The year is 2018. You’re the main protagonist in a coming-of-age, indie romantic comedy. You’re getting ready for school in a fun little montage where you change your outfit multiple times and you don’t know what to do with your hair. You don’t know it yet, but however you look, your unrequited crush is going to notice today and smile at you. Everything feels right with the world. Until the moment you inevitably do something quirky or clumsy or whatever the movie requires.
Maybe this specific, cinematic experience wasn’t the inspiration behind up-and-coming singer/songwriter Natalie Shay’s latest single, “This Feeling” but it is close to it. The song, whose sound I can best describe as reminiscent of the way sunrays look when they reflect off the ocean in the late afternoon, is a heartfelt song about how exciting young love can be.
And although the song may not have been created with the intention to be compared the (indie) rom-com genre, Natalie does share that if “This Feeling” could be featured in any movie of that genre, she’d want it to be a movie similar to two of her favorite movies: Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Wild Child.
“I love upbeat band-led music, it’s my favorite kind so I supposed this is what inspired the overall mood of the song,” Natalie says. “It left doors open for a lot of things relatively in terms of guitar parts to the artwork to the music video.”
The music video, available to watch here, includes Natalie singing at a cafe while a butterfly guides a teenager to the venue to meet their love interest. “George O’regan was the brains behind it. There were many people involved in the making of it, but George was the one who came up with the idea,” she shouts out the director (and fellow BRIT school alum). “I think it represents the story to the song well, whilst also being a masterpiece of its own. I like the way its a piece of art and short film without the single being a part of it. I’m so happy with it and I want everyone to see it!”
I’ve really enjoyed the whole process of recording through to the release of this song, I hope the efforts and fun this single has brought are conveyed to the listener.
Having released songs prior to “This Feeling” is considered the leading single for her upcoming music. “I hope that it’s memorable and fresh. I’ve really enjoyed the whole process of recording through to the release of this song, I hope the efforts and fun this single has brought are conveyed to the listener,” Natalie shares.
Met with rave reviews so far, Natalie has been met with wonderful responses including receiving a video from a friend of their dad singing the song in her kitchen. And with “This Feeling” setting expectations for the rest of her upcoming music, she says that there’s so much of it to come and it’s hard for her to hold back from sharing it.
“I hope it relates to men and women of all ages with all kinds of experiences,” she explains about the type of music she makes. “I hope people can enjoy it and also connect to it. As a songwriter, this is my main focus and goal with my songs and especially lyrics.”
Everyone who goes there is so different, it’s nice to see my friends doing what they love now we’ve left.
First realizing she wanted to be a singer/songwriter listening to Taylor Swift’s first two albums, Natalie is also inspired by another BRIT school alum Kate Nash. “We went to the same school,” Natalie starts when she cites Kate Nash as an artist whose career she looks up to. “She’s very real, she writes bangers, she’s honest, brilliant live, and stands for what she believes in.”
Having gone to BRIT school herself, she credits the experience for encouraging independence and creativity in her work. “There’s definitely an element of pressure although I think it’s useful as it gives me the drive to work and focus. It definitely helped me choose the path I’d like to take. Everyone who goes there is so different, it’s nice to see my friends doing what they love now we’ve left,” she says about the school. Besides her, Kate, and George, the BRIT school is also the former stepping grounds of Adele, Jessie J, and Katy B.
When it comes to writing her own music, Natalie begins with developing the chords, then the melody, and then the lyrics which she says are usually inspired by the overall feel of the song, “I often write about my emotions or things I feel passionate about, I think this is important for a songwriter or artist to do. It’s nice to express myself and share my stories, hopefully, other people can relate to them.”
It’s nice to express myself and share my stories, hopefully, other people can releate to them.
She gives two examples of how she puts herself into her songs. One when she discusses an autobiographical lyric of hers and another when she thinks about the most surprising theme/emotion she’s written about.
Natalie quotes the lyric, “We forget, who gave us everything so we seek sweet serenity in a cigarette.” She explains that the lyric has a deeper meaning than just what can be implied at face value, “[I] hate smoking and getting both my parents to give up was a big part of my life. I’m very proud that they have.”
“My song, ‘Waiting at the End’ is about my general views on society and the things I feel passionate about,” she hints at an upcoming song.
Aside from the BRIT school, Natalie has also been classically trained at guitar since she was five years old. “My dad is very into music,” Natalie exclaims when discussing her musical environment growing up. “He’s the one who got me into learning classical guitar [at] age five and always encouraged me to enjoy music as much as him.”
Natalie Shay’s Mini-Playlist for Readers [Listen Here]:
Paradise – George Ezra
I Can’t Quit- The Vaccines
Glue – Fickle Friends
Desire – Everything Everything
Dissolve Me – alt j
This Feeling – Natalie Shay (lol)
Little of Your Love – Haim
Common Things – Little Comets
‘This Feeling’ is available on all streaming sites and iTunes.
(photo cred: Ric Flo)