Q & A with Natalie K – From Red Carpet Interviewer to Singer-Songwriter
If you have either walked a red carpet in Los Angeles in the past few years, or reported from one, chances are you have run into Natalie Kalamdaryan. We certainly have on several occasions, so were surprised to discover she has shifted gears from interviewing the likes of Ariana Grande, Zac Efron and Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner to focus exclusively on music (and school) since the last time we spoke.
In her own words: “For three years, I kept writing and recording music. As soon as a song would be ready for release, I’d find something wrong with it and would want to spend more time working on it.” It wasn’t until her senior year of college at California Lutheran University, that Natalie knew what song would be her next single. “I was in my Freedom of Communication class and the professor was lecturing and the hook just came to me. I immediately left class and recorded it into my phone and at that point I knew “Man Up” was going to be my single.”
So now, following up on her 2012 EP Star Krossed, 22-year-old Natalie K is ready to release “Man Up,” which updates her musical direction to a more mature sound. We asked Natalie a few questions about both past and present work, and you can read our exclusive interview below.
Hi Natalie! Before we start talking about your new single, tell our readers a little about yourself and your background.
Hi! Thanks so much for taking time to speak with me. Well my name is Natalie and I am a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles, CA. I recently just graduated from California Lutheran University as a double major with B.As in both Music Production and Communication with an emphasis in Journalism. I’ve been singing and writing songs my whole life and am currently gearing up to release my new single “Man Up” in April along with an EP later this year.
Thanks! Okay let’s get into your new song. It’s called “Man Up.” What’s it about and what inspired you to write it?
The song is about a situation I think a lot of us girls can relate to. Where you meet a guy and you have a connection, but he just won’t take the next step. It’s what you want to say, but might be scared to.
I wrote “Man Up” during my last semester of college about a situation I had been going through and it’s what I wanted to say to a guy I knew I wasn’t going to see after graduation.
When will it be released?
It will be out everywhere (iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and more) April 21st!
How would you say your sound has evolved compared with your first EP Star Krossed?
I think I’m finally in a place where I’ve found my sound and message as an artist. I was 15 when I started writing Star Krossed and although I’m really proud of that EP, it was a learning experience more than anything. It was my first time in a recording studio, my first time recording original music, and my first time being “Natalie K” the artist. Going from writing songs in your bedroom for fun, to recording an actual EP that’s going to be out for everyone to hear is a huge transition.
But now, I’m 22 and although I’m still singing pop music, the content is definitely a lot more mature then it was when I was 15. I’ve actually experienced the stuff I’m writing about. I also know my way around a studio now, I have 7 more years of songs, experience, and a Music Production degree that’s allowed me to find my voice and confidence. Although I wrote all the songs on Star Krossed too, I think I definitely have a lot more input now when it comes to production because I actually understand how things work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back and forth over the past few years figuring out what type of artist I wanted to be. I’ve had songs be mixed and ready to be released and have just decided last minute I didn’t want to put them out because the sound wasn’t right or the production wasn’t where I wanted it to be.
Now, I finally feel like I’ve figured that out and found a balance of the type of music I want to make. That might still change and evolve in the future, but I’m really happy with where I’m at right now.
Many people in Los Angeles know you as a red carpet interviewer, with your own Youtube Channel and website called Natalie Interviews. What led to the shift towards music?
It’s funny because a lot of people got to know who I was through Natalie Interviews and I am so incredibly thankful for that amazing experience in my life. But the truth is, I’ve always been a singer, songwriter and musician. I started playing the piano when I was 6 and have been singing my whole life, so for me it was never a transition because I’ve never not been doing music. I think professionally though, the transition to do music full-time was to wait until I had finished school. Even though I’ve been wanting to be a recording artist since I was 12, it was extremely important for my parents to ensure I had a normal childhood. They were always supportive of me doing music but wanted me to finish my schooling before focusing on it completely. So as soon as I graduated college, I knew that music was what I was going to be doing full-time.
Any plans to resume interviewing at some point in the future?
At this point, I don’t really see myself doing Natalie Interviews again. It was such a huge part of my life for 5 years and taught me so much about the entertainment industry and how everything works. I honestly had the greatest time doing Natalie Interviews and am so thankful for that experience. I do think that chapter has closed though and I’m just so focused on music. At the same time, I don’t want to say that I’d never do anything like that again. I have a huge passion for entertainment and pop culture, and I graduated college with a B.A in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism, so who knows what the future holds!
Who was your favorite/most memorable interview and why?
I have two. The first would have to be my interview with Zac Efron. I was a HUGE High School Musical and Zac Efron fan. I actually used to get made fun of in middle school because of how much I loved him. So to get to interview him was kind of a full-circle moment. I was actually on vacation when I got the confirmation from his publicist that we’d be doing the interview and I remember jumping up and down on the bed in the hotel room freaking out that it was going to happen. I was literally on a tropical island counting down until I’d get to go home so I could interview him. It was actually a such good interview too and we had an amazing conversation about his life and career.
The second is my interview with Brian May from Queen. That was another pinch-me moment. I grew up listening to Queen because of my dad, and they’re one of my favorite bands of all time. Getting to interview a living rock legend about music was one of the coolest things I’ve done. We talked production and how he was able to do things manually on Queen records that were near impossible at the time. Things that we can now do with the press of a button on any recording software. It was just incredible.
Which interview was your worst and why?
I’ve definitely had some interesting experiences on red carpets! But I wouldn’t say any of them have been the worst interview just because every experience was so different and educating. I would say looking back at some of the first interviews I did, I was so awkward on camera and didn’t really know what I was doing, so it was a “learn by doing” process and I definitely got a lot better at interviewing over the years!
What are you working on next?
I’m working on so many different projects at the moment! I’m always writing music and am currently in the studio working on a new single, which I’m hoping to release a little later this year. I’ll also be launching my music website later this month, which I’m so stoked about. I’ve been doing a lot of acting as well and just finished a project with the talented Reza Derakshani called “Black Water.” Other than that, I’m writing music for other artists and projects.
Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.
I think people would be surprised to know that I love to cook and actually make the best Cauliflower Crust Pizza. Not even kidding, one of the best.
Where can your fans follow you? (social media)