You may or may not have heard of Nathalie Miranda, the London UK singing sensation – but you soon will.
I came across Nathalie’s Instagram profile and saw this video of her singing a medley of Queen songs (as I’m a huge Queen fan). Check it out for yourself:
This glamorous, petite woman struts down the catwalk and completely owns the room and everyone in it.
And as you can hear, there’s nothing petite about her singing voice – it’s gutsy, ballsy and resonant. I was mesmerized by her performance and became an immediate fan.
I reached out to Nathalie to request an interview about her musical background, her songs and her plans for the future and she graciously agreed. I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I did conducting it.
Are you more or less a self-taught singer, or did you take formal singing lessons? If you were self-taught, how did you go about developing your singing voice?
I would say that I am more self-taught than anything. I didn’t have any singing lessons until I was 17, and then I didn’t have that many. I was also still unsure about the kind of music I wanted to make back then, and extremely shy, so I think I held back in actually pursuing the sound that I have ended up with!
But yes; I have found that for me, the best way to develop my sound and voice has been to listen to the artists that I admire and inspire me and to try to do what they do, but in my own way.
Are there any vocal tips you can give to any aspiring singers who may be reading this interview? For example, do you have any warm-up exercises you like to use? Any techniques or exercises to expand your vocal range?
I would say ALWAYS warm up before you sing. There are many singers I know who think that because they have been singing for years that they are somehow exempt from doing themselves an injury, and that simply isn’t true.
Even if it’s a gentle humming exercise going up and down the scale, it is so important to warm up the vocal cords before vocalising. Think of your voice the same way an athlete would treat their muscles.
The best ways for me to expand my range over the years has been arpeggios and scales. And that can extend to blues scales or any other genre that you may be interested in.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you’re an inherently shy person, which is rather surprising since you seem so extroverted when you’re performing. I’m sure that there are many aspiring singers who may be reading this interview who suffer from shyness and they may feel that this would hinder them from a singing career. What’s your advice to them?
Ha ha, yes, I really am shy in real life! I don’t like talking about myself and, for example, I feel really self-conscious when I’m having photoshoots! When I’m singing, I turn into a completely different person!
I would say that there are probably more shy singers than you think out there! The best thing to do is to try and take some time on your own before a gig. I like to just sit in silence with my own thoughts and go over anything that I’m unsure of, listen to some music, watch a bit of TV or something like that.
On other singers
Yes, they are truly my inspirations. Freddie more so! I have to be honest, I really am more of an old soul and I’m not hugely into modern singers, but I do like Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande. They’re individual and immediately recognisable.
Are there any relatively unknown singers (e.g., someone you may follow on social media) that you’re a fan of and deserve more notice?
My good friend Aubrey Burchell from the US. She is amazing and so humble too.
How do you go about composing your songs? Do you consciously sit down and treat writing a song like a full-time job or do your songs come from sudden inspiration (or maybe a mix of both)?
It’s different each time to be honest. Most of the time, I will come up with a phrase or melody that really hooks me and I go from there. More recently, I’ve been inspired by a line from a movie, and with my song ‘Poltergeist’, it was literally the word itself that intrigued me and I decided to write a song based around that idea.
The lyrics of your songs seem very personal in nature – are these based on actual life experiences or were you simply telling stories about relationships in a musical format? If they are in fact based on real-life experiences, are there any stories behind the lyrics to some of your better known songs such as Catch-22 that you’d care to share?
It’s funny you say that actually, because Catch-22 is just something I made up!
In fact, none of the songs I’ve released are about anything that I’ve personally experienced except ‘Bulletproof’. That was about someone I worked closely with who consistently put me down and made me feel so small. It really affected me but I realised in the end that all the pain and stress he had put me through had just made me stronger. And so the message in the song is basically, say what you want to me…it doesn’t affect me at all anymore.
Do you have songwriting partners or do you write your songs on your own?
I collaborate on many projects with other writers, but for my own releases I work with my husband. He is a fantastically talented musician and we have a great working partnership. I write the melody and lyrics and he writes the music and produces too.
You’re based in London, England, one of the world’s major music capitals. What’s the London music scene like nowadays with Covid happening?
Ah, well it’s completely changed. It’s almost non-existent. It’s been devastating to watch the decline and in some cases total closure of legendary venues over here, such as Café de Paris in London, which has now closed its doors forever. It’s truly so sad.
If Nathalie Miranda of the year 2020 could sit down with Nathalie Miranda of the year 2010 for tea and biscuits, what advice would she give to her younger self based on what she’s learned and experienced (both good and bad) over the past 10 years?
Ha ha, great question! Wow, OK… I would tell her not to be afraid to be herself. I would tell her that is no such thing as an overnight success. I would also tell her to be more confident and to believe in her talents and abilities. I think I wasted a lot of time when I was younger simply doubting myself!
What are your short-term (within a year), medium-term (within 5 years) and long-term (within 10 years) professional goals?
Short-term goals, well I’d like to release another two to three singles by the end of April.
Medium-term, I’d like to keep expanding my fan base, and I’d love to travel with my music as I’ve never toured before.
Long-term…I’d love to be the kind of singer that has inspired younger artists.