Natalie West is unique. Her brand of Amy Winehouse soulful street smarts and dirty rock ‘n’ roll unlike anything you’ve heard before and into that mix she has thrown reggae, blues and some very modern urban hues, all adding to a gloriously individual palette of vibrant colours and moods.
With frequent appearances on all media and sessions for BBC radio, along with a lot of featured airplay on Kerrang! Radio, Natalie and her band Indya are one of the hottest properties on the circuit.
With an extensive touring history behind her, including several huge festivals, articles in all the main rock press and some jaw dropping collaborations in the pipeline this year was going to prove to be the biggest yet for both the singer and her band.
Like everyone in the industry, the current situation with the virus has changed the whole world and taken the ability to get out there and earn through touring away from the hugely talented singer/songwriter.
There’s a raw honesty in everything she does and that’s very much reflected in our discussion about how she’s feeling about things at the moment. As with artists like Beth Hart and Kim Jennett, here’s an incredibly brave and open female singer laying her soul bare, dealing with life as best she can after both health and career setbacks.
Stronger than she knows it, West is an inspirational and charismatic figure who, you’re sure, will come out of this all a little battered and bruised but certainly not defeated. A survivor in life, it seems that what wasn’t achieved this year will be more than made up for in 2021.
First off, and most importantly: How are you doing?
I’m not too bad thanks for asking. It seems to be we are all going through an outlandish time right now with the lockdown. I think a lot of people are feeling unnerved in this kooky capricious circumstances. I have been feeling bewildered with all my gigs and festivals cancelled. This year is pretty much written off. So, I’m feeling lost. And like I have no purpose now. It is difficult trying not to fall into a whirl of dreariness. I have had mixed feelings of sadness, turbulence, enmity, alleviation. How have you been keeping yourself busy?
I have been doing lots of paintings. I got an A* in my GCSE Art at school and have always loved drawing and painting. Being creative. I have been busy painting some of my idols on a wall in my garden. I used my innovative mind to spawn a mad assemblage of colourful artists including Bob Marley, Hendrix, Republica, David Bowie all in retro colours.
Colours have connotations delineating emotions. It has certainly helped me in feeling happier lately. I have also been working out a lot, trying to better myself to look good for when I eventually return to the stage. I have a bike so I’ve been cycling, running, walking. I’ve certainly been more progressive.
Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?
To be honest I haven’t bothered with any online shows. I haven’t been happy with my image so I’m working on that before incarnating my talents to all of social media.
Have you had to change your way of writing material?
Everything has come to a halt for me at the moment. Back in Feb I was planning on writing my new album, and because of the lock down, the studio has been closed so I’ve been unable to lay any music down. It’s very depressing. Also, I had a star guest due to perform on a track, the legendary Bob Kulick, who unfortunately passed away very recently so I’m absolutely gutted and saddened. I really do feel at a dead end right now.
Do you keep in touch with your fellow bandmates / other musicians much?
I haven’t kept in touch much with anyone as I’ve been feeling rather low lately. Confined in my bedroom, nowhere to go, nothing to get up for. It really has been hard. I haven’t felt like socialising
What plans have you had to change this year?
My whole years diary has been cancelled. I was due to be performing my new record at Glastonbury, I was supporting UB40 on the main stage at Weyfest, I was due to be touring and festivals like heaven and hell fest cancelled. I had plans to record new album, music vids, BBC shows all cancelled. It sucks. As I say, this year is written off. Man, I’m so sad just now
How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?
I don’t know at the moment as everything seems so fickle just now. We will have to hope and pray lockdown comes to an end and social distancing be gone by Christmas. I miss going to the boozer lol.
What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?
I really hope 2021 is my year. Need to get back to doing what I do best…shine on stage. Perform, write, laugh, be with my friends. Miss lots people so much and haven’t seen anyone since my tour in February. I will hopefully be re booked for all the gigs and festivals that got cancelled this year. I have my new record waiting to be released…can’t wait for that! How can people support you during this time?
People can buy my music online. Also, I have a merch page on Facebook “Indya rock shop ” where people can buy Indya merch t shirts etc.
https://indyaband.com/ https://www.facebook.com/IndyaOfficial https://www.facebook.com/indyarocksshop/ https://www.instagram.com/indyabandofficial/ https://twitter.com/IndyaOfficial
Interview by Paul Monkhouse for MPM