story of ‘Enter the Gate’ gives you a little more insight into to my world as a human and as an artist.

Time is the greatest healer they say, and for the most part I believe that is true, however something that I find profoundly healing is the gift of music. Music to me helps me move from reality to another world where I can find myself on a whole new level, whether that ultimately be physically or spiritually.

Have you ever put a song on and it makes you want to dance? Have you ever listened to a song that just makes you want to cry? Have you ever heard a piece of music that just allows you to drift, drift into your own inner consciousness and be one with yourself and the whole world?

Yes I hear you cry! I happens to me all the time too! Well that is what I hope happens when you listen to my song ‘Enter The Gate’.

I really hope that my song touches your soul and that it may become part of your life as it part of mine.

So here goes…

It has been a really difficult year for me, unbeknownst to many I lost my beloved Father this year after he had a 13 year-long battle with prostate cancer.  My Father or ‘Pops’ as I affectionally called him was a very special man.  We were so similar in so many ways and there are endless amounts of things that I could tell you about him, but hey, just take my word for it, if you met him, you would have loved him!

He meant the absolute world to me and there will never be enough space on the page to tell you all about him, but one thing was for sure, he really loved my album and he was so proud of the music I was creating, and that’s the reason why I wanted to release ‘Enter the Gate’, as my third single from my debut album ‘Lost in Love’ as a loving dedication to him.

But there is, as there is with a lot of my songs, more than meets the eye within the lyrics and meanings that they convey.

My song ‘Enter the Gate’ is no different and contains the metaphorical message of the journey of both self-discovery and transition from one state to another.

When I wrote ‘Enter the Gate’ the title of the song just seemed to sum up everything that I was trying to explain in one phrase, but it wasn’t until later that I realised this phrase had been used before.

I am really interested in self-discovery and learning about our feelings and what makes us so human and so over the years I have read a lot of books by different authors about the self, our divine self and also about self-improvement or self-help and transformation into our best self.

It was actually when I was reading a book called ‘Fear No Evil’ by Eva Pierrakos and Donovan Thesenga that I came across the phrase ‘Enter the Gate’. In the book they talk about entering the ‘gates’ of our emotions. For instance, it talks about fear being an illusion and when we go through the gate that we are fearful of (by feeling our way through) we go on to discovering our true self.

For example (and I quote) “…Through the gateway of feeling your weakness, lies your strength; through the gateway of feeling your pain lies your pleasure and joy; through gateway of feeling your fear lies your security and safety;…”

All the time while my Father was ill and was fighting his long battle with cancer I was so fearful and dreaded the time when he would not be able to fight anymore, and not knowing when that would be was awful.

When my father did leave this physical world even though I was devastated and broken-hearted I still felt relief for him, for he was no longer in pain; and however much I miss him dearly, every single day I miss him, one thing that I am so grateful for is that he is no longer in pain.

So if there is a heaven, I can imagine angels asking him to “Enter the gate with me…”.

Sometimes I feel like the little voice in my head who is always telling me ‘everything will be okay’, ‘you got this’, and ‘you can do this’ is the part of me which inspires me to never give up, to never lose hope and to always carry on and live life to the full as much as I possibly can even when I smile through the pain.

And sometimes when I get to the point where I ‘enter the gate’ of non-resistance, I feel like everything will be and is okay.

And so my song ‘Enter the Gate’ seemed to be more important to me than ever as I feel like it is a song that I can dedicate to him and dedicate to anyone who is going through any kind of transition personally, on a physical, emotional or spiritual level.

I hope this blog has given you some insight into why this is such a precious song to me.

As always sending you so much love from the bottom of my heart,

In Love & Light,

Natasha x

 

Behind the Scenes – ‘Enter The Gate’ Music Video

Behind the Scenes – ‘Enter The Gate’ Music Video

 

Hi!

I just thoughts I’d share with you some of the amazing photo’s that were taken whilst we were shooting the music video for my new single ‘Enter The Gate’ taken from my debut album ‘ Lost in Love’!

As you can imagine it was a bit of a whirlwind trying to shoot with a small team but I think you will love the results!

We shot the music video in Liverpool, near Formby woods and on the beautiful sand dunes.

We were really lucky to have such good weather although the first day of shooting was a bit breezy to say the least!

I am used to waking up early in the morning and hopefully it will show in  the footage, as I wanted to make sure we had a sunset and a sunrise to go with the lyrics of the song.

I am now working with my lovely Co-Director and Director of Photography Steven Wheeler to get the first ‘Cut’ as Steven will also be editing the the video; its a real pleasure to be able to work with him during this process, as it’s amazing to be able to see my vision come to life!

