Natalia

Natalia

BandPop

Biography

19 year-old Natalia has the kind of wide-eyed beauty and infectious laugh that engage you from the moment you meet her. But as we all know, when it comes to the music industry, gorgeous looks and a sweet demeanour won’t get you anywhere unless you have the talent to back them up. Luckily for Natalia, she’s been blessed with that too, which is why, from here on in, you’ll be hearing a hell of a lot more about her. With killer tunes, a killer voice and - let’s face it - killer looks, it’s no wonder Girl’s Aloud invited her to support them on their 16-date stadium tour earlier this year.

Born in Wales to a Greek mother and a Lebanese father, Natalia is the middle daughter of three. She started performing from a young age and attended the local ballet school from the age of three, before winning a place at the esteemed Elmhurst ballet school where she studied ballet, jazz, contemporary and musical theatre. On leaving, she began dancing professionally, appearing in theatre productions around Europe and landing the role of a Greek dancer in the film Alexandra The Great.

Natalia’s achievements didn’t always go down well with her peers and she suffered bullying from a young age. She turned to music as a comfort and it became a form of self-expression. Natalia is now an ambassador for the young people’s charity UK Youth. “I had a really hard time at school, it’s not always easy fitting in. Bullying is harder to cope with than people think.”

Natalia began singing while at college and later joined a girl group called the Pussy Katz after being invited to audition. “The group didn’t work out for various reasons and around that time I met a producer called K Warren,” she explains. “I knew that singing was all I wanted to do and I would miss the buzz of performing, so after a lot of soul searching I took a chance and I went solo. I started recording songs, and I put some on MySpace and it totally blew up. It was crazy!”

So crazy, in fact, that Natalia’s page was getting seven thousand hits a day and her tracks soon reached number one on the MySpace R&B and Other charts. “I couldn’t believe it,” she smiles. “I had three songs on there and more and more people kept listening. I would sit there watching the counter go up open-mouthed.”

Word soon spread and representatives of record company Upper 11 - whose president is Mark Shimmel, ex-Arista and LaFace Records - went to one of Natalia’s gigs to see what the fuss was about. Needless to say, with interest growing daily and several record companies chasing her, a deal was soon on the table and Natalia signed with Upper 11 at the end of 2006. “It all happened too fast, but all at the right time,” she muses. “I never questioned anything that happened. I just went with it and trusted that it would all work out.”

Unsurprisingly, the cream of the music world has flocked to work with Natalia. As well as working with noted choreographer Paulette Minott (Sugababes, Rihanna, Girls Aloud) she has worked with some of the world’s best-known songwriters and producers.

The finishing touches are currently being put to her album, due for release early next year, and the contributors list reads like a who’s who of producers and writers. Among those who have worked their magic on her debut are Peter Zizzo (Avril Lavigne, J-Lo), Andy Marvel (Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion, Diana King), Jimmy Bralower (R Kelly Madonna, Britney Spears), Mike Mangini (Joss Stone, Run DMC, The Corrs), J-Remy (Kelly Rowland, Fatman Scoop, Fabolous), Itaal Shut (Jewel, Maxwell, Rob Thomas), Lil Eddie (P Diddy, LL Cool J) and K.Warren (Brandy, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera).

“I’ve got to work with some incredible people and it was such an amazing experience,” says a clearly thrilled Natalia.” I went out to America to work on parts of the album. They work differently out there and I learnt so much. It was much more demanding and it really challenged me as an artist, which I think in turn helped me to grow up and open my eyes to what the business is all about.”

Of course, Natalia can’t wait to unleash her album to the public. “It’s really eclectic and while there are some lovely, meaningful songs on there, there are also rock tracks and uplifting songs that are there purely for people to dance to. I’m influenced by everyone, from R&B to rock, and I wanted to express that on the album.”

Her debut single, Pretty Like Me – a stomping, pop and rock-heavy, tongue in cheek look at modern-day society’s obsession with looks – is set for release in February and will feature mixes by Bimbo Jones (Usher, Ciara). “The song is a reaction to all the pressure that’s on women to look a certain way. It’s really about self esteem, and about the way that women and girls can be subject to bullying for not conforming to an ideal. None of us are perfect and at some point we all need to back away from the pressure and realise that it’s okay to be who you are.” The video for the song, directed by award-winnin

Discography

"Pretty Like Me" - Single Released 4th February 2008

Album - Released Spring 2008

Set List

Pretty Like Me
Crawl
Cookie Jar
Perfect Day
Random