I was recently interviewed by the lovely Chrissie Sheppard from One World Music Radio all about my debut album, Lost in Love and my life surrounding my musical journey! Take a read of their review below:
Welcome to the Artist in Profile Show here on One World Music Radio with me Chrissie Sheppard, where I’m talking to Natasha Hardy about her music and her life, welcome Natasha it’s great to talk to you again.
Hi Chrissie, lovely to speak to you too, so happy to be here on One World Music Radio!
Well before we chat, let’s just give the listeners a taste of your music by listening to a track from your latest album Lost in Love, this is Mi Ritiro.
Tell us about your childhood, where you grew up and your family.
I was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire which is just outside of London. In my early teens my family moved to Hampshire, so, as you can tell, I’m a real country girl at heart even though I have I lived in London for the last 20 years.
I’m the third one of four, I have an older sister, an older brother and a younger brother, hence I have middle child syndrome and became the family entertainer from a young age, always coming out with a ditty or a song or two for family and friends.
When did your interest in music begin? Tell us about those times and the first instrument you learnt to play.
My parents bought me up on an eclectic musical mix of Harry Belafonte, Shirley Bassey and Simon and Garfunkel, amongst others. My first recollection of classical music was playing ‘Fur Elise’ on the family piano, when I started piano lessons. I was around 8 or 9. My Mum and Dad were literally always singing around the house as we were growing up, it was like being in a real-life musical, so music has always just been a very normal part of my life. It wasn’t until I decide to pursue my career as an actor that I wanted to add a feather to my bow by being able to sing and basically fell in love with the pursuit of using my body as the instrument.
Do you have any qualifications in music?
Yes, I am classically trained singer and went through the normal ABRSM exams and I studied contemporary and classical singing styles with some amazing teachers over the years and I continue to study with my American voice teacher Maryliese Happel, who never ceases to amaze me! As my body is my instrument, I am always in the pursuit for perfection and love to constantly improve my technique, my style, and my interpretation to give the best performance that I possibly can.
So, what sort of music did you like to listen to as you grew up and who do you think has had a major influence on your own music?
The first artists that I really enjoyed listening to as a teen were Enya and Enigma. I also really loved Prince and The Brand-New Heavies. Which are all pretty reflective of the eclectic styles I was bought up on.
When I started my classical training, I was introduced to the operatic voices of Renee Fleming and Angela Georgiou, which totally blew me away, as the first time I had really discovered any operatic voices for myself was through the dance/contemporary artist Faithless, who had sampled an operatic aria from the composer Boito’s opera Mefistofele.
I think Enya is probably one of my greatest influences, I really love her ethereal voice and I’m also really influenced by film scores for their emotional impact. One of my favourite films is Betty Blue and the composer Gabriel Yared started me on a journey to discover so many other amazing film composers. If you listen to my album, you will see some of these influences come through!
So, do you have a favourite genre of music that you like to listen to?
That’s an interesting question! Music for me is really dependent on what action I am taking in my life. So, when I need to think, rest or relax, I will always be drawn to the new-age genre but for a good workout I will always edge on the side of a good dance number! But I love all of the Café Del Mar compilations which have a beautiful mix of the ambient, new age and contemporary feel to them.
Natasha, when did you release your first album? Tell us about it.
So far, I have only released this album. I am currently working on my second album which is really exciting! My debut album ‘Lost In love’ was originally released in summer 2019. However, my father passed away in the beginning of May 2019 and everything kind of fell apart so I obviously didn’t have the energy at the time to be able to promote it properly, and I am so happy now to be able to share my side of the story, my album ‘Lost in Love’, with everyone now. As you can imagine, it’s been a pretty tumultuous last couple of years and I feel like now I am playing catch up. But I hope everyone can understand the reason why.
‘Lost in Love’ is a collection of original self-penned love songs, inspired by my passions, heartaches and the fairy-tale fantasies that falling in love can bring. Lost in Love really was a labour of love, I put my heart and soul into it and I really hope you enjoy it as much I enjoyed making it for you.
Do you have any special memories from making this album?
‘Lost In Love’ will be always be close to my heart. 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.
The entire process behind the making of this album has been memorable for me – from working with my producer Tom E Morrison, composer Michael A Levine, having Dermot Crehan play violin, working with all of the amazing musicians to writing the songs and finalising the artwork. I think one of the very special memories for me was at the very beginning when I was arranging the piano part with Stefano Marzanni for the final songs. There are lots of special memories and I have a lot of people to thank for helping my dreams come true, being able to create this album.
You are given the opportunity to invite 4 people, living or dead, for dinner, people you would like to meet, who would you invite and why, and what would be on the menu?
Oh wow, this is an interesting question. Well, food first as I love food! I probably would make a roast dinner for everyone as it is my favourite food and I’m really good at cooking roast dinner.
So, I guess the food would be sorted now, who would I invite?
If I were to invite 4 people, I would choose Prince, George Michael, Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. These four people have really influenced me musically throughout the years and it would be interesting to see what they were like in person! I reckon it would be a pretty fun dinner party with lots of singing and banter!
Your latest album Lost In Love was released a while ago, how long did the album take to put together and who designed the artwork for the album?
‘Lost In Love’ was in the making for two years. I spent the first-year writing and arranging the songs and spent the second year recording the album.
For my album artwork, I wanted to create a kind of classical/fantasy/new age theme as I felt it really represented the music and I commissioned a lovely photographer, Maria Mirage after having 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. That was for the front and the back cover. I also worked with a really great photographer Paul Stott, who took all the pictures for the rest of the album artwork, some of which you can see on my website. But if you buy the CD, you will actually see them all in the little album booklet!
I designed the album artwork myself, as an independent artist you have to be jack of all trades but through doing this my photoshop skills increased exponentially! So, I hope you like it!
So, Natasha what do you have planned for the future, another album, touring maybe?
I am currently working on an album which I have almost finished recording. It’s really exciting, it’s going to be a collection of classical, new-age songs. I am working with my wonderful producer and long-time friend, Tom E Morrison again who was the producer for my debut album. Lost In Love. I am also working with amazing producer Peter ‘Ren’ Renfree from Nashville, USA. I also have some really talented musicians on this new album, cellist, violinist, harpist and of course Stefano Marzanni who is my good friend and amazing pianist. I would definitely love to tour with some of these musicians that have worked on my album and I would love to tour worldwide. Especially with these songs from my debut album. I would love to tour in America and in the UK, Canada, Germany.
At the moment, I am just doing some live performances from my home studio until everything calms down and it becomes a lot easier to travel. I suppose a good thing that has come out of the past year is that I have become very ‘techy’ so it makes a lot of things that seemed a little impossible last year, much more possible. But there is nothing like live music, so I would definitely like to tour. To keep informed, visit my website and I will hopefully have some more information on there about that soon.
Well, the world is a troubled place at the moment, do you have a message you would like to share with our audience?
It’s difficult isn’t it, there is so much trouble in the world but there are also some really amazing things that are happening in the world. I would like to say ‘Be kind to yourself’. We should always ensure that we are kind to ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are and where we are in life. I think I’s really important to have faith in your own abilities and for me I think believing in myself is one of my keys to happiness. I would say. Believe in yourself as it really can be the key to happiness. And, never forget we are all in this together! We are in one world, One World Music Radio, one world for everything we are going through. We are all in this together and I do believe that love is the biggest healer for everything. Be kind to yourself and love yourself.
Where can our listeners find out more about you and your music, websites, social media that sort of thing?
The lovely One World Music Radio listeners can find my music on all leading online music platforms and you can also buy my physical CD of my debut album, Lost In Love, on my online music store. You will also find all the links to my socials there. My website is www.natashahardy.com.
Well, thank you Natasha for joining me here on the Artist in Profile Show to talk about your music and your life, it’s been great talking to you today.
Thank you so much Chrissie for having me on your amazing radio show, I loved talking to you about my debut album ‘Lost In Love’. I am sending love and light to all of your lovely One World Music Radio listeners. I’ll see you soon!