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Natasha Bedingfield
Sister of Daniel, Natasha Bedingfield is the new voice on the pop music scene. Fresh and pure, her music stands for a new brand of singer-songwriter, and this one has been honing her craft in studios in London and LA. This is pop but not as you know it. If you had to compare her to someone, it could be an eclectic mix from Nelly Furtado to the funky style of Gwen Stefani, the raw, bluesy, soulful voice of Pink and the sometimes rock-tinged Christina.

Natasha Bedingfield grew up in Lewisham, Southeast London. Her New Zealand-born parents who were into social work and counselling, encouraged all four of their children's creative impulses. In her teenage years, Natasha was working hard at learning guitar, piano and songwriting. After she completed school, she did not know what to do with herself - whether to chose art college or study psychology at University. In art college, she seemed to be more interested in the emotional content of her own paintings, and was advised to study art therapy.

After two years of juggling studies, songwriting and singing, Natasha left University to concentrate on her studio work. Many told her that she had a good voice, but that aside, what she really wanted was good material of her own. Finally, when she was sure she had enough of her own material, she was ready to share it with the world. Within no time, Phonogenic, an imprint of BMG, got to hear it.

Everything worked the way she wanted it. Phonogenic loved Natasha's music and attitude, and understood her desire to create something real, organic, and proper. There would be no moulding, shaping or styling of Natasha to fit some music that was done. Natasha wanted to be what she really was.

Since last year, Natasha has been writing and recording in Los Angeles. Her partners in the studio have been the best songwriters in the business, collaborators of Robbie, Madonna, Mariah, Britney, not forgetting producers Andy Frampton and Steve Kipner (Christina, Janet) and Mark 'Spike' Stent (No Doubt, U2, Bjork). Songs arose from jams in the studios, or from ideas she'd captured on her dictaphone (which she carries around all the time). As she is a very messy writer, she prefers to write her lyrical ideas on the iBook brother Daniel gave her.

Natasha is a self-made person and knows what she wants. Her sense of personal sexuality has nothing to do with how little clothes one wears. She says that while glamour is all well and good, if you haven't got soul, it means nothing. It is this personality that shines brightly on her debut album.

Since exploding onto the music scene with her debut track Single (which struck the Top 3 position on the UK charts) Natasha has notched up a #1 follow up single, These Words, and a #1 album, Unwritten. The album is already platinum and Natasha is one of only three British female artists to debut at #1 with their debut album (the others were Annie Lennox and Bonnie Tyler). As if all this wasn't enough for the 22 year old, she has been nominated for Best UK and Ireland Act award at the European MTV Music Awards and has also just made it into the Guinness Book of Records with brother Daniel as the only brother and sister to have solo #1's in UK chart history.

You can read the rest of our feature on Natasha Bedingfield in the April 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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