NATALIA KILLS’ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE UNTITLED MAGAZINE

The Untitled Magazine - Music Issue 6

“I was living in a run-down motel in Hollywood for about a year and a half, trying to turn my writing into something. I had no money, but I used to go into this boutique that sold rare designer sunglasses and just try things on that I couldn’t afford. This man walked in and said, ‘Hey, you look like a star, what do you do?’ and I gave him some music. He introduced me to a DJ, who then took me to meet will.i.am. When Will signed me to Interscope, he took me back to that glasses store and bought me that exact pair I was wearing when the man walked in. Life is funny sometimes.”

A fairy tale? Perhaps. Though when you see English-born Natalia Keery-Fisher (aka Natalia Kills) with her heavy jet-black bangs, kohl-lined cat eyes, and signature black leather/gold jewelry aesthetic, you aren’t surprised. The 26-year-old musician-writer-singer-actor has been in show business since the age of nine and was only fourteen when she left home. “I had a lot of problems and needed to leave home and get my own place,” she explains, “So I got a job on television and found a little apartment in London.” She soon went on to write and self-produce her first album, Womannequin, which reached the top of the unsigned artist chart.

Her recent album, Perfectionist, was inspired by her rocky past. “When it all fell apart… after my dad went to jail and I moved out, I had joined a religious group and then got a boyfriend, trying to be a grown-up and find security in something. It turned out to be more like a cult, and it really messed with my perspective on everything, so when the boy broke my heart and treated me badly I just snapped.”

Her heartache only fueled her music further. “I only write about my own experiences,” she says. “I go back and confront what a mess I made of my life and all the bad things that happened to me. When I can write about the bad times, then fly around the world and be on the cover of magazines because of those songs, it’s like turning the worst moments of my life into the best ones!”

“For me, music is more powerful than anything in the world,” the inspired songstress tells us. “It transforms me… Transports me into hope and despair. Sounds and melodies have an impact on my emotions and thoughts so directly… It can say everything I feel without even needing any words. Since the beginning people have always made music. It’s another part of being human that separates us from everything else.”

Noted as one of the most watchable emerging musicians in 2013, check out her huge single, “Problem” and second full-length album, Trouble, out now via Cherrytree and Interscope Records.

Here’s the full-length, exclusive interview with Natalia Kills for The Music Issue:

Natalia Kills

Indira Cesarine: You’ve been in show business for a long time, when did you decide to transition from the acting industry into the music industry and why?

Natalia Kills: When I was fourteen I needed to leave home and get my own place… So, I got a job on television and found a little apartment in London. I had a lot of problems at the time, so it was a great solution, but I always wanted to be a writer. I never really wanted to play a character, I’m more comfortable being the creator than acting out someone else’s creation.

IC: What was your breakthrough moment?

NK: I was living in a run-down motel in Hollywood for about a year and a half, trying to turn my writing into something. I had no money—zero—but I used to go into this boutique that sold rare designer sunglasses and just try things on that I couldn’t afford. This man walked in and said “Hey, you look like a star, what do you do?” and I gave him some music. He introduced me to a DJ, who then took me to meet will.i.am. When Will signed me to Interscope, he took me back to that glasses store and bought me that exact pair I was wearing when the man walked in. Life is funny sometimes…

IC: Which aspect of music production do you like best, from writing and scoring to performing?

NK: I like writing. It’s hard sometimes because I only write about my own experiences and opinions, so I have to go back and confront what a mess I made of my life and all the bad things that happened to me. But when I can write about the bad times, and then fly around the world and be on the cover of magazines because of those songs, it’s like turning the worst moments of my life into the best ones.

IC: Your last album was titled Perfectionist, can you tell us how you came up with that name? Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?

NK: My last album was the first stage of me singing about my troubled years when it all fell apart… After my dad went to jail and I moved out I had joined a religious group and then got a boyfriend, trying to be a grown up and find security in something. It turned out to be more like a cult, and it really messed with my perspective on everything, so when the boy broke my heart and treated me badly I just snapped. I stalked him for a while, we would get back together and then the police would come and break up our arguments. I just badly wanted him to fix everything. I was obsessed with perfection because it was the one thing I’d never had. I always want what’s never mine…

IC: Do you have a favorite band or musician?

NK: Jeff Bhasker. That’s why I work with him, he’s the best!

IC: Who is the most inspirational person in the music industry?

NK: Gwen Stefani has always kicked ass. Her career and her beauty are definitely inspiring!

IC: Do you have a mentor?

NK: I work with the visual artist KESH on my project and I trust her vision as my creative director. She’s truly brilliant.

IC: If you could be any other musician or band who would it be?

NK: I’d never want to be anyone else.

IC: If you weren’t in music what would you do?

NK: I’d be homeless. Or back at that motel in Hollywood writing ideas on napkins!

IC: Your unique style has become famous, can you tell us about your fashion direction and how you came up with your “look”?

NK: I never feel fashionable! I often look back at super old photos think “Oh God!”. Sometimes I wish life had a Ctrl+Alt+Delete button!

IC: Who is your favorite artist?

NK: Salvador Dali! I’m in love with his mind. Looking at his work feels like you just took acid.

IC: Do you have a motto or words of wisdom you live by?

NK: You’re only as good as your last blow job. Joke! Not joking.

IC: What is it about music that you love?

NK: For me, music is more powerful than anything in the world. It transforms me… transports me into hope and despair. Sounds and melodies have an impact on my emotions and thoughts so directly. It can say everything I feel without even needing any words. You can go a lifetime without technology, surgery or many important things we have access to in this age, but since the beginning people have always made music. You can’t spend a day of your life not hearing it in some car radio, shop or someone humming their favorite tune. It’s another part of being human that separates us from everything else.

IC: What is your favorite song you have ever produced?

NK: “Saturday Night” from my new album Trouble. It’s my whole life story in one song…

IC: Is there a performance or tour that stands out as a highlight of your career?  Can you tell us about it?

NK: One time I was on tour with Katy Perry, my plane to Brazil was completely delayed and I was going to miss my stage time. After the thirteen-hour flight I got a call saying there was four hours of traffic en route to the concert, so they had a private helicopter waiting for me on the runway. I remember looking down over Sao Paulo at night and walking straight on stage to 25,000 screaming fans. I’ll never forget that!

Natalia Kills features in The Music Issue of The Untitled Magazine alongside Big SeanCassie, Charli XCX and more. Grab your copy at The Untitled Magazine Store.

Photography and words by Indira Cesarine.

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