Interview: Natalie

Here at Romusa we value rising artists. Natalie’s new song Devotion is an absolute earworm that has quickly climbed the ranks of my favorite songs to come out this year. Check it out below and learn more about Natalie.

 

1) What is your earliest memory of music?
My earliest memory of music was probably my uncle singing a Boys II Men song in a Karaoke machine.

2) How musical is your family?
I have two uncles that enjoyed singing but other than that not much. I don’t have any family members that produced or really recorded original music and distributed it.

3) Are you the first in your family to pursue music?
I’m the first to seriously pursue music.

4) What do you remember about the first song you wrote and recorded?
The first song I wrote and recorded was called Ashamed and is actually still up on my Soundcloud to this day. I started making the beat and it was originally acoustic. I hated the way my voice sounded, so I pitched down my vocals to sound completely different, almost male. And built out the beat around it and sent it to my friend to collaborate on.

5) What compelled you to create the genre(s) you do today?
That’s tough. I move through a lot of different genres, I have songs out right now that are pop, dancehall, trap, hip-hop, but all sound consistent. I just make what I’m feeling, because I produce I’m not limited to beats that people send me.

6) What is your label situation?
I’m not signed to anything. No label, no talent agency, no marketing company, etc. I’m 100% independent.

7) What are your thoughts on the state of the industry today?
It’s interesting, I think that the state of the industry in a monetary sense is bright and booming because of streaming, television programming, etc. I’m personally not a huge fan of certain trends in music, like “meme-rap”, singing about things that aren’t honest in one’s life, and saying you’re independent when you’re are being funded by agencies/companies. I also think it’s pretty reckless and dangerous to promote young kids 13-17 singing about drug culture, because it’s normalizing it at a peer level to a really young audience.

8) How did you make Devotion?
I knew I wanted to make a summer track and I was listening to a ton of dancehall songs so it just felt right. I started making the beat and sang about things that were happening last year. Everything just kind of fell together naturally.

9) Technically — What do you need to make music?
Honestly, just an interface, mic, laptop with Ableton, and midi keyboard. I use a Scarlett 2i4, a Rode Nt1, and an Alesis 49 key.

10) What is a favorite lyric you’ve written recently?
In Devotion I said, “ I been hurt I been misused, I played now I play too.” I felt that.

11) Do you go by Natalie or Shameful Natalie?
I just go by Natalie. I changed my Instagram/Twitter name to my first EP name and my first name because Natalie was taken by some influencer. I think ShamefulNatalie is sticking though so who knows I might change it, Natalie isn’t exactly SEO friendly.

12) Why that name to record and release under?
I like going by just my first name because the music I make is true to who I am. The things I sing about are experiences I have gone through so it makes sense to release it without a filter or character mask.

13) Dream collaboration?
That’s so hard, I think my dream collaboration would be Travis Scott or Boys II Men.

14) If you could record music anywhere, where would it be?
I would love to go back to Houston or even Chicago and just create. I would love to try Toronto too but I don’t the vibe there.

15) What’s next for you?
I’m dropping a lot more before the year ends. Got a music video coming out 2 singles and hopefully 1-2 more EP’s before 2020 so keep an eye out for the girl.

Maddox’s new single may be the one to wake the industry up after releasing top-tier pop on Soundcloud.

 

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Not much is known about Maddox… at all. He’s mysterious, but he’s not trying to be. From a social angle, he hops deep and playful fences often. On My Wheels was the first time I heard his music. His new single But Maybe is now streaming on YouTube.

Lyrics written by @xxmaddox@o0omiso0o@cyc719
Composed by @xxmaddox@eden_yh@seop_buddy
Arranged by @eden_yh@seop_buddy
Recorded & mixed by @ingrid_studio
Mastered by @metropolisstudios
Album introduction by @cinphile
Styling by @madeboyhyup
Hair & makeup by @nangmansalon
Fashion film directed by @gowontae

 

The Smile, You’re on Camera Tour had a secret weapon

Texas act PNTHN was stealing shows left and right on road with Vince Staples

PNTHN’s members have the gall to be conscious of their stage presence. The freshly seasoned Texas group is riding its first wind as far as the sail will allow. The all-male group appeared in control of their stage presence Tuesday in Atlanta at work with West-coasters Buddy and headliner Vince Staples. This happens to be PNTHN’s most accessible tour yet. Learning to mesh with audiences that aren’t necessarily coming to see them bodes well for their future. On the verge of entering the next, upper tier of artistry, this is your best chance to see PNTHN live before their price goes up.

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Credit: hotel party

The name PNTHN comes from a member’s interest in mythology, thus the word “pantheon”, which is how PNTHN is pronounced. They took the stage at 8:30… all of a sudden, there were six rappers on stage, each commanding their own pocket of the floor, while their DJ looked the ever consummate professional. Perhaps the most riveting aspect of their brief but illustrious set was just how young they looked on stage, and how much fun they looked like they were having. Clearly, PNTHN lives for the moment, and continues to do so on stage.

The DJ drops a tag in between songs: “It’s the PNTHN, baby,” a member of the group said in an Austin Powers twang. PNTHN rapper Tony Tone tells ATL to turn the fuck up. A tiny mosh-pit begins to formulate as red, blue, and green lights accent the stage.

Much to the crowd’s chagrin, PNTHN leaves the stage at 9:15, allowing Buddy to pick up where they left off at 9:30. Admittedly, Buddy’s performance started off very slow, and there was hardly any crowd engagement until he was three songs in. It appeared the dynamics of the group on stage before him could not be matched by a single performer. This gives PNTHN a reputation that should ensure them a long career in live performances: more bodies on stage, more things happening, more good rap music, more shows for now and later.

Vince Staples took the stage at 10:15 for the tour he had announced in December. The California artist went through hits like Blue Suede, but saved the best for latter in his set: Big Fish was by far the best sounding song live, as Staples performs without a backtracking vocal, but ultimately became a caricature of itself as Staples ad-libbed “late night” three times during the hook. The third time was in poor taste.

NOEL Drops “Mount Olympus”

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Houston, TX rapper NOEL is preparing his album Generation Mac for release this year. To precede this project, he’s released his new music video for his song “Mount Olympus”, a far cry from the R&B offerings found in his earlier work.

In “Mount Olympus”, NOEL puts his bars on full display while showing his inclination for theatrics: narration, subtitles, intermissions, and more. These things go a long way for new artists making a name for themselves. The sticking point for me watching the sleeveless NOEL catapult himself around this barren mountain where the video was shot was his proclaimation that he was “Zayn with some 808s”. In an industry where branding has overtaken, a lot of artists choose to play the game while hoping to maintain their own identity. If I were NOEL, I would stick with the Zayn with some 808s tagline and turn into a social or media campaign.

Watch the video here:

VAIN returns with a bang, seamlessly adapts to Believe on R. D. Abernathy

The monthly party says goodbye to Studio No. 7, kicks off new era

“Just follow me. Just follow me. Let’s dance,” says DJ $ushi Ceej.

Ceej has played at Vain for years and has become one of, if not the, leading Atlanta DJs controlling what the community gets down to on any given weeknight.

The night also marks the shift to the venue Believe on R. D. Abernathy. “Very ratchet,” says SRDTV of the place before Trevon Williams and his team took a hold of it. Vain held a residency at the cozy Studio no. 7 on Marietta Street for years.

The good thing is that Vain, as advertised in promotion, had a long, long line. The bad thing is that the gusts and sleet-like rain pelting people. The banners were a nice touch but was there an effort towards installing overheads? That’s all I’m asking.

Notable attendees included Junia Abaidoo, Key!, Josiah, SRDTV, James Supreme. Around 1AM is when the 90s R&B comes in, the pinnacle of feel good feel good gets. Champagne Trap likes sirens and blared them all night.