We caught up with Natalie Gauci after her gig for the Coffee House Sessions Tour!
The Coffee House Sessions are a series of live acoustic and semi-acoustic performances from some of the UK’s hottest singer song-writers and acoustic musicians.
Join us every Wednesday in the Terrace bar to see newly signed artists perform live for free!
Last year we were joined by the likes of Seafret and Hudson Taylor to name a few…
You’ve just played the Coffee House Sessions, how was it for you?
It was really good! It was great. I’ve had three today, so tonight was nice because it was more of a relaxed feel and we could just jam it out so it was really nice. I’ve had Honor with me, they are supporting me on this tour and they’re giving away free stuff. It’s really cool, we just get to play music and interact with people and let them know about the phone and about me and my new music.
Your set was a mixture of covers and your own songs, how did you decide what songs to play?
I had to choose songs that I enjoy that have inspired me but also relate to people as well, so songs that people know. We chose ‘Aint Nobody’ by Chaka Khan. There’s a cover of that in the charts at the moment and I saw that and thought I’d do that. Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ I thought of at the last minute. We did one show at one of the unis and then it just popped into my head and we kept it in the setlist ever since because people really like it.
It’s become a classic hasn’t it?
Yeah, it’s one of my favourites.
What inspires your own music?
I tend to get inspiration from a lot of different artists and then I write my own lyrics based on my own experiences in life. Music, to me, has been very therapeutic so I tend to gravitate towards singing my own style of music to release negative energy and create it into a positive for myself. Sometimes that turns into a really good song!
That’s the best way isn’t it! You won Australian Idol in 2007, can you tell me a little about that experience and how it’s shaped your career today?
When they say winning Pop Idol, X Factor, The Voice changes your life, as cliché as it sounds, it is true. It does change your life. Forever. I’ll be 90 like “I won Australian Idol!” because you don’t forget it. It plants it in your head and the reason why is because you’re put on a platform where you are in a whole new world and you have fans from the very beginning. It’s like a bubble that you get put in that showcases your talent so it pushes you really quickly into what your potential is as a singer, but not as a songwriter. As an artist it doesn’t really do you justice.
Obviously you’re just playing covers every week on the shows, how was that for you? Is it annoying?
People love covers! They love hearing artists singing other people’s songs. So there’s always going to be a market for that. The problem is that when you’re an artist and you want release your own music and have your own voice and have something to say, that kind of avenue is probably not the right thing. I’m not saying I shouldn’t have done it – I really am very proud of that because it’s made me who I am today and I wouldn’t be here otherwise, but I have taken a different approach these last few years into discovering what music is like outside of that. It’s very different because you’re living your own life and you’re making your own decisions. You’re taking responsibility for your own actions and that’s really difficult because you’re doing things the hard way. But that’s life, that’s just the way it is and it’s exciting! To be able to say I did this on my own and building your own team, it’s exciting to do that.
What have you done since winning the competition?
I released an album and that went really well. I toured around Australia and that went really well. Then I decided to leave Australia and travel through Europe. I started to experiment with different styles of music: a bit of dance, a bit of jazz, a bit of soul. That led me to be in the UK and I’ve just started to find my feet basically. I’m feeling much more confident with what I’m doing. I had to get through a lot of stuff to get to where I am now and that has to do with soul-searching. When you get really famous really quickly, and I can’t speak for everyone I can only really speak for myself, but you can lose yourself in it. If you’re not prepared it can damage you psychologically. I think I wasn’t really prepared. I loved it, I loved being famous, it’s great. But at the same time it’s nice to be able to know why you’re famous and what the purpose is for that. So I went off and figured it out and I’ve found it now.
What are your plans for the UK and Europe?
From when I won Australian Idol, I always wanted to come over here to the UK to experience what it would be like to live here, to do music here, how to work in the industry and what it takes to get there. And that is exactly what I’m doing now. I’m about to release and album and I’ve got some songs coming out. I’ve got a single out at the moment. It’s all a bit obscure though, you have to look for it. You have to look for “Natalie Gauci – Freaky” and I’ve also got another electronic album called “Electric Field” which is on Google Play.
Is it fun mixing up the genres a bit, going from being on a talent show to releasing an electronic album?
It’s pretty cool. It’s kind of rebellious actually which is fun.
What happens next, are you going back to Australia at any point?
I’m going to China then I’m going back to Australia for a little bit as it’s my birthday and my Dad’s wedding. Then I’m coming back to record an album and I’m going to be doing online streaming and some Youtube releases in that time. It’s a bit busy, a bit crazy, but it’s cool.
Have you noticed any differences between the music industry in the UK and over in Australia?
Yeah, it’s less cheesy! Also, there’s actually a really cool music scene in Melbourne. There’s an underground culture building very, very quickly. It’s completely different to here. Have you been to Brighton?
Yes last month!
Okay! Think about that kind of culture. It’s very kind of “it’s own thing”. How would you describe it?
Independent is the word. They know what they’re doing. They’re just jamming and being unique and free. That’s very Melbourne. In the UK it’s very different because the industry nurtures good talent. I’ve been very lucky at the moment to have that nurturing with the right people in the industry who are working with lots of big bands and amazing talent at the moment. I’m in a learning process. I’m learning about the industry here and where I fit into the marketplace. Australia will always be there for me, any time I need to go there, because my family is there. But building a life in a new country – and I know a lot of people relate to this because there’s so many international people coming from so many different countries in the world to the UK to make it big or to make a life or make a living – It’s not easy. But when you tough it out and actually do it, you grow from it and you learn from it. You can’t really put a value on that, and that’s what I’m doing at the moment so it’s very special to me.