English singer / song writer Natalia Kills is releasing her new hit single “Free,” which features will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, along with her new album, “Perfectionist,” later this week. Prior to her singing career, Kills made appearances as an actress for teen movies such as “Bring it on 4” and “Just My Luck”, which co-starred Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine. Kills was also featured on the soundtrack of the HBO’s “Entourage.”
While doing film work, Kills would go on to record “Wommanueqin” on her MySpace music page, which later caught the attention of famous blogger, Perez Hilton. Hilton loved it so much that he featured the song on his web site, which would later receive over two million plays. As Kills moved to L.A., more attention would follow as several producers wanted to sign her. Later in 2008, Kills would sign a record deal with will.i.am Music Group. She has also opened for famous names such as Kelis and the Black Eyed Peas, and has supported Katy Perry on her California Dreams Tour.
In our exclusive interview with the England native, Kills talks about various topics such as what makes her original as an artist, where the concept of her songs come from, how her music can reflect her inner feelings, her collaboration with will.i.am, the most difficult decision she’s ever made, and much more!
- Q: Your creativity and growth as a musician is what sets you apart from others in your field. What actions do you take to ensure that you remain yourself and don't get sucked into the [music industry] machine? - Sean Fitzgerald
- A: I write my music for myself about my own experiences. So, really, I’ve always said it, but music is cheaper than therapy. It’s me just expressing what I need to express to get it out there, so I can feel a little bit less crazy. So I don’t really focus on anything else. I think if you start watching chart positions, and how much money is in your bank account, and how many people are buying this and talking about you, that’s when you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. The best thing to do is to do what you love, because you enjoy it and not for financial gain or even for other people. And it’s selfish to say I only make my music just for myself and my own pleasure. But it’s the truth. And I’m very pleased that other people can enjoy it and be inspired by it.
- Q: How does your creative processing work? What do you do to come up with the concepts behind your songs and videos? - Mirsad Selmani
- A: Yeah, everything. I love to collaborate with other people as well, because sometimes I work with this genius director. And we co-direct all our videos together. And I also have a brilliant creative director. Her name is Kesh. We sit in a room together. Me, the director, Kesh, the creative director, and I tell them my idea: 'I want it to look like this. I want it to be like that.' And then they’ll throw ideas at me: 'What if when you’re here, like with the 'Free' video, posing and pulling all these faces, your hair is on fire. What if then you turn into a body builder. What if instead of stretching a dollar bill, we’re stretching your neck like an African princess.' So, yeah, I definitely love to collaborate. But it is my original idea because it’s my personal opinion or experience.
- Q: You seem to use word "stiletto" quite often in your lyrics. Why? - avtochelidze
- A: Isn’t it tragic? I didn’t even notice until somebody else pointed it out. Every song says the word 'perfect' and the word 'stiletto.' And it’s so unoriginal. Like I’ve said it 50 times.
- Q: Other than the song "Free," what is your favorite song on the album and why is it your favorite? - Alex Jackson
- A: At the moment, it’s “Kill My Boyfriend.” That’s my other favorite. The song basically describes myself in this situation where I had broken up with this lovely guy, because we were moving towns and stuff like that, and we weren’t going to be able to see each other anymore. And when he finally comes back, I’m actually engaged to a bit of an asshole. But, I’m supposed to be getting married, and then my sweetheart comes back, and I’m like, 'Yeah, I can’t wait for us to be together,' except I don’t know how to get out of this terrible commitment. So maybe instead of people thinking, 'Oh, she’s a slut, she ran off on her wedding night with one of her old fames,' I’ll just kill [the fiancee], and everyone will feel so terribly sorry for me and feel so pleased that I have someone else and that I’m not crying into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. So I decide to kill my boyfriend so that I can be with the love of my life. Honestly, I’ve had that thought so many times. Not to actually pick up a kitchen knife and go at the heart or anything. But I’m just saying, I’ve had that thought so many times where it’s like, 'Shit, I’m actually committed to all the wrong things, and now I’m going to miss this opportunity to find happiness, because this is happiness not what other situation I’m in.' I feel like a lot of people have had that feeling as well, where you feel like it would almost be easier to kill somebody than to break their heart. Anyway, can we just change the subject? Because I’m sounding like a psycho [laughs]!
- Q: You're music sounds dark and mysterious at times but fun and relaxed at other times. Does this reflect your personality? - Jessica
- A: Yes. Absolutely. I write my songs about all my personal experiences and my opinions. And, that is definitely how I am. I don’t have a split personality, it’s just that everyone reflects on different moods when you’re going through different experiences, and that’s what I put in my music.
