Sound Check with Natalia Kills

Written by Steven Palmer

Natalia Kills Trouble CoverNatalia Kills has been killing the scene since she broke out just a couple years back with her beautiful face, her artistic music videos, her dark-pop infused style, her sultry voice, and her perfect mix of fashion in such wardrobe pieces that would make Lady Gaga wonder where to buy them for her next appearance. The highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2011 album, Perfectionist, her new album Trouble is full of lonely screeching vocals and apocalyptic guitars which propel her music into even wilder territories. My two favorite songs from this album would have to be “Stop Me” and “Saturday Night.” Even though they are two polarizing opposites in terms of sounds, as well as the story that each one tells, they both evoke personal feelings within my own life in which I can see plenty of people out there being able to identify with. Some lyrics from “Stop Me” which really stand out: “You know I never meant to drag you down / Standing at the bar with your scars and your lonely heart / So let’s leave this dead town.” You can just see yourself in a mood at a club with someone you like, but you know you’re hurt because you are letting your own past get to you.  In “Saturday Night” my favorite lyrical verse would be “I walk lonely streets and I talk big time dreams / So hold on before you see that you’re better off without me.” I think that although these songs are personal to Natalia, we have all been in similar situations

I had the chance to interview her live over the phone one-on-one, and I will tell you all how that interview went, now.

It was 1pm here in Detroit on a Thursday and the phone rang: it was Natalia Kills’ publicity manager in New York calling to tell me she’s going to wire me through to Natalia in LA. I waited and wondered how the phone chat would go as these can be very tedious and boring—thinking of things to talk about, and other stupid things such as “Oh, it’s probably 10am in LA, blah blah blah.” You know the feeling. What I was pleasantly greeted to was a cheerful, sultry voice saying hello and kindly asking if I could hold on a moment as I heard the click to her hotel room door and listened to her politely thank room service for bringing something up for her. This already says a lot about who she really is. How she treats others resonates with a subtleness of “I’ve been around people who don’t appreciate a thing you do for them,” kind of vibe, and she does appreciate them. She thanked her room service multiple times.

As the interview began, I noticed that this would not be the same, boring, awkward interview that is the norm. With a sharp-tongue which has deep, poetic answers to everything I had to ask and talk about, I suddenly felt like I was talking to a best friend that I just haven’t quite had the chance to catch up with in a couple of years. She laughed in her reminiscence of different places she’s lived, different designer outfits she has worn, and how busy she’s been. I feel like this is exactly the girl I’m looking at when I watch her videos: an in-your-face truth teller, with a splash of rawness, and a hint of vulgarity just to keep the conversation sane.

Upon bringing up my favorite song on her new album “Trouble,” I tell her “Stop Me” is the one I couldn’t stop playing. She was amazingly willing to spill all the details of telling me how the song is all about the time she spent living in Paris. She told me it’s based on her having gotten into “lots of trouble, running away, staying in hostels with hookers and prostitutes” and just being, well—crazy!

I asked her how she came out with the hard-pounding, beat-smashing song “Controversy,” and she explains that it had to do with being a way to tell people to “Stop fu**ing judging us, you don’t know us enough to judge us; it’s all based on television. Everything that we desire and contemplate is on the television. You’re going to judge us, then you’re going to treat us like shit . . . but it’s not controversial . . .it’s all stuff that you’ve heard, you’ve just never heard it coming from the same one story, or one-person. You’ve never heard it come from someone who is articulate. You’ve never heard it from someone who you think is cute, or beautiful, or funny, or who seems to have a perfect life now.”

I asked her what she thinks her next video will be. She replied that she hopes it will be for “Boys Don’t Cry.” She would like to work with a director that she’s never worked with before, someone who is new. She already has some ideas with how she would like the direction to go. Picture part Girl, Interrupted and part One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 

I asked her to come back and visit Detroit, one day. She said, “I will, I promise.” If she doesn’t, she’s going to be in “trouble.”

All-in-all, this girl really is trouble, but she offers it all up in a way that just makes you want to fall in love with the past that built the person and the life she led that shaped her persona. Top five picks off of this album for me would be: “Trouble,” “Stop Me,” “Controversy,” “Devils Don’t Fly,“ and “Saturday Night.”

Better go buy the album on iTunes!

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