• 14 Jul, 2024

In Conversation with Nathalie King: An Artist’s Journey from Jazz to Electro Pop

In Conversation with Nathalie King: An Artist’s Journey from Jazz to Electro Pop

Q:To start, please introduce yourself and tell us about your journey as a music artist. How did you get started in the music industry, and what inspires your musical passion?

A:I’m Nathalie King, a singer-songwriter from Germany, based in Toronto. I started playing the alto- saxophone when I was 9. Then I took vocal training when I was 16 and sang in lots of bands. The Hot Cookies was a Motown cover band in Germany that had some success and I liked being part of that project. I also sang jazz with trios at bars. My music journey took a detour when I started film and animation school because my parents told me to do something real with my life. After moving to Toronto, I worked as a graphic designer and started writing my own songs on the side. And because of my love for the visual arts I started focusing on sync placements and got my songs into tv/ film and commercials. I now write music for libraries in the UK that place those songs on trailers. And I take on commercial vocal gigs and write my own songs. I get inspired in nature, and I always feel the need to write to get emotions off my chest, especially sad stuff.


Q:How would you describe your unique musical style, and what themes or emotions do you often explore in your songs?

A:It’s hard to define a genre because I don’t want to box myself in. I’d say it can get categorized as electro pop or trip hop even. I write songs as my way to deal with tough times. So most of the songs are about heart break, mental health, some epic stuff or some made up stories.


Q:Who are some of the musicians or artists who have significantly influenced your music and contributed to your creative vision?

A:I started off learning jazz, so I fell in love with old school singers like Julie London, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin. Later I discovered amazing singers that had alto voices just like me. Tina Turner and Toni Braxton. When I discovered Trip Hop and artists like Hope Sandoval, that whole genre resonated a lot with me and I felt that was the direction my voice wanted to go.


Q:Can you share insights into your songwriting process? Where do you find inspiration, and what subjects or stories do you enjoy exploring in your lyrics?

A:My brain! My emotions! I really write songs because it hurts less when I get my sadness and anger out into a medium. Songwriting and singing is a form of therapy for me personally. I mean since ancient civilizations the voice is the oldest instrument and has been used in many (healing) ceremonies. Everyone has a voice, try it, singing opens the heart chakra and you feel so good and connected after.

I typically have a vocal melody pop into my head or sometimes I sit at the piano and play some chords or notes and then I sing a melody to those. Piano has a sad undertone to me and opens the flood gates of emotions for me to then sing to.


Q:Looking back on your music career, what are some of the most memorable moments or achievements that stand out to you?

A:I had the honour to meet wonderful and down-to-earth human beings that I worked with and became friends with. So far my two recent highlights were getting “Beautiful Soul” placed in an impactful scene of Howard Hall’s underwater documentary “Soul of the Ocean”. I used to watch his ocean movies in IMAX when I was a kid. What an honour to have been part of this project. And I got to work on a single “Taking Chances” with Mozez from Zero7, one of the trip hop bands that I listened to and influenced me when I was younger. My favourite album of theirs was Simple Things. Again, very humbled that I got to work with Mozez and his producer Tom Wright.


Q:Visual elements are important in the music industry. How do you approach the visual aspects of your music, including music videos and album artwork?

A:I am a learned animation artist and graphic designer, that’s my day job and my passion as well so I do the artwork for my music releases myself. I also direct my own music videos and animate them. I did a paper cut stop motion video for my single “Suckr for Love”, that went around to international film festivals. Only took 4 months to make that stop motion video haha


Q:How do you perceive your artistic growth and evolution since your early work, and what creative directions do you envision for your music in the future?

A:I feel like I have grown a lot in terms of fine tuning my vocal skills, teaching myself some piano chords and lyric as well as melody writing. My style also changed quite a bit. I started out in bands singing cover songs. I did Motown and jazz mainly. When I started writing my own stuff it was leaning more towards indie jazz, then took a turn to indie Pop and currently it’s more experimental electro pop/ trip hop. Who knows what the future holds, I believe in learning and growth and I know that I want to experiment with learning how to produce myself and implement interesting sounds, nature sounds, and real instruments into my future creations.


Q:Lastly, is there a message, philosophy, or piece of advice you'd like to convey to your fans and to aspiring musicians who admire your work.

A:You can do anything you put your mind to. Our reality is subjective, and it’s shaped by your thoughts, your actions, your reactions and your habits. Life can be tough, the music industry is tough but what’s most important is how you react to it. Understanding how your mind works and taking great care of it affects how you lead your every day life and the things you can achieve. Remember, what you put out into the world is what you get back - from a quantum physics point of view and a spiritual perspective. And it all starts in your mind, the mind you have to learn to control, not letting it control you.

Valerie W.

Valerie is the writer of Wavy Music Magazine, a premier destination for music industry professionals. Through her interviews, reviews, and expert insights, she keeps readers up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the world of music.