- Q: Tell us a little bit about your collaboration with Will.i.Am on “Free” and how that came about. - Erik Meers
- A: I made the song years ago, and it was one of the first songs I made for my album “Perfectionist,” and I made it close to the time I made “Zombie.” Will had asked me how the album was coming along, how had the work been with other producers, and when I told him it was close to the final album, he really loved the song, and he jumped on it. I was so excited, and then when they said, 'Oh, you should make a video for it,' I was like, 'Yeah, okay, great, except I’m at the opposite side of the world to Will. So how are we going to do that?' But we made it happen anyways. So it was fantastic.
- Q: Tell us about how you made the video happen. - Erik Meers
- A: Actually, I had this idea that it would be like a Vogue photo shoot on acid. You know it’s so funny, because I wrote the song when I was a waitress, and I had given up a really good job actually to be a songwriter, and I was a starving artist at the time. I had all these events coming up where I kind of needed to meet people and be seen. I used to go to the Flea market in London—Portobello Market—and I could buy a whole outfit like a vintage dress and some vintage earrings for probably like $30. You know how in L.A. and in New York, it’s very designer, name brand based and stuff? Even though it wasn’t that, I felt absolutely fantastic, and I wanted to make a song about feeling almost like I was free of my possessions kind of possessing me. I wanted to make a song that just expressed that no matter what, money and style are completely unrelated. Because fashion is so silly. We all love it, and we all fall for it, including myself. I’m such a sucker. But, it’s absolutely preposterous. It’s ridiculous that every three months we’re supposed to entirely buy a new closet and that we feel bad for wearing things twice or too many times in a row. It’s ridiculous. So I wanted to make a video that kind of made a mockery of all of that.
- Q: Do you know when the second season of your online show "Love, Kills xx" will be coming out? - Jonathan Alexander Ayaz
- A: I know when it’s coming out, but no one is going to be pleased with the answer. It’s coming out when I finish it. But, I’m always on tour, so I have probably like three episodes left to finish, maybe four. And I don’t want to make them haphazardly and have one episode where it’s just shit, and I’m backstage at a venue. Why would I do that? I can’t do that. I’m going to finish it. I promise. I just don’t know when.
- Q: What is the most difficult decision you've made in your career? - Joseph-C Castillo
- A: In my career, the most difficult decision is to know that you could be making money and have huge popularity doing something that you don’t really want to do or you can stick to what you’re doing and hope that people enjoy it and buy it, so you can keep doing it. I made the decision to do it that way where I took a risk and I put all of my ideas and stuff down rather than say, 'Let’s get a bunch of people who are specially designed to make hits, and I’ll only pick songs that sound like number one smashes.' That’s not honest to me. I don’t care about guaranteed number one. I care about my feeling of being number one at what I do for me.
- Q: Who is your biggest inspiration? - Kavian
- A: My grandmother is my biggest inspiration. She raised me. So I call her Mum. So, I’d say my Mum is my biggest inspiration.
- Q: Apart from those you've already worked with, which producer would you most like to collaborate with on a track and why? - Lyle Anderson
- A: Oh my God, this is so hard. How about we say Kanye West? First of all, the man says he’s a genius. And I believe it. I really think he is genius. I think he’s brilliant. I love him. I love his work. I think his whole thing is just amazing, and he’s really talented. But you know Jeff Bhasker produced most of my album. He produced “Free” and “Nothing Lasts Forever” and “Heaven” and “Zombie.” He produced "808s and Heartbreak." He produced Watch the Throne, which is kind of Kanye. So I think to take it to the next level with my music, the graduating sound would be to work with Kanye.
- Q: Do you speak Spanish since you have a Uruguayan mother? Would you ever consider reaching to your latino audience? - Gerry Olmos
- A: Before my mother died, I did speak Spanish all the time. And now it’s been so long since speaking Spanish with anybody. My Spanish is really rusty, and I had started learning French. So now I like speaking in French all the time, and I speak to my French friends in French as much as possible. But, I definitely will brush on my Spanish, and I will reach out to my Spanish friends.
- Q: If you could give one message to all of your fans what would it be? - Daniel Orr
- A: Break up, and buy my album, Perfectionist. Because Perfectionist is the manual to teach you how to break up and not feel bad about it.
- Q: Did you break up with your current significant other? - Erik Meers
- A: Yeah, and all that other stuff.
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