Photography By Quynh-Le Nguyen

Natalie Emmons is a regular woman, she’ll coyly tell you as much, but as you get to know her, the sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth. Mentioning that some of her interests include “acting and music” and her hectic schedule is just one of a dreamer who optimistically spreads herself thin. It is that which makes Natalie such an amazing talent who’s shown a borderline genius flair for multitasking.

You can find Natalie Emmons talent reel filled with Japanese Trivago commercials as well as tribute cover songs to anime classic, ‘My Neighbor Totoro. ‘ Her original music, blends contemporary pop sounds and gently melds them with deep soulful lyrics. BKBT Concept caught up with Natalie and discussed influences, melody, and essentials of being an artist in today’s landscape.

Photography By Quynh-Le Nguyen

Who is Natalie Emmons?

Natalie Emmons is a synth-pop singer-songwriter, full-time wanderer, polyglot, coffee enthusiast, commercial actress, accordion tickler, trained dancer, and red panda adoptive parent.  Basically just your average person with big dreams.

Any interests besides music that you wish to pursue?

I would really like to publish a book of short travel stories (all TRUE) to coincide with an album release. Highlights would include the time I got robbed by an 80-year-old kleptomaniac on a Amtrak train passing through the Pacific Northwest mountains, the time I won 100 dollars worth of fish and chips at a drag queen karaoke contest in Sydney, and the time I was “boat-napped” by a man, who looked remarkably like a homeless version of Santa Claus, in Venice.  

What do you believe is essential to the work of an artist?

Having a mind, heart, and soul that are wide open to the beautiful, tragic, and fascinating possibilities that life has to offer.  I also think it’s extremely important to believe in the validity of your own personal message.  

You’ve lived in Japan as well as the USA, as an artist which place has been easier to garner a fan base?

I’ve actually spent more time in Japan as a performing artist, so it’s difficult to compare the two.  I would say, however, that as an obvious foreigner in Japan, I stand out quite a bit more than I do in Southern California, which helps with promoting my music to new audiences.  

Photo Credit: Flip Cassidy

How would you describe your sound? Where it is today versus when you first started creating music?

My debut EP was definitely along the lines of the dance-pop music that I grew up with, but my new synth-pop single “Call of the Wild” gives a glimpse of where I’m headed musically with my first full-length album.  My new sound is definitely a better representative of my own personal style.

When someone listens to your music, what sort of emotions do you hope to evoke?

At the heart of my music is a message to step outside of your comfort zone.  I want people to be empowered to travel, have an open mind, believe in something bigger than themselves, and to dance until their legs turn to noodles.  

Photography By Quynh-Le Nguyen

What is your process for crafting a song? Do the words or music come first?

It’s changing all the time.  Lately it’s been going tempo, beat, melody, concept, words.  

As far as influences go, who are yours?

I love strong and independent female fronted bands.  I grew up really liking the funky girl-power types like Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne in addition to jazzy crooners like Jamie Cullum.  As for my current listening… MØ, Broods, Santigold, and Kimbra are at the top of the list.

You were in a TRIVAGO commercial and you make cameos in other Japanese commercials. Is this something you hope to continue as your fame grows larger?

Commercials are fun, because they remind you not to take yourself so seriously.  Some of the Japanese commercials I’m slated for are going to be borderline ridiculous and I’m so happy that I don’t consider myself “too cool” to clown around.  That being said, I have extremely strong standards for what I represent.  If something goes against my belief in positivity, equality, sustainability, and above all, LOVE, then I won’t be representing it.  

Photography By Quynh-Le Nguyen

Do you have any advice for anyone who’s looking to start a career in music? And the risk of it all?

It’s a beautiful and blessed life.  That being said, it is a 24/7 type of job that requires lots of decision making and determination.  In the midst of all the struggle, you may start to lose sight of why you wanted to make music in the first place.  That’s why it’s important to take the time to count your blessings and be grateful that you have one of the most exhilarating gifts in the world… the gift of making music.



Natalie Emmons