I caught up with my gurl Natalia Kills this weekend to find out what music she’s been making, who she’s been fucking, what a guy needs to do to get a date with her, what it’s like to be mistaken for Paris Hilton, and what “Champagne Showers” is really about.
We also talked about glamorous early morning coffee runs.
Check it out below.
Hey Natalia. Where are you right now, and what are you doing?
I’m in the studio in L.A. finishing my album with Jeff [Bhasker]. Right now we’re working on the drum sounds to a new song called “Problem”. It’s wild.
And what are you wearing? Please tell me that it’s something fierce and sexy.
I just did a video shoot for the latest SKINGRAFT campaign, so I’m wearing all their stuff: the white transparent cut-off shirt with the leather chest harness and the leather baseball cap with my hair down and Alex Wang heels. You know me and leather can’t stay away from each other!
Girl, I saw on Perez Hilton that a song of yours called “Louder” with David Guetta and Akon was mistaken for a Paris Hilton record. Did you ever think that somebody would confuse you for Paris Hilton?
[Laughs] That’s not my song! I don’t know who sings it but I’d never heard it before. It probably is Paris Hilton after all!
I should’ve known not to trust Perez… Anyway, you’ve also done a club banger with Junior Caldera and Far East Movement called “Lights Out”, and collaborated with Swiss Trance queen Tatana. Does that mean we’ll be seeing more dance and electronic music on your next album?
It’s quite the opposite! As a songwriter, it can be fun to walk through other people’s worlds, so I really like to bring what I have to sounds and projects that don’t fit me directly. But there’s not a dash of dance or electro on my new album. It’s ‘feel bad’ feel good music… really noisy and chaotic. It’s also really personal and detailed. I talk about my childhood and relationships in much more graphic detail. I’m not sure if I was ready to do that on the first record; I was still suppressing memories and avoiding ghosts. It’s tough to be so honest, because when the real you is put out there, you’re judged for who you truly are, and once you make that step, you can never go back or hide.
Who have you been working with so far on your new album?
Just Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie. That’s it. We’re almost finished.
Wow! Jeff and Emile did Kid Cudi’s albums, which I absolutely LOVE, and they also did that Lana Del Rey album. Would it be safe to say that your new album will be a fairly alternative take on pop music then?
I personally feel like it’s still pop, but yeah, it’s much harder than the lighter, brighter sounds that are topping the charts right now.
How do you think your second album will differ from Perfectionist?
It’s raw. The energy is full throttle and nothing holds back. The darker songs were hard to sing because I had to go back to those times I’ve fucked up. Songs like “Marlboro Lights” and “Saturday Night” were a whole new experience in songwriting for me. I mean… I was bad. It’s mad to confront how I grew up and all the fucked up shit I did when I was a teenager. I alluded to it in the first album. I fully expose it on this one.
Have you had any issues with your label wanting you to produce more mainstream music, or are you given a lot of freedom?
I have all the freedom you could imagine now! I’m even co-producing some of the tracks, like “Problem” and “Television”. But it’s taken a lot of push and pull to get to this point. I’m hoping there won’t be ‘censored’ warnings on my new shit.
Have you decided on the first single yet? And when do you think it’ll be out?
It’s tough. I never make songs specifically for the radio or with ‘single’ in mind, so I never think about what it’s going to be. When you start to think like that, you get wrapped up in the notions of popularity and chart positions instead of thinking about quality and longevity. All the artists that I listened to growing up probably wouldn’t even make it to radio now, like Marilyn Manson, No Doubt, OutKast, Sex Pistols, Jimi Hendrix and Eminem. Their message is warped and distinctive, but that’s why it’s interesting and it lasts. You should ask yourself “Is this ‘me’? Am I enjoying myself?” instead of “What’s the single and when’s a good time to launch it?” That’s what I do.
If you were in a room surrounded by your FANS and you had to tell them one thing to expect from your sophomore album, what would you tell them?
I think they’ll love certain songs like “Trouble” and “Stop Me”.
What about if instead of your fans, you were surrounded by record executives and music industry bigwigs. What one thing would you tell them about the album?
I wouldn’t bother. They seem to know it all anyway, right?
Back to your collabo with Tatana for a moment. You were getting really hot and heavy with Leebo Freeman, the male lead in the music video. You totally had sex with him after the shoot, didn’t you?
After the shoot? What makes you think I’d wait that long?
Girl… I am so jealous right now. So, has that X-rated Tatana video inspired you to turn up the sex appeal for your next era? Are we going to see a more sexed-up Natalia Kills?
I never think about being sexy. If it happens, it happens…
Now that the Perfectionist era has pretty much wrapped up, is there any particular song on the album that you wish you had been able to do a music video for, and if so, what would the concept have been?
I always thought the singles would be “Break You Hard”, “Love is a Suicide” and “Broke”. I had concepts for all of them, but I’m glad I have the videos I have now, and I’m happy that I co-directed them. “Free” featuring will.i.am is my favorite.
I liked “Zombie” best. So, what was your first reaction when you were asked to feature on LMFAO’s flawless “Champagne Showers” and you realized that the song was about cum facials? I didn’t actually figure out what was really going on in that song until I saw it on Beavis & Butthead.
That’s what I thought it was about too! I even asked Redfoo if it was about weird sex. It’s actually about having so much money and champagne that you can just spray it all over the place and still have 3 or 4 bottles to drink while you’re at it.
Sure it is… Anyway, your fashion sense is very bold and you have a striking look. Does everybody stare at you when you go out? Somehow I don’t think that you’re the type to go to Starbucks in your sweatpants. I picture you with your structured hair, leather jacket, enormous shoes, and red lipstick, strutting in and ordering a skim latte while trying to avoid eye contact with all the guys checking you out.
Everyone stares at everyone nowadays, so it kinda doesn’t count. But yeah, I do dress the same everywhere I go, so I’m quite well known in my local coffee shop for going in at 7am in a full suit, leather, and Karen Walker glasses. They just see me in my bowler hat and know what I’m gonna order without even having to ask. And by the way, I always make eye contact with the guys who check me out. It blows their minds.
Natalia’s morning coffee ensemble
Lucky guys! So, when a guy asks you out on a date, what are three things he has to have going on for you to say yes?
He just has to be extraordinary. That’s all I ask really.
That’s all? Well if you have any of these extraordinary guys left over, send ‘em my way. Anyway, to wrap things up, who do you get along with the most out of all the artists at Cherrytree Records?
Far East Movement. They’re so fucking fit…