A Q&A with... Natalie Holmes

photo c/o Natalie Holmes

It was last Monday when I met up with, singer/songwriter, Natalie Holmes in a little Café  after college for an interview. I have to admit, I was a little nervous to meet Natalie. I had met her briefly before, at her headlining gig, in December of last year, at a little church in Leeds and we have spoken a lot on Twitter and she very kindly chose me as a winner to have handwritten lyrics of a song of my choice. Her vocals are hauntingly beautiful and they are showcased on her two recent EPs 'Child' and 'The Simplest Things'. Natalie is very down to earth and just so darn lovely! Without further ado, I give you Natalie Holmes...

Hi Natalie, thank you very much for doing this interview! First question, have you always had an interest in music from an early age?
Yeah! I began learning classical piano when I was really little and I’ve always loved singing. I taught myself guitar when my brother started learning and I nicked his every now and then, and from then I started dabbling in songwriting!

How would you describe your sound?

I would describe my sound mainly as 'Pop Folk’, although I like the fact that there’s now a kind of ‘Singer/Songwriter' genre. I feel like I want people to like my music because of the lyrics, melodies and the meaning of the song itself rather than the category it fits in to.

Would you say there are any influences?

I would say every artist I listen to influences me in little bits. I’m usually inspired by songs more than the people performing them. Although, a lot of the people I am inspired by are musicians that I built my career alongside, such as Orla Gartland, Lauren Aquilina, Lewis Watson, Gabrielle Aplin, as it reminds me that starting from scratch on your own doesn’t make you any less likely to succeed than anyone else. These people are crazy talented and they work hard at what they do, so they’re getting places!

I saw you recently in Leeds supporting Gabrielle Aplin and then at your gig at Leeds Trinity Church in December. Do you have any tips or advice for live performances?

Do lots and lots of gigs. Before I came to uni I’d played one gig, to pretty much no one. I was scared to call up venues and promoters! Having musicians surrounding me in Leeds boosted my confidence a lot, and I just did a load of Open Mic Nights, so eventually when the bigger gigs came about, I was less nervous. I mean I was probably nervous for a minute or two when supporting Gabrielle at the O2 but it was so amazing it was mostly just excitement! You just have to keep reminding yourself that you're just playing music and you should enjoy it.

When you are writing songs, where would you say you get your inspiration from? Do you tend to write about personal experiences more than anything else?

I like writing songs that are easy to relate to and maybe even beneficial to the person listening. I do mostly write about personal experiences yes, as I think it's more powerful and ironically, other people feel they can relate to those songs. More recently I’ve been trying not to sugar coat my lyrics as much and make them more of a statement, to make them feel a bit more down to earth, however making words sound pretty and poetic is half the fun of it so I’ll never cut it out completely. Anyway yeah, lyrics are definitely my main inspiration if you hadn't guessed!

Lastly, you’re about to release your third EP soon, what else is next for you this year? 

Other than my EP, I have my University degree to finish and I’m applying for festival slots and trying to get as many gigs as possible down for Summer!  I’m still not sure I feel confident enough to have a headline tour yet, but I’m hoping to possibly organise one near the end of the year? I'm proper excited for my EP though right now!
Thanks again to Natalie for agreeing to take part in this little Q&A session. I thoroughly enjoyed our little meetup and cannot wait for EP number three!


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