In the music industry, publicists, journalists and bloggers often compare new artists to established older or semi-new ones as a point of reference. Some see that as a band thing, but not rising pop star Natalia Kills. How could she be offended? She's been told she resembles uber hot Nicole Scherzinger and dubbed the next Lady Gaga. "It's nice to be compared to really successful women in pop. It's nice that they see huge potential in me," the singer/songwriter and actress born Natalia Keery-Fisher said in an interview earlier this month.
Natalia isn't just being compared to female pop superstars. She's actually keeping company with them. The West Yorkshire native has already opened for Ke$ha, Kelis, and Robyn, and recently boarded Katy Perry's "California Dreams" tour in support of her debut album "Perfectionist" which was just released in the states. The album's first single and music video -- "Free" featuring will.I.am is already creating buzz. I chatted with her days before the album was released in the U.S., and discussed her music, her message, and... Michael Bay mayhem?
Jon Chattman: You've made a career of opening up for amazing female artists. That must have been a thrill, right?
Natalia Kills: I definitely like performing to a crowd that's there to see a female hero.
JC: "Perfectionist" is about to be released in the states, but you've had some success around the world and even here...
NK: I'm really excited. I had released kind of a buzz single called "Mirrors" and it hit #3 on the Billboard Club tracks here. It was such a huge surprise. It went top five in so many other countries. I'm so excited to promote my new single "Free" now. It's a good representation of my music. I wrote it a few years ago when I was a waitress and all I just wanted to do was go shopping no matter how much or little money I had.
JC: How would you describe the rest of the album -- going beyond "Free." Similar vibe?
NK: It's dark pop but I don't think it's dark in that it's creepy depressing. It's more opinionated lyrically. I suppose it feels like Alanis Morrisette or Kate Bush. It's the joy of wanting everything when you have nothing, and the loss of a perfect relationship when you're in love and you just have to destroy them. It's extreme ideologies: trying for perfection in an imperfect world. It's talking about your problems, hysterical insecurities, and bad decision we've made and not having to hide it. We can celebrate through it. It makes us stronger.
JC: That said, songwriting comes naturally to you I take it?
NK: Luckily I've had a lot of shit experiences in my life so I can now honestly write poignant and pain-sticking albums. Hopefully, there are a lot of other heartbroken people who can relate. I can't draw upon a non-experience. It's either my opinion or I've been through it. I definitely can't make up a feeling or a character. All the best parts of art come from pain turned to celebration.
JC: Do you feel a sense of competition with the other female pop artists?
NK: I don't think it's a competition. Just the way there are many movies out a year, many of them do very well, often ones win the Oscars but they definitely didn't get as many box office views as the big family comedy action movie. It's not a competition. The poignant heartfelt movie is meant to win an Oscar and it's not a failure it didn't get as many views as Transformers. And Transformers might never win an Oscar for being moving, but it's big and entertaining and people see it.
JC: That's a good analogy. Off topic, I must say... Transformer 3 is pretty painful.
NK: Is it? I haven't seen it. I saw the first and thought it was OK. With the second, I was like 'what the hell? My eyes have been raped!' There were just too many fights, and metal that I felt like a stupid person. My brain was fried by this fast moving barrage of menacing incidents. I couldn't do it. I do want to see the third one for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She's just beautiful.
JC: That she is... last question -- if you were a wrestler, what would your name be and what would your finishing move be?
NK: I would be The KillaNaut, and I would do like a flying kick with my seven-inch stilettos into the back of girls' heads, and then they'd fall in slow motion like a Tekken move. That's how it would be, and I'd land perfectly, waving my muscular arms saying "Yes, I won guys. Aren't I fantastic?"