I am also so excited as I’ll be starting the ‘Enter The Gate’ Campaign soon and you will be able to be a huge part of this next stage of my musical journey!

See you soon!

In Love & Light,

Natasha x

 

 

 

MY STORY

MY STORY

 

Hi there!

Welcome to my blog post on why you should never give up on the beauty of your dreams! This is my 4 part story of how I became a singer… I hope you enjoy it and it gives you some inspiration!

Here goes…

Part 1 of 4

I didn’t think I would end up being a singer, because to be quite honest I found some of my first singing lessons really, I mean really difficult. I am not talking about just singing along to someone playing the piano, I am talking about someone telling you that you have to open your ribcage, think about how you are breathing out, supporting your voice, singing on the ‘line’ making sure the consonants’ are clear, it goes on and on!

I remember some of my first real singing lessons where I was breathing in for a count of two for five times and then breathing out for 30 seconds, Wow! Now that was hard! Try it it’s not easy! Anyway, you get the idea! I realised quite quickly that to be able to sing classically I was in for a lot of hard work. Why start singing lessons I hear you ask? Well here’s the thing, I need to give you a little background to tell you the reason why.

You see my family moved home when I was younger, times were tight for my parents (I have 3 other siblings) and they had to down-size the house a couple of times which meant I went to three different secondary schools and that also meant I was the ‘new girl’ three times. Being the ‘new girl’ I was bullied a lot and to be honest I didn’t cope that well. I wanted to take music and art as my lesson choices but the girls that bullied me were also in those classes, so I decided to take Drama instead. As it turned out I was a pretty good budding actress; I used to get A grades in Drama and in English, so I thought my destiny was going to be in Acting.

Now back to the bullying part. The thing is with bullying is it can really take over your life and all you ever end up thinking about is how to avoid situations where you are going to be face to face with your bully. This is the reason I didn’t go to college straight after leaving school, because I knew they would be at the same college as me. Crazy I know and if I could do it all again believe me I would do it all differently!

So anyway a few years went by and I was working full-time, I was a dental nurse for a while and then I started doing admin in an office and it was then that I realised that now I had money of my own I could maybe pursue my career as an actress after all. I started taking acting lessons and masterclasses and started going to auditions – I was nervous but I really loved it. I used to look in a magazine called ‘The Stage’ and I used to see all of these auditions listed where it said things like ‘Wanted – actress who can sing’, ‘Wanted actress/singer’ and I just kept thinking oh I wish I could sing and then I could go for all these jobs! So that was the story of why I wanted to learn to sing. So what happened next? Find out in part 2!

 

PART 2 of 4

I started lessons with a private singing coach. Over the next few months I started to learn some very basic Italian songs and was even put in the Christmas show alongside the kids (actually I was the only adult student), but hey I didn’t mind, at least I was on stage!

The thing about being an adult student is for some reason it can sometimes be a bit harder and you have to swallow your pride a bit. This was especially so when I was in the waiting room with kids about 5 years old sitting with their parents and I was waiting to have the same lesson, but as they say, if you want something bad enough nothing is going to stop you and I wasn’t about to let a little bit of pride get in my way!

The months went by and I moved to London to keep following my acting dreams so I needed a new vocal coach. Fate had plans for me and I met the singing teacher that I still have to this day. You might wonder why a singing teacher and not a vocal coach I hear you say?

Well a vocal coach will help you study a song and help you get the ‘best’ out of it, they will help you with timing and expression and interpretation but a singing teacher is a different ball game, it’s all about technique. They help you understand what exactly you are doing with your body and mind and teach you how to combine the two (your body and mind) to make sure they work together to get the final result.

My new teacher was a trained opera singer and a specialist singing teacher – I was excited! In the first lesson with my new singing teacher she made me sing a scale. Now I knew how to sing a scale as I’d been having lessons previously in Hampshire, but this was different somehow I just knew it.

I kept singing the scale and my teacher was taking my voice higher and higher, telling me to change my posture or do something different with my mouth. That’s when I sang the highest note I had ever sang, (up to that point I didn’t even know I could sing very high at all) and my teacher turned around to me and said, ‘yes, you’re a soprano probably a lyric’.

Well I had absolutely had no idea of what any of that meant, and it triggered something in me that I had never felt before; I wanted to know how to keep singing with those high notes, not just make one high note, I wanted to know how to sing the way I had seen other opera singers sing, I wanted to know what Classical music was, I wanted more more more! I had found something that I was genuinely passionate about and I was so excited.

The months went by and as I was singing new songs not only could I get into character and think about the lyrics and timing, I was also thinking about my breathing, the notes, my tone, my posture, my facial expressions… the list seemed endless, the flurry of instructions were taking over my brain all at once, I was hooked!

