Alex Catarinella talks to Natalia Kills
It’s safe to say that there are a slew of powerful ladies currently ruling the pop music universe. But come September 3rd, when dark pop recording artist Natalia Kills releases her LP, ‘Trouble,’ some room will need to be made. At 27-years-old, the British musician already boasts quite the resume including a lauded debut album, 2011’s synth-heavy ‘Perfectionist,’ and traveling the globe playing sold-out arenas as an opening act for Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Robyn and more. But as you’ll soon hear via ‘Trouble,’ an opening act she is certainly not.
Instead of the dance floor-ready anthems prominently featured on her debut, ‘Trouble’ sounds like, well, trouble. There’s screeching guitar riffs and defiant drums; there’s visceral shouts and girl group “oohs”; there’s hauntingly honest lyrics about domestic abuse, visiting her father in prison (purchase her song “Saturday Night,” recently featured on Vogue.com, for proof) and even ending it all, in addition to runway-friendly bangers like “Problem,” where Kills sassily warns about herself over sirens: “That girl is a goddamn problem.” Backed by production from music heavyweights Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie, both of whom have worked with Kanye West, Lana del Rey, and Fun, ‘Trouble’ is like torn pages from Kills’ lifelong diary (Did we mention she writes all of her own music?). She also designed the album artwork for ‘Trouble,’ which finds Kills glamorously framed within a collage complete with cop cars, dripping pink nail polish and roses... all the while clad in a Prabal Gurung dress.
We caught up with Kills and chatted about all things fashion… and what kind of ‘Trouble’ to expect from the talented buzzed-about artist very soon.
Who taught you the most about “style”?
When I was really young my mother always wore a mink coat, clip-on gold and pearl earrings and short Versace dresses. She looked like Ginger from ‘Casino’ with all the Cartier bracelets and sunglasses! When I was a teenager, I had no money and I'd wear black all the time so people couldn't tell how expensive or cheap my outfit was… I dreamed of having nice things and would go try on clothes in designer stores even though I couldn't afford them, just to feel wrapped in luxury for a few minutes in the changing room.
What does elegance mean to you?
Elegance is everything! It’s not about how new or expensive your shoes are -- it's about how gracefully, playfully and powerfully you walk in them.
If you could raid anyone's closet, whose would it be and what would you take?
I'd raid Dionne's closet from ‘Clueless.’ She's the perfect mix of preppy rich girl meets bad ass. I'd steal her hat collection and all of her plaid mini skirts and blazers.
Describe your forthcoming album, ‘Trouble,’ in five words...
All my best mistakes yet…
Intriguing! Okay, spill more...
It's high impact bad girl anthems over hip-hop drums and grunge guitars. My friends call it "Girl Interrupted Pop" because in almost every song I'm confessing about something bad in my past -- stalking my ex boyfriend, trying to set fire to the house with us both in it, getting taken away by the police, visiting my dad in jail, leaving home at 15, making out with boys I'd never met before, suicide attempts and running away to Paris. Fun times…
What song from ‘Trouble’ is the most special to you?
My favorite song is “Saturday Night.” It's my life story in four minutes of music!
Going into the making of the album, was it your plan to reveal so much from your past? Why the need to do it now?
My first album was about wanting everything to be perfect when it really wasn't at all. ‘Trouble’ is realizing why things were so messed up and that most of it was my fault. I was wild and didn't understand consequences. Despite everything that's happened, I'm not trying to be fixed or saved. It's not therapy -- I'm not trying to get over the trauma, or even get better. I want to look in the mirror and see the scars as well as the beauty and think "Fuck yeah, these are mine and no one else's." This album is a confession -- it's me being naked in front of everyone, so they can see something that they thought was pretty rosy is actually just as much a mess as themselves. There doesn't have to be secrets or regrets -- the only mistake is trying not to make any.
And on a lighter note. What can we expect from your upcoming performances?
I just started rehearsing with my band! We're all girls, we're all hot and the guitarists can really shred…
Preorder Trouble here..