Musical Discoveries: Will you please expand on your background, including where you are from and where you live, all about your musical training and education.
Natali Castillo: I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I live in Spain, Madrid at the moment. My parents, started sending me to a music college when I was four, to learn piano and sing. A few years after, we had some family problems so they were unable to send me anymore.
I started listening to music when I was alone in my house. My mother worked all day, and my father died when I was eight years old. He left behind a lot of CDs of great artists, most of them jazz music. Those records, were my company.
Just by myself, I decided to be a singer, and musician as well. I started with theory lessons, harmony, reading and then with guitar and piano, and I've been singing forever.
I started to be a part of a jazz choir, that was really fun, I was the youngest of all of them haha! Then I was been singing with a folk country duet, for four years more or less. We played in a lot of different places in various countries and some festivals.
The energy that I gave the people, when I'm singing, the smile on their faces, those sensations when I was expressing myself are the main reasons that inspire me to make music, as my way of living.
But I wanted to make own songs, to write songs, music and lyrics, that was such a challenge, because each song, means a lot to me, and talks about really personal feelings. So you must to be a professional to do it.
I started to write my songs, I mean really writing, when I arrived to Madrid. I missed a lot my friends, family, and this was such a new road to me. So I think I was really inspired. I really need to write those songs, to express what I have felt.
I've won prizes some songwriting contests, and vocalist prizes too. This was fun but I think the most important thing, was to find my own style, my own melodies, my own voice, not stereotypes.
Can you tell us about how you hooked up with your producers and what it as been like working with them?
My guitar player is also my producer, and sometimes I like to produce my songs too. It's nice to work with Jose Arribas because, he has the same point of view, and he knows what kind of music I like. So it's easy. Most of all we search a natural sound, one that is authentic, a little bit vintage, 70s, that is actually the kind of music that I like.
What artists do you think have influenced your work?
I've always listend to jazz, but also, folk music, wich a think that really influenced my songs. I like James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, CS&N, Neil Young, Nick Drake, Alison .
And whose recordings are you listening to these days?
These days? Lately I'm listening a lot to Carpenters! Also Nick Drake and Bill Evans.
Please tell us about the making of your EP--the stages involved, the various studios you worked in and the other artists that have contributed.
Believe it or not my entire album has made in my own house, that was really comfortable, because we can always come back and make things in a different way. Then we sent all the songs to master but recording in my own house, was really fun. Sometimes we recorded for many hours and as we recorded during the summer we always use to go to the swiming pool and then come back to do more recording.
I like to be quiet when I'm recording, I like to be familiar with the place, in order to sing and play as much as natural is possible, and to express myself, I used to put some candles and look at some of my friends and family photos.
A cello player contributed to my EP, and also a dobroist, they are great musicians, and I'm so glad that they want it to participate on this EP.
Then we did the photos! I don't feel so comfortable, getting pictures because I'm not a model! I'm a musician!! These were necessary for promoting the EP, that is actually, getting great. A bunch of people want it to listen my music and come to see me in concert, I hear them singing the lyrics of my songs. Is really great.
How do you describe the style of your music? Does new material you are working on sound similar to your current album or would you say you are branching out?
My style of music, is folk. Some innocent folk, and a little bit of blues, and country , acoustic, indie. But I don't know, I think it's my own style. And each song is so different from the other.
How do the audiences react to your live performances and on-stage persona?
Well, as I said before, this is the most beautiful part I think. People are smiling listening, thinking, I mean really focus on the song and sometime they are singing the songs and when is a quiet song, is the greatest part. You can hear the most beautiful silence ever, they are always so respectfull, and quiet.
What are your interests outside of music? Is there anything you particularly fancy?
Not much. I really love music, and making or listening music always. But, I like the mountain, I like to snowboard! But I'm just starting and I like cooking special plates. I like animals and being with friends. I like readiing also.
How do you think the internet has influenced your musical career?
Well I really think that Internet has been so so important. Thanks to MySpace, people from everywhere started to listen to my music, and I get a lot of gigs and interviews from everywhere, and a lot of opportunities. I'm really thankfull, that's maybe one of the only good things of living in this century!
How important do you think image is to an emerging female artist?
I think that is important but at the same level that the image its important to a male artist. I'm just natural.
What are you plans and dreams for the next year?
My manager is preparing an Europe tour, I think is going to be really important and meaningful. I would like to make a tour in the US also.
Please tell us anything that we may have missed with the questions above.
That everybody can buy my album From this Side on iTunes In January!