Being an Indie Artist
Takes a Lot of Heart

Passenger Profile: Natalise

By Kenny Kerner
taxi member success natalise
Natalise. Kinda has a nice sound to it, don't you think? Although this talented singer/songwriter/artist has achieved much Indie success, she admits that the road to stardom is a winding one and you need perseverance and determination to succeed. Hearing the first song she ever recorded being played on a major radio station caught her by surprise, but it's been a steady climb since then.

In this poignant interview, Natalise explains her successes and her determination to be successful. Take a look.

At what age did you realize music would be a part of your life?

I've always known that music would be a part of my life. I've studied piano since I was three and I started singing when I was eight. But I think it clicked for me when I was about 13 or 14—I just knew that I'd be bored doing anything else!

What instruments did you learn to play?

I play piano. I've also picked up the guitar.

Are you self-taught or did you learn to play in school?

I've taken piano privately, but it was all Classical training. I taught myself how to utilize what I learned to apply it to Pop music songwriting. I would look at tape and CD booklets and read lyrics. I looked at how things flowed and what repeated and what didn't. I look back and I realize that I'm so glad I did that! I refer to those structures everyday! With guitar, it's been self-taught.

When did you write your first song? What was it called? Looking back now, was it good?

I wrote this song called "Love is You" when I was about 13. It really sucked! I mean, the structure was there, but really there was no "sense" in the melodies or rhythms. But I remember knowing that it wasn't the greatest and there was better in I kept writing from there.

How difficult is it to be an Indie artist these days?

Well, there are two sides to the coin. Indie artists have a great chance of exposing themselves through D-I-Y outlets like CDBaby, Myspace, YouTube, and other online venues. But it's still a lot of work. It takes commitment and perseverance... and just a lot of heart because there are always obstacles—nothing ever goes 100% smoothly, so you just have to expect it. So, I think it's easy to be an "artist." But I think it's still very difficult to be a GREAT artist.

Describe the first professional success you had.

It was about 7 p.m. on a Thursday night. The radio was on, tuned to Wild 94.9, a commercial Top 40/rhythmic crossover station in San Francisco. I was doing some homework... I think some statistics or something. The DJ was talking and then all of a sudden he said, "Tonight I'm introducing a young lady by the name of Natalise." I turned around and was completely caught off guard. He said, "This song is so catchy, I gotta play it for you...this girl is from the Bay and watch out for her in the near future," and then proceeded to play my song, "Love Goes On." It was the first song I ever recorded. I was ECSTATIC. I started screaming and then called downstairs to my mom and yelled, "They're playing me on the radio! Oh my god! They're playing me on the radio!"

Describe the circumstances that allowed you to get a song on MTV.

I was appearing on this MTV show as a special guest. I didn't really consider myself an actor at the time, but I thought I might as well do it for fun. So when I got onto the set, I was very open and met all the crew and staff and everything; they were super friendly. But one of the guys was really cool and we started talking about my music and he said, "you know what, I know the music supervisor, and I'd love to forward him your stuff." So sure enough, I sent him a copy and he forwarded it on. They ended up using a couple of my songs in seven of the episodes.

With all of your successes, why did you join TAXI?

I'm the type of person who's open to all opportunities. I believed that TAXI would enable me to foster these opportunities. I was willing to give it a go because to me, in the business, you just never know how things will unfold. So I thought I would be doing a disservice to myself if I didn't join and at least try it out. I also thought it would be cool to go to the annual TAXI Road Rally because there are musicians from everywhere and I just love being present where there is a creative vibe.

How has TAXI helped you so far?

TAXI forwarded one of my songs to this one publisher, and through this forward, I have gotten four songs placed with artists in Europe. I never thought I would be writing for artists, let alone outside of the US. But TAXI opened my eyes to the different possibilities within the music industry that I had not tapped into!

What have you learned about the music business through being a TAXI member?

I've learned that songwriting CAN be made a career if you have enough patience, passion, and perseverance. And by doing this, you can also make enough money to be an Indie artist.

Well said, Natalise. And, being an Indie artist gets just a little easier with TAXI there to help open some industry doors!

See How TAXI Works

"I must recommend it to anyone I think is serious about songwriting."
— Dwight Nichols,
TAXI Member

"I had the drive, and the passion. I just needed help, and you keep supplying it."
— Justin K.,
TAXI Member

"In this competitive field you need all the help you can get and with TAXI, you've got a friend in the music business."
— Richard Scotti,
TAXI Member

"Getting all these critques in the mail is encouraging and instructive as well. Thanks for your help!"
— Lisa Knouse,
TAXI Member