Crashing the Billboard Music Charts up-and-coming country music songstress Natalie Alexander granted the Blvd. with an exclusive interview introducing the new single “Cruel” off her latest self-titled EP. A special person with a special talent, take some time and get to know Northern California’s own Natalie Alexander.
You are an artist on the rise, this has to be an exciting time for you. How are you taking it all in?
Thank you! Yes it’s an extremely exciting time for me. I just count every day as a blessing.
How would you describe your sound and material on the new EP?
It’s more of a modern country style, but I think my EP is still much more traditional than a lot of what is on country radio right now. Hillary Lindsey wrote two of the tracks on my EP and I’ve always idolized her and what she’s done with Carrie Underwood so my EP is heavily influenced by that sound.
Can you give us the backstory to songs like “Cruel” was this a personal song or just a message you wanted to get out through your music?
“Cruel is about stopping the cycle of hurting others like you’ve been hurt yourself in relationships. It seems at first to be a song about a bad breakup, but the undertone of the message is more substantial than that.”
I think both. When I first heard “Cruel” I immediately knew it was a song I wanted to record, because it’s a story I know so well. And as an artist my goal is to be as relatable in my message as possible.
If something is real to me I want to communicate that to my audience. “Cruel” is about stopping the cycle of hurting others like you’ve been hurt yourself in relationships. It seems at first to be a song about a bad breakup, but the undertone of the message is more substantial than that. I find it to be really uplifting knowing that you’re not alone – we’ve all been through this. There’s definitely a strength in that.
Cruel by Natalie Alexander
Given the violence recently displayed at a country music festival in Vegas, I know it must of been heartbreaking to see your peers and fans go through such a senseless act of evil. How do you want to use your music platform to bring others together?
My heart is so heavy for everyone there. I had so many friends at that festival, both in music and in my personal life. Thank God everyone I knew escaped safely, but I know there were so many who weren’t as fortunate. I saw so many artists in the country community using their voice on social media to bring everyone together and I think that’s so special. Maren Morris stood out to me in her release of Dear Hate with Vince Gill. The song spoke to everything going on; and she’s donating anything she makes from that song to the Music City Cares Fund. I look up to her so much, and she definitely set the tone not only for me but for many other artists in the industry who want to help. I’d really like to do something similar and help in any way I can.
How do you unwind? Do you have any other unique passions outside of music?
I exercise every morning which helps clear my head and prepare for the day. I find cooking to be really therapeutic as well so spend many nights in the kitchen. Baseball and auto racing are my favorite sports so I like going to games and races in my free time. Carly Pearce sang the anthem for Nascar last weekend and I’m so jealous!!!
Tell me about your upbringing, and family life?
I was born in Northern California. I went to high school in Sonoma County. My parents and my twin brothers still live up north but I’m in LA going to college.
How old were you when you wrote your first song, and do you remember the name of it?
I was 13 and it was a song called Player about a boy (of course). I tried to use the theme of sports and getting “played.” It was an innovative idea but turned out so bad. Of course I thought it was great at the time! I have it now on my desktop in a Word file as a reminder of my early stages in music. It’s cute to read now.
How did it feel when you found out your song ‘I Don’t Want to Catch My Breath’ made a Top-10 debut appearance on the billboard charts joining the likes of Neil Young, Estelle, and Mick Jagger?
It was such an honor. I’ve received so much positive feedback from my new fan base who send such sweet messages, but it was really special to see some form of quantitative measurement of my music’s success. To have that measurement be Billboard, on a list alongside so many greats, was absolutely unreal!
In your young career what are some major difficulties you’ve had to overcome that in the end became a blessing in disguise?
I had plans to travel for 4-months at the beginning of this year and I had made those plans prior to making decisions about my EP. When we finalized everything, and scheduled a studio recording date I realized that being gone for those 4-months was going to be a huge challenge. It ended up being a blessing in disguise; because I had such an amazing experience, and everything came together with the EP. It gave me the time I needed to write outside of my usual life.
Life usually goes that way I’ve learned – things happen for a reason!
One day when you look back on everything, what do you want to accomplish with your music and your career as an artist?
I want to look back and know that I did right by everyone I worked with. Music evolves with time, but my character and integrity are what I want to remain unchanged throughout my career.
You have a lot of young fans, what is your message to them when it comes to facing their fears and chasing their dreams the way you have?
I’ve definitely said this before, but I think it’s important to do what you want to do and not worry about what people will say about you. I was so worried about what people would think about my music, particularly the people who didn’t know I was working on it. I quickly realized I shouldn’t worry because the people who really cared about me would support me no matter what, and those who didn’t weren’t true friends to begin with. I think that is great advice to anyone who is scared about pursuing their dreams.
What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
I’ll be performing my EP and continuing to write more music. Really looking forward to what’s ahead.
MORE OF NATALIE ALEXANDER
Find Natalie Alexander’s Latest Music:
EP out now on Spotify & iTunes
EP Link: http://smarturl.it/nataliealexander