Hi Natasha, you’re back! Tell us what you’ve been doing since your last self-titled album in 2014?
Hey, well I have been lucky enough to be gigging a lot! My House music has kept me performing live in clubs all over the world and my soul music has had me performing with my live band and doing some amazing support slots. I managed to bag the Gladys Knight UK tour which saw me perform at The Royal Albert Hall no less. I’ve also supported Shalamar and Betty Wright too.
The album title, 2nd Time Around, is that in relation doing this album? What does that mean to you?
Yes 100%, I came up with name as the first album did not have title and l took some criticism for that, so l wanted to make sure this time the album not only had a name but a meaning for that name.
Many artist experience a path of growth and development just before releasing new material. What has been your story of growth and how has this album developed from it?
I think for the first album l was just super happy to be putting out the album. The songs were for different parts of my life and stories l had been keeping until l was ready. I truly believe this time round l have thought so much more about the direction of the album and the sound. l took working with Gladys as inspiration and l looked at her audience decided l wanted to make music that would have the soul sound, but would appeal to a wider audience too. When l looked at who l wanted to work with, the choices l have made totally work as l believe there is something for all on this album – from the songs to the melodies, l think my sound has grown and developed.
There is one track on the album which got my attention, your duet with Omar, totally amazing song. How was that experience, collaborating with him?
Ahh thank you, l really can’t put into words how great that experience was for me. Omar is one of my heroes in the UK music scene, just him alone agreeing to do the duet blew me away, let alone the sound and song we created! Thanks to Richard Earnshaw for the outstanding track, Omar and l had such a good working chemistry on ‘Insatiable’, that l can’t wait to hopefully do it all again one day.
Name three other artists you would love to work/sing with?
Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder and Maxwell.
You finally got sing at the Southport Weekender last year albeit the a very emotional finale, any plans for SuncéBeat in the future?
l have now sung there 3 times, it’s really strange as l was chasing that dream for year and then for 3 consecutive years l got to perform. l actually still can’t believe it! l would love to perform for the gang in Croatia, so who knows l guess l will have to watch this space!
You recently toured with Gladys Knight – tell us about that experience.
The lady is amazing, l just hope that when I am her age l can deliver the way she does. l learned so much from her on the tour, it’s impossible to put into words that kind of lesson. l still can’t believe some of the venues l’ve performed in!
Who is your biggest musical influence?
Stevie Wonder hands down, l can’t tell you how inspirational he is to me, his song writing is what gets me. Here is a man who has never seen anything in his life yet he can write the most beautiful songs with such meaning as if he had seen it for himself. That is an amazing skill and l love him!
Who do you like to listen (musically) when you have the spare time?
Everything, as long as its good, it’s mostly a lot of old sounds as l love this. From Reggae to soft Rock, l have it all on my player.
Where will you be performing next?
l have a few weeks off now and my next performance is actually with Omar at The Reading Jazz Cafe 4th of June, then the next date with We Love Soul and the week after with my band in Bournemouth and Canvas 10th June!
When you’re not performing and writing what do you to to relax?
I love spending time with my husband, our kids are grown up now so we really do like each others company and we travel a lot ….. I love the idea of building memories and not bank balances, so we are working out way through our bucket list!
Natasha Watts ‘2nd Time Around’ album is out now on SedSoul.