It’s just amazing what a talented singing teacher can do for you! I knew this medium of art was the thing I had been unknowingly searching for as it felt so right. When I sang I couldn’t and didn’t have time to think about any of my worries or any of the other sad things that were happening in my life, it was all consuming; it was the exact medicine I needed!

The only trouble was it was very hard and it was very expensive… I knew I had to find a way to make it work, but how could I? Find out in part 3!

 

PART 3 of 4

The trouble is with both music conservatoires and acting schools is that they are pretty expensive and if you haven’t got a family to help you or can’t get a grant then its pretty much near impossible to go and live in London. So I had to make a decision. Do I carry on pursuing an acting career and give up singing lessons, because to do both was too expensive, or do I get a ‘proper job’ so I can afford to pay for singing lessons?

I had to really think about what I wanted, my acting career was starting to take off, I had been in a couple of short films and I had done a string of bit parts, I even had a role alongside Ray Winstone in a commercial for Hoslten Pils! But the money from that wasn’t enough to pay for London rent and living as well as singing lessons. I loved acting and I was really good at it, but in my heart of hearts I knew deep inside that this was my true calling.

So I got an office job in the city and although it wasn’t very exciting I was getting a regular wage and I could afford to have singing lessons regularly. Getting the tube (London Underground public transport) in rush hour was no fun, but I learned to make the most of my time between lessons, I would take my music folder on the hour and a half long journey to work, I would have my headphones in and listen to singers that my teacher recommended.

I started really learning about singing and music for the first time in my spare time and I loved it. My weekly lesson was the thing I looked forward to most each week! Like any good student I took every opportunity to practice. I was so determined to get as much practice in as possible that when I was working in the City for Barclays Bank I managed to sneak in at lunchtimes to practice in an old unused room in the basement of their building – I could hear the people on the floor above asking “where is that sound coming from?” But I didn’t let it put me off!

The years went by and my singing voice got better and better, I started writing music, and I took all of my singing and music theory exams – still alongside the kids, but I didn’t care anymore it was making me happy! I was even able to go on a part time music college course (the same one that that Ed Sheeran went to) and I immersed myself in contemporary singing and song writing practices all the while alongside my classical singing lessons with my beloved teacher.

Quite a few years went by and after a lot of hard work I started my own singing business, singing at weddings and birthdays and in care homes for the elderly. As time went on though it became clear; as I started going for auditions for opera companies they definitely wanted the ‘conservatoire’ taught singer! ‘All this work for nothing’ I would think whenever I left an audition, I could see the disappointment on the faces of the judging panel when I told them I hadn’t been through the traditional route of a classical music education.

I thought what I needed to do was to try and somehow please ‘them’, the ones that matter (or so I thought) and I enrolled onto a very expensive opera course. On the first day of my new course I had that feeling at the pit of my stomach, you know the one when you feel that something is really very wrong. Most of the students had come from a conservatoire or were about to go in one and although I loved the work I felt like I didn’t fit in all over again.

I found out some of the students in the classes were passing notes about me, I was the new girl at school all over again! I figured I’d be able to handle the petty school room antics as a lot of the students were quite a lot younger than me, and even though it hurt I held my head up high.

But that was just the beginning, when some of the teachers used bullying tactics during the lessons I really felt like history was repeating itself all over again! I was devastated! I left the course that I thought was going to help me feeling down, depressed and ready to give up my singing dream.

How could I have come this far only to feel like I wasn’t ever going to fit in this musical world I so wanted to be part of? What was I going to do? Find out in the 4th and final part tomorrow!

PART 4 of 4

In the summer of 2016 after leaving the opera school I decided that I needed to focus on something else other than my singing career. The thing that used to give me so much joy was turning into a nightmare and I felt frustrated and alone. I found solace artistically in song-writing and prayed to be led in the best direction.

In September 2016 I was offered the amazing chance to do something extraordinary – to climb the highest mountain in Africa. I pondered on the opportunity for a while. I had never done any type of walking or climbing before, I was an asthmatic and I had no idea if I would even be able to make it to the summit due to the altitude.

But never being one to say no to a personal challenge and with nothing to hold me back I decided I was going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa! That trip changed my life.

It demanded every ounce of me, physically, mentally and emotionally. As each day went by on the six-day climb, I kept visualising being at the summit wearing my orange t-shirt, the one that had been given to me by ‘The Brooke’ one of the charities I was climbing for. It helped to visualise the donkeys that I was raising money for climbing up steep hills with bricks on their back and I used to tell myself ‘If they can do it so can I’!

At first I thought a lot about everything else that was happening around me, the noises, the smells, other people, conversations, but as the days went on, because they were quite long days, I started to get into a rhythm and just enjoy every step rather than worrying if I was going to make it to the top or not; I just kept putting one foot forward and it was one of the best lessons I could have had.

 

One thing that amazed me about that climb was that I never once thought about quitting, I just knew I had to get to the summit even through the tiredness, pain and tears.

On September 18th 2016 at 5.27am I summited Mount Kilimanjaro! I was so proud of myself! The mountain gave me an immense feeling that is hard to describe. I could literally feel a charge of positive energy flowing through me; but I don’t think it was just reaching the summit that changed me, it was the whole experience.

I remember stopping for a drink of water and sitting under one particular tree on the long walk down back to sea level. I had a feeling of peace and calmness that I had never felt before and for the first time ever I could see my life so clearly and the path that was opening before me.
Everything that had happened to me in my life and career had bought me to this point and I realised that it really didn’t matter what anyone thought of me or thought of my voice, it was only what I thought about myself that mattered.

I had studied for a long time about self-love but it was climbing that mountain that made everything I had learnt really sink in to a level that changed my life. I knew whatever I did was from now on going to be enough, however I sang and whomever I sang to was going to be enough, it had been all along, I just didn’t realise!!

I knew after climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro I could accomplish anything! Anything that my heart desired! Because I had finally found self-belief!
From the moment I landed home everything made sense all of a sudden, I wanted to share my journey, my life and my passions.

I started ferociously working on my music!

These were my stories, and I would sing them however I wanted to sing, not how a teacher in a classroom or a person on a judging panel wanted me to sing! I would sing for me and I just knew that the people who it was meant for would find my music and love my songs!

Two years after that climb my debut album ‘Lost in Love’ was finished. I have spent every day since then working in some way or another on it. It is the culmination of so many journeys, my musical journey, my journey through love, my journey through life so far which I am sure you will relate to!

I can’t wait for you to hear my songs, I just know you are going to love them!

Thank you for letting me share this part of my life with you, the next part is just beginning and I am so glad you are with me!

MI RITIRO

MI RITIRO

 

Hi there!

Welcome to my blog about my song ‘Mi Ritiro!

Mi Ritiro is the second single from my debut album ‘Lost in Love’.  It’s a bitter-sweet love song that that is essentially the story about waking up and wishing to return to ‘reality’ when you have been in love with the wrong person!

I wrote it in Italian as being classically trained some of my favourite arias that I sing are in Italian and the call to write in the original language of love (even though I am not fluent in Italian, I had some help with the correct grammar!) seemed appropriate.

I had written the lyrics and most of the melody when I teamed up with my good friend and wonderful pianist Stefano Marzanni. He helped write the harmony and arrange the piano part in a way that sounded classical yet simple. I wanted the song to sound like something between an aria from a modern opera and a song from a soundtrack of an old Italian movie.

Once it was written, I worked closely with my amazing producer Tom E. Morrison, who worked tirelessly to bring my vision to life. Working with Tom in the studio was amazing, watching all of the musicians record their parts and being able to watch my song come to life was such a wonderful experience and one that I never forget.

Stefano leads the instrumentation with the beautiful original piano arrangement alongside the string section. On violin, I have award-winning violinist Dermot Crehan who has on the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack, with Andrea Bocelli, Annie Lennox and many others; I am so blessed to have him on my track! Then I have Alice Sophie on cello, Alexander Verster on double bass; Graham Pike on brass and Tom E. Morrison playing keyboard. Oh, and myself as the vocalist of course.

Graham actually played the trumpet part that you hear in one take. I was blown away when we were in the studio; I had goosebumps all over and knew instantly that would be the one to stay. I am really pleased with the end result. Everyone worked really hard to give an amazing performance for me and Tom’s pristine production is the icing on the cake.

Once the track was ready I knew I had to make a beautiful music video to accompany the song.  I started story boarding and planning my outfit.  The dress I wear in the video is the same dress that is on my album cover ‘Lost in Love’.

Producing music videos is something that I have really started to enjoy, it feels like I can engross myself in the final presentation of the song that I wrote and although it’s always hard work I think the end result is worth it!

My brother Laurence Hardy agreed to be the Director of Photography and Editor and once I knew he was on board I was so excited!  The location that we chose was a beautiful woodland in Hampshire, England, and we filmed at dusk to try to get the beautiful golden light.

We filmed the video in 4K definition which meant that when I was singing, I was actually singing double time so we could slow it down in post-production and get this really romantic feel to the video. I am really pleased with the result, I hope you enjoy ‘Mi Ritiro’ as much as I enjoyed making it for you!

See you soon!

In love & light, Natasha x