Discovery: Natasha North


Four years ago, singer-songwriter Natasha North turned down a soccer scholarship that would have brought her to America and instead began pursing a career in music. Since then, the 23-year-old alternative pop musician has toured with Suzanne Vega and Patrick Bruel and played at various festivals, garnering a fan base around the world. In September 2013 she released her first EP, Gather and Run, and exactly one year later, she released her sophomore EP, Fire. Today, we are pleased to premiere North’s new music video for the EP’s titular track “Fire.”

HOMETOWN: Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

STUBBORN ROOTS: My sister is two years older than me and she decided she wanted to learn the violin. I was very stubborn–I still am—so I wanted to do what she did, so I started playing the violin really young. I was, like, three.

MUSIC IS TRIUMPHANT: Growing up, I was always divided between music and soccer. I got a scholarship in America to play, but there was something that didn’t really click. It’s weird because I could be a completely different person now. I could probably be in America just hanging out in trackies all day.

FINDING THE RIGHT DEGREE: I took a year off when all of my friends went to university. I did a songwriting course and that turned into a degree, which was amazing because so many people I work with now are from that. I got a degree by accident by doing something I love.

BEING IN CONTROL: I think people can tell that I am in control of what I’m doing. A lot of artists that I have massive respect for are because they’re doing what they want to do, whereas you see other artists and you can tell it’s manufactured. I try to make my songs so people can draw their own stories and make them relatable. At the beginning, for about the first year when I first started to write, I was writing songs that were okay, but they weren’t really anything that had happened to me. I was making up stories, which were fine, but I don’t think they were connecting with people because people could tell. Even in the vocal performance they can tell. I started to learn that you really have to–even if it makes you uncomfortable–talk about things that are real.

EXTRA EFFORT: I write as many songs as I can because out of eight songs that you’ve written, maybe two will work. Obviously I write a lot of rubbish. I’m not sure whether people admit it, but with every one good song, there’s, like, 15 horrendous ones.

STAGE PRESENCE: I did a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London a few weeks ago and it was nerve-wracking because there were 5,000 people and just little old me on this huge stage. But once you’re on stage, it’s so dark you can’t see anyone. It completely blurs. It’s like skydiving: You jump out of the plane and you don’t realize how scary it is until you touch the ground because it’s so unreal. You can’t see the ground getting closer. It’s so out of this world that you don’t comprehend it, and I think exactly the same of live shows because you really can’t comprehend it until you see pictures. Then you’re like, “Oh shit! There were a lot of people there.”

LET IT KILL YOU: I definitely thought I needed to do what everyone else was doing when I was younger, and I think that’s the worst possible thing you can do. You do have to be really selfish–in a good way–and find what you love. The poet Charles Bukowski, my favorite thing he said is, “Find what you love and let it kill you.” I literally think that is so perfect. I think the more people who are doing something that they love, the better we would all be.