British singer speaks to Time Out ahead of music festival
What are you up to at the moment? I’m in writing mode – writing songs is completely my favourite thing in the whole world. All my life experience to date comes out in music: it feels like magic. Somehow, experience fuels music.
Will it be your first time in the UAE? I’ve never been to the UAE or the Middle East before and I’m really excited. I’ve heard it’s a place where people know how to have a good time! I’m also excited to see my friends. I know Ne-Yo, Leona [Lewis] and Jay Sean. I’ve never met Taio Cruz, but I’m just longing to hang out with him. It’s funny we live so close but will meet up miles and miles away from home.
What are you most looking forward to? I’m on Twitter and there are a lot of people from the region who follow me, so I’m looking forward to playing for those fans for the first time.
Which of your own heroes intimidates you the most? Sometimes the people you’re a fan of aren’t always the people you’re intimidated by. I’ve met all sorts of people. There’s something about Samuel L Jackson – he doesn’t blink, that’s the secret of his acting, he holds your stare and that makes you blush. He’s really sound. I completely made a fool out of myself though – he lent me a DVD on the plane, a special preview copy of Let the Right One In, and my computer died and it was stuck inside – I just didn’t know what to do.
Why did you study psychology at university? I didn’t have a lot of life experience at 17 and I felt it was better than studying music – as a songwriter – because it would give me an impression of the mind. The problem was, of course, I got more confused. You realise how much you don’t know about the mind. The best way is to experience it yourself. You’ve got to get your heart broken and take risks in order to be able to write about it.
What was it like playing in a band with your siblings, Daniel and Nikola? It’s amazing to have siblings who are into music, you learn so much. I don’t know what my mum and dad were drinking, but somehow we all grew up loving music.
What are your pet hates? Injustice, racism... and anchovies.
Do you feel uncomfortable talking about your faith? It’s weird because I never talked about my faith. I grew up in the church. I have a very private faith, but for some reason I’ve got someone who puts things on Wikipedia about me. I don’t like people who push their beliefs on other people. Try to be spiritual – that’s my main goal. I just try to be a good person.
Natasha plays the Atelier Live Dance Arena on Friday April 6.