A few weeks ago I had the chance to sit down with Nashville native and songbird, Natalie Hemby. Most recently known for achieving her first number 1 with her Miranda Lambert co-write of “White Liar,” Natalie is certainly beginning to turn heads in the Nashville music scene. When speaking with people in music circles they ask her, “Where did you come from?” She says they act like she has just fallen out of the sky.
Although locals think she has been under the radar, Natalie is the prime example of how slow and steady wins the race. When she was describing the art of songwriting she said, “It is like making bread, you have to let some of them [songs] sit and rise for a while.” Although Natalie hasn’t exactly been sitting still, she has taken her passion seriously and realized she is on her musical journey for the long haul.
“Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well,” says Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield. For Natalie Hemby, what she finds worth doing is a career in the music industry. In March of 2008, she signed her 4th major and current publishing deal with Carnival Music, a music publishing company and record label. “Matthew Miller [of Carnival] is a go getter. He doesn’t get to it, he gets on it, I like that,” comments Natalie. “Even though it’s been the smallest company I’ve ever been at, they give me the freedom to do what ever I want. Lee Ann Womack cut ‘The Bees’ right after [signing with Carnival].” Needless to say, since signing this publishing deal, Natalie knows how to get ‘er done with recent cuts including… (click on the song to hear audio)
- White Liar, Miranda Lambert
- The Airstream Song, Miranda Lambert
- Virginia Bluebell, Miranda Lambert
- Only Prettier, Miranda Lambert
- Play On, Carrie Underwood
- The Bees, Lee Ann Womack
- Mystery In The Making, Eli Young Band
With more cuts on hold, in the pipeline, and writing almost every day, when did Natalie start her love affair with songwriting? “I think I always have enjoyed writing, I used to write as a kid, I like stories, imagery,” Natalie remembers. “My grandparents are from southern Missouri and they are some of the best story tellers; my cousins everybody, it’s a very simple life. [But] you would never know it based on some of the stories they tell. It is almost like [they feel]a need to be funny, entertaining or capture someone’s attention [with their stories]. I want to do that.”
Natalie confessed that growing up in Music City was helpful but having parents in the music business didn’t push her into this dream. Of course there were some privileges, but she even admitted, “at times being the daughter of so-and-so, people place you in a box. Some people didn’t get it [the serious drive and passion for music] but they are getting it now. Even I have to watch myself; I am going to know others that grow up and I am going to have to allow them to be who they are in the business.”
“My journey has always been [that of] a writing artist; I got my first publishing deal at 19 years old. It has always been artistry and writing. When I hear back from [old] friends that remind me of times when I sang, it makes me realize that it is what I was [always] meant to do, ” says Natalie. This artistry is alive and well when she sings around Nashville songwriting venues.
“It’s good to play around town, it’s good to be in people’s ear; fresh on people’s mind,” advises Natalie. Budding songwriters and veterans alike can benefit from playing around town. It gives their songs an audience, immediate feedback, and a chance for the songwriter to get out their and show off all their hard work. For more information on Natalie’s story or future appearances – you can find her on myspace.
Here is a sneak peak of what you will enjoy when you catch Natalie live…
Next time we hear from Natalie Hemby here at the Nashville Music Buzz… we will share more of our one-on-one interview where she shares advice and writing tips that will inspire and instruct any up-and-coming artist or songwriter.