Next Wave #1166: Natalie Red

In association with Bed Head for Issue 127 of CLASH...

They say there is no hiding under the spotlight. Not that Natalie Red has been hiding, but she certainly hasn’t been chasing it either, instead seeing music as a way to find and create a community of people like her. “I’ve just always felt like I don’t belong anywhere,” she tells CLASH. “That’s really deep stuff but it’s why I make music; to express that and find my crowd, which are hopefully also the people who listen to my music.”

It’s music which effortlessly merges woozy bedroom pop and fast electronica with a throwback aesthetic – a mix of genre and style as eclectic as her own taste and upbringing. Born in Estonia, Natalie then moved to Finland. “I went to an international school. I was surrounded by so many different cultures which developed my music taste,” she says, referencing the likes of Pharrell, Ariana Grande, and Britney Spears as key influences. Three years ago, she relocated to East London to study music at BIMM, which exposed her to electronic sub-genres like hyperpop, drum and bass, and garage. There Natalie started to produce her own music, pulling from a coterie of forward-thinking musicians like FKA twigs, Grimes and PinkPantheress, who Natalie confesses “opened a way” for artists like herself to break through. 

Even though she’s been making music since she was 17, Natalie admits she “didn’t really take it seriously before”. It’s in London that she expanded her repertoire, realising self-taught production is key for her artistic integrity. “I started producing myself because I couldn’t find producers who would make stuff that I wanted. If you can’t find somebody, just be that person yourself,” she laughs, “basically, I wanted to be Pharrell.” 

When her song ‘Addicted’ blew up online, Natalie was only starting to find her voice, one now being heard by the masses. Whilst Natalie promises “a lot more music in 2024”, she grants there is something gratifying about just being able to share her songs with people who are willing to hear her grow: “Music is an escape. I definitely want people to put my music on and feel like they’re in their own little world. I’ve always felt like an outcast, so I want people who also feel that way to feel we’re part of something of our own.” 

WHAT: Club-ready electronic pop
WHERE: Estonia-born, Finland-raised, London-based 
3 SONGS: ‘Over’, ‘Addicted’, ‘High’

FACT: Natalie’s a huge fan of dystopian series Black Mirror

Words: Bryson Edward Howe

Photography: Bella Howard

Styling: Felicia Brown

Stylist Assistant: Idyllyn Frimpong

Creative Direction: Rob Meyers

Mesh top by Horde Studio; bralet by Two Point Two Studio.

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