Natalise is Ready to "Play"
Hailing from San Francisco, Burmese pop/R&B singer, Natalise has been making her mark in the music industry. She is definitely a triple threat, having brains, beauty and of course, talent! She has taken the world by storm. She's been recognized by Maxim and Blender, done a photo shoot for Baby Phat and recently Natalise's album, I Came to Play, won Best Dance CD of 2005 by MuseMuse.com. Her single "Get Me Off" has been receiving a lot of attention after debuting on the DJ Times Top 40 chart. Natalise took some time out of her busy schedule to talk about her album, her thoughts about her career, current projects she's involved with and clearing the air about what her single, "Get Me Off" is really about.
I am just me... no hidden facets. With this album, I share everything and I put it all out there. Take it or leave it.
ASIANCE: What was it about the singing profession that made you want to sing?
Natalise: I've always loved to sing. I don't know if it was the actual "profession" that attracted me necessarily. I just love music. I love to write and I love to perform; and what better than to make a career out it?
ASIANCE: Were your parents supportive of your choice of becoming a singer?
Natalise: Yes, my parents are the coolest parents ever! They have always taught me that in life it's important to be passionate about what you do. So they are totally supportive of my goals. The only thing they really wanted me to do was complete college. So I finished in three years benefiting both of us - “ I got the job done and I go out of there ASAP so that I could work full time in music!
Natalise's latest album "I Came to Play"
ASIANCE: Being of Burmese descent and rarely seeing any Burmese hit the American music scene, how does it feel to be this successful so far?
Natalise: Any success that I have ever had, I am very grateful for .. this is regardless of my race... it's just a tough industry to be in. I can't speak for the whole Burmese or even Asian community but there are fans who come up to me at the shows and say that they are grateful that I am out there doing my thing. I think some Asian-American fans are just happy to see a face to which they can relate to.
ASIANCE: What do you think makes you unique in comparison to a lot of other Asian American female singers or female singers in general?
Natalise: I try not to compare, so I will just say this... I am just me... no hidden facets. With this album, I share everything and I put it all out there. Take it or leave it. I certainly wasn't trying to make everyone like me... it's one of those albums where I think people really like it or don't.
ASIANCE: Who have been your musical influences?
Natalise: I love Brian McKnight, Janet Jackson (the Janet album is still the best album ever), N.E.R.D., Missy Elliot, Christina Aguilera, Jason Mraz, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, ... I could go on and on... my first and ONLY record (like vinyl record) that I bought was Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl."
Natalise thinking about personal experiences.
I remember that at the time I also really liked Madonna's "True Blue" album. But I just love music in general. Who didn't like the New Kids on the Block and Lionel Richie? But, I guess since those days, I've really liked anything that was a little left of center.
ASIANCE: Where do you get inspiration to write your songs?
Natalise: Personal experiences. Every song has something to with a true event or experience.
ASIANCE: Can you talk about the release of your album? What can listeners expect to hear from your album?
Natalise: This album has been a long process and definitely a learning experience. I put EVERYTHING in the album. While I have been accused of having multiple personalities because of it, I think it's just a reflection of me. I think that reflection is no different than anyone else in the sense that everyone has various facets of their personality. But parallel to that idea, there are different styles of music in it. People get confused as to how to categorize it... there's a little bit of pop, a little R&B, a little hip-hop, a little rock. But I love it! I think it's a great feeling to be so behind and so personally invested in the music that I make.
ASIANCE: Being a public figure in the Asian entertainment industry, as well as in the music business in general, do you feel the pressure to be a role model for people who look up to you?
Natalise: No, I don't feel the pressure to be a role model. You know, again, I think it's absolutely wonderful when I get a letter from someone who says that I'm their role model. But I don't try to be one. I'm just doing my thing and if someone is encouraged by that or looks up to that, then I am grateful that I have touched them. But I wouldn't forego doing something that I wanted merely because it might decrease the chances of being a "role model." I'm a musician first.
ASIANCE: Being in the music business for awhile now, do you think that image is a big part of being successful in the industry? Or, do you think it's a combination of image and talent?
Natalise: Oh, I'd be lying if I said that image doesn't matter. Of course it does. But in the end, you have to have some kind of talent to back it up. But then again, it might not have to be music talent, either. (smiles)
ASIANCE: What are you currently doing besides touring to promote your album?
Natalise: Right now, my music career is taking a front seat to everything else. But I have always been interested in acting and screenwriting. Besides the career stuff, I am currently mentoring kids who have a passion for music. They are able to go with me to events and talk with me about how to pursue their goals, etc. It's been very fulfilling.
ASIANCE: What are your plans for your singing career?
Natalise: I hope to make music for a very, very long time.
"Get me off"
I would like to perform forever too. Then I can retire like Celine Dion and live the posh life in Vegas. (smiles) No, I'd probably be in Italy.
ASIANCE: What do you hope to accomplish as a singer?
Natalise: My ultimate goal is to perform at sold-out stadiums across the nation and then the world. That would be awesome.
ASIANCE: What advice can you give to those who want to break into the music scene?
Natalise: Just be passionate about what you can do. If you aren't passionate about it, don't do it. Life is too short. But once you DO find your passion, pursue it, and then work you're a** off. And enjoy the ride.
ASIANCE: Any last thoughts you'd like to express?
Natalise: I would like to clarify something. People always ask me what "Get Me Off" is REALLY about. So, I'll make the statement here. It's about a lot of things. It's about female empowerment. It's about saying "F**k you... just read the lyrics. What it's NOT about is sex. Sex is just the metaphor. When you say "F**k you" to someone, you aren't really talking about "f**king," are you?
Visit www.natalisemusic.com for more information on Natalise!