Natalia Kills always had a dynamic personality and trendsetting mindset, but there was a time where she wasn’t allowed to display it. The British electro-pop starlet originally had a recording contract in 2003 with Adventures In Music but the label stuffed her into a generic-looking box and pressured her to make cheesy tunes that didn’t reflect her magnetic attitude. As a result, she damn near quit the music industry.
“You always have your own perspective. You don’t get to 21 until the ‘Perspective Fairy’ comes and grants you with some kind of opinion dust and then, you get an opinion. You always have that,” the 25-year-old explains. “But nobody took me seriously and it’s quite frustrating to have the same potential, the same brain, the same creativity and the same ideas I have now. The difference [is] it was [nearly] ten years ago and I’m more defiant now.”
That defiance comes through on her full-length debut album “Perfectionist,” released via Cherrytree/Interscope/will.i.am. Music Group. Natalia Kills worked with an assortment of A-list producers including Jeff Bhasker, Theron Feemster, Martin Kierszenbaum, Fernando Garibay and Akon to create an elite premiere showing.
The British starlet draws on personal experiences and agonizing encounters to pen a captivating ten-track collection -- which debuted at #1 on the U.S. Heatseekers Albums Chart -- loaded with an assortment of dark, yet energetic, electro-pop bangers.
Aside from the hypnotic singles “Mirrors,” “Wonderland” and “Free” featuring her boss and Black Eyed Peas kingpin will.i.am., truth is Natalia Kills doesn’t provide one moment of filler material. It’s like this sexy songstress is a walking, breathing hit factory. Even records with more eerie titles, such as the mainstream-flavored “Love Is A Suicide” and the seductive “Zombie,” are dangerously catchy. In fact, those two might be the best on the entire album.
For Ms. Kills, “Perfectionist” has been a release of everything she’s bottled up over the years. “I just write about all the things that have ever hurt me to the point where I have to say my side,” she states. “It was either I was gonna die suffering from the pain of it or I could just get over it.”
But for the longest time, the starlet was expected to keep quiet and follow the script -- something that didn’t suit her particularly well.
Raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Natalia Kills got her first taste of the glitz and glamour as a child television star. She was a mainstay on the English sitcom “All About Me” and a regular on the radio-drama “The Archers.”
Despite her notoriety and success, however, she felt restricted in the acting world. “I had a very academic approach in doing the dramatic arts, but at the same time, I didn’t really enjoy it after a long time of doing it because I didn’t want to play a character. I was kind of a naughty actress,” she admits.
I think I really found my thing now. The best way to express myself is through music.
“I always wanted to change the character’s lines. I wanted to re-write the lines a bit myself to make the character cooler or hotter or more extreme. I wanted to wear my own clothes instead of what wardrobe the costume department got the character, but I think I really found my thing now. The best way to express myself is through music.”
Unfortunately, she experienced much of the same when she initially crossed over into the music world. Natalia Kills signed with UK record company Adventures In Music in 2003 and thought she found the perfect plug for her creative outlet. Instead, she had to answer to label heads that wanted her to follow the script and create safe, loveable, cheesy pop music. While the single “Don’t Play Nice” was released in 2005, she opted out of her contract. Adventures In Music would soon file bankruptcy and shut down.
“I left acting because I didn’t like to be somebody else,” she vents. “Like, I quit. I’m done. I just said, ‘You know what? I don’t wanna release anymore singles and I don’t want this album to come out because you keep changing my vision.’ So I stopped.”
For the next few years, she wrote for other artists and released a couple of songs on her secret MySpace profile under the alias Verbz. Then, in 2008, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton aired her track “Shopaholic” on his website. The blog mention would re-launch her music career and now, it was on a much larger scale.
“He bragged about it and it got two million plays online combined. Suddenly, I had all this kind of hype on the Internet,” she recalls. “I flew out to L.A. to see him and that’s where I met all types of producers and record labels. I met will.i.am., and will made a lot of music with me and he signed me.”
Now, the electro-pop starlet doesn’t have to portray some bland character or act like some label’s puppeteer. Natalia Kills can finally be herself with no strings attached.
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