Interview with Indie/Pop Singer-Songwriter Natalie Dean

 

Sally Flancer for BANGS!: Talk about how music has influenced you each individually in your daily living.

Natalie Dean: Music is in reality all I think about 24/7 and sometimes I admit I start to go crazy. I wish you could see what's inside my brain. Either I'm writing a song or I'll have a melody stuck in my head. It's funny, it's almost as if silence makes me uneasy because I'm so used to constantly listening to music. It's the first thing I'll pick up on in any environment especially in stores or restaurants. Music has an undeniable power to lift you up when you need a little lifting which is something that has always amazed me. I wouldn't choose to have anything else stuck on my mind. Of course, the life of any artist is not always conventional. My job doesn't involve a 9 to 5 routine. Usually, it looks more like this; I'll get up, start doing any work that I need to get done for the day to pay the bills, write for a few hours, practice my instrument, work on my social media platforms and branding, go record late into the night and do it all over again. 

Where do you find yourselves listening to music most often?

Natalie Dean: Honestly, I find that music is best listened to in the car. Keeping safety in mind of course but there's nothing like blasting your favorite song, singing at the top of your lungs, and going fast down the highway. I guess I could compare that feeling to the "runner's high" that athletes talk about. I've for sure never ever experienced a "runner's high" and I definitely won't be any time soon! Haha!

Current top 5 songs on your playlist?

Natalie Dean: Easy! I'd say "Lonely" by Noah Cyrus, "Old Time Rock & Roll" by Bob Seger, "Older Than I Am" by Lennon Stella, "River" by Leon Bridges, and "Light On" by Maggie Rogers. I've definitely had these playing on repeat for a good few weeks. Please listen to all five of these records! Pure smiles guaranteed.

What are your favorite brands to use when it comes to the instruments, mics, amps, pedals, and so on? Why do you favor them?

Natalie Dean: Oh goodness gracious see I definitely don't know the difference between one brand and another on the equipment side of things but I have a Rode NTK large-diaphragm condenser microphone which I love! I also really enjoy my Casio Privia keyboard! Other than that, I'm not your gal to ask for recommendations. I leave that to the smart guys at Sweetwater. 

Talk about your current project. Its conception. How it evolved. The storyline behind its development or any anecdotes that may have occurred during the writing/recording process? 

Natalie Dean: I just released my third single, "Damaged Parts" a few weeks ago. I wrote that song actually back in 2018 but I just recently felt like it was ready to be heard. I first tracked a demo for the song at Beaird Music Group in Nashville, Tennessee and from there it went through numerous studios and producers until it became what you can now listen to. The song talks about my broken relationship with my father due to his struggles with alcoholism throughout my childhood. It is a very raw version of myself but I am so excited to be able to share and connect on the topic with my listeners. 

Were there any conflicts during the recording process? If so, how did you as a band overcome them?

Natalie Dean: The creation of this track was a rather smooth one and other than it taking longer to release than expected, nothing really was difficult about the process. The only challenging aspect happened while I was writing the song itself. I went back and forth with whether or not it was ok to share such a vulnerable part of my life when it involved the story of not only me, but my father as well. I didn't want this song to come off as hateful or disclose too much of his personal life. I would never want to hurt my dad, I just thought that our story had to be told in order for my listeners to truly get an idea of where my songwriting comes from and who I am as an artist. I also want to be a voice for those who are going through similar situations and need to be reminded that they aren't in it alone. 

Is there a particular part you enjoy more than another in the process of a project?

Natalie Dean: I'd say the recording process is for sure my favorite! I can't truly explain the magic that you feel when you see your song come to life on the mixing board and monitor. I cry every time hear the final mix. Gosh, I really wish everyone could experience that feeling. Meeting the musicians that work and play on my records is also incredible. Imagine a room full of total creative weirdos vibing out for hours on end, blasting tunes. Yep, that's what it's like.   
How do you know when a song is done and ready to be taken to the recording studio and produced?


Natalie Dean: I feel like a song is never really ready to be taken to the studio. The lyrics and melody can be there, and you can have an idea of where you want the song to go, but until you work it out with other musicians and experiment a little, I don't think you can really call a song perfect as is. A song changes so much in the recording process alone and it would be a shame to block out the possibility of that creative change of direction.  


After finishing a song, do you ever think... I wonder if this person will know this song is about them specifically or will think that it is? Thinking how often Taylor Swift is known for relationship writing.

Natalie Dean: ALWAYS! I mean basically, every single song I write involves either someone else or how I feel about them. I write a lot of material about relationships and always include little details that only they would know  apply to them. Sometimes I'll throw in a date that they would remember or a specific memory. Call me crazy but I almost want them to know it's about them. Gosh, recording a song takes a ton of time, energy, and money so they might as well learn a little lesson from it. In real life, I'm pretty non-confrontational and hate to bring up drama. But in my songs, I can channel the side that I don't always show. Don't worry guys, if we know each other, I'll never use your real name, *wink*.



Looking towards the short and long term of where you might be currently- where do you see yourself as an artist/band in 2021 and beyond?


Natalie Dean: The dream of course involves a long road. As for 2021, I am hoping to start the year with my extended EP which I am currently in the studio recording. After its release, I would love to start playing out and put together a band to travel with if the pandemic takes a turn for the better. I will be working on building my community of listeners and hopefully be able to connect with them more personally than just over the internet. It's so hard to tell what will be possible and where the music industry will be in the near future, but I am optimistic that it will return to its normal self within time. I am so excited to share what I have in the works and I am sending every one of you reading much love and big hugs! 


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