North London based musician, Natalie Shay, has emerged as one of London’s hottest and most promising new acts. She was accepted into the renowned BRIT school, which has heralded alumni such as Adele, Jessie J, and Katy B. Shay took her experience and training at BRIT school, and launched her solo career, and has performed to sold-out audiences at some of London’s esteemed venues, including The Roundhouse, Ronnie Scotts, Brooklyn Bowl, and O2. Her awards have included “Best Undiscovered Talent London Music Award,” Winner of The Guardian’s Music Award, and two-time winner of the Mayor of London Gigs. She has also shared the stage with iconic artists like Soul II Soul, Alex Francis, and Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock.
Classically trained on the guitar since the age of five, she shares that her earliest memories of being drawn to it were from her Dad, who “was the first person who got me into learning guitar. I remember quite clearly my first few lessons, and the first pieces I played. For years this was the only instrument I played. I didn’t teach myself chords until I was about eleven. Now, I play electric, acoustic, and I’m also pretty good at bass.”
Her recent single, “Yesterday,” has amassed may fans and streams, and when asked about what fans can expect from her next release, she simply says “more fun, upbeat indie pop.” In describing her writing and collaborative process, it depends “who I’m working with, because it’s different every time.” Her influences with her sound and writing have evolved over the years, and she explains that “Taylor Swift my first ever huge inspiration; she was who inspired me to begin performing with guitar in the first place.”
Shay has just started exploring with her music, and there’s more to explore with her sound, lyrics and eventual tour in the States, as she’d “love” to tour the U.S. “as soon as I can.”
Read her responses to our classic “Fun Questions” we asked below, along with her preferred gear she enjoys using and playing:
Who was your first concert, and do you have a favorite thus far?
Miley Cyrus in 2009 at the O2 Arena London. My favourite is probably Taylor Swift “Speak Now” tour.
What was your first album on CD and/or vinyl?
First CD was Kate Nash – Made Of Bricks
Which five artists or albums would you not want to live without?
Little Comets – every album
Taylor Swift – Taylor Swift, Fearless and Speak Now
The Vaccines – every album
Clean Cut Kid – Felt
Do you have a guilty music or entertainment pleasure?
Does “Glee” count?
Is there a guitar you prefer to play while recording, and one you prefer to play while performing live?
My main guitar is my acoustic Tanglewood, I always feel most comfortable playing this. I include it in recording if it fits the production, otherwise, I play it live all the time (smiles).
Is there a certain guitar you’re wanting to try and/or purchase?
There’s so many…Where do I start?