Natasha Bedingfield Talks "Weightless", Summer Tour, Country Music, and More
Thu, 14 Jul 2011 08:34:13
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For Natasha Bedingfield's latest album Strip Me, simplicity was the name of the game. Rather than rely on the run-of-the-mill tricks of the trade and typical pop sheen, Bedingfield literally stripped all of the bells and whistles and got back to what matter most—the song.
"I really tried to condense it down to what makes a good song," says Bedingfield while on the road in Houston.
If anyone these days knows a good song, it's her. Just take a listen to Strip Me. The album floats to divine heights on the sonic bliss of "Weightless", and it sees Bedingfield solidifying her status as one of pop's premier presences. With her elegant delivery and knack for an unforgettable hook, Bedingfield remains one of the most engaging, enthralling, and elegant stars on the scene, and she shines brighter than ever on Strip Me.
Natasha Bedingfield sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about "Weightless", her current tour, country music, and so much more.
What's the story behind "Weightless"?
This is the basic premise of "Weightless". As humans, we're all on a quest to not get bogged down and let things get to us. There's a lot of heavy stuff going on in the world, so this song is about freedom and finding peace. I've had my own share of brokenness and burdens. For me, writing this song is a challenge for myself to become more weightless and less burdened by the little things that don't matter.
Is that theme prevalent throughout Strip Me?
The theme of the album is "Less is more", and the tour shares that name. I've stripped away some of the elements you'd usually find in a pop album. Sometimes, I feel like people try to load pop with as many sounds and tricks as possible. I try to keep it simple. Theme-wise, it's about our desires and how we connect as humans.
Do you feel like a song's message will be heard more clearly when it has more sonic space?
Exactly! It's challenging. This has been the most challenging tour I've ever done because I've increased the range vocally, so it gets a lot higher and lower. It's definitely more about the singing and musicianship. You can hear everything. It's a good challenge in that way. Everything has to be awesome on stage. I'm always on my toes because I literally run around the stage [Laughs].
How crucial is the album's actual track order to building this journey?
I want it to feel like an experience. It's like when you go to a live show. I put a lot of thought into the track order, and I want it to be an album that people buy which doesn't feel disjointed.
Did you always know "Recover" would close out the album?
On my first album, I had "Wild Horses" as the last track. I tend to put a ballad at the end. It feels like it wraps everything up. "Recover" was a very important song for the album, and it has a lot of significance to me.
Have you been inspired to write more lately?
I'm always writing. Whether it's melodies or lyric ideas, I write it all down. I have to record things instantly so I don't forget them, but I'm constantly thinking about what the next couple of years are going to be about. I also try to listen to a lot of different music. I love a lot of the music coming out of England like Mumford & Sons. I get very influenced by folk-y music like that and rock. I love listening to old stuff like Motown. At the moment, a new discovery of mine being in America is country music. I recently worked with Rascal Flatts, and our song together, "Easy", just hit radio.
What appeals to you about country?
I love the fact that in country music you can still write a song that's about something. It can be sad or happy, and it can be very honest. I love that they tell stories and have a sense of humor. There's always a play on words. It's very musical too. All of the musicians are very technically brilliant. Country music has retained a real integrity in terms of the quality of musicianship.
Would you want to make an album in Nashville?
I'd love to an album in Nashville. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's record made me really excited. I loved that they were joining genres.
What's your favorite Natasha Bedingfield song?
Watch our video interview with Natasha Bedingfield here!