Natasha Kmeto, 32, is an American musician from the West coast who is building a career based on pop, r&b and electronics and confessional lyrics about love, sex, jealousy or sadness. In this exclusive interview she explains the discovery of her very own creative world.

Your website describes your music as “the art of emotional engagement”. Can you elaborate on that?
I count myself as first and foremost a big fan of music and the arts. My favourite art always centres around honest expression. I like to come from a very openly emotive place with my music because I feel like that’s the best way to truly connect with people. It feels the best to me both as an audience member and a performer.

How do you classify your aesthetics?
Emotive, dark, sensual, bold, percussive, soulful.

You have released two albums until now: Crisis (2013) and Inevitable (2015). How are they connected?
They are connected very much so. Inevitable is a continuation of the story I began to tell with Crisis. Crisis was more sparse, more delicate and described more seeking and exploration whereas Inevitable speaks with more confidence and certainty. It definitely explores more of the an upfront vocal style and frequency range.

Why did you decide to portray your intimate life in your lyrics? Are we talking about confessional lyrics or lyrics that were created by an artistic persona?
They are mostly confessional. I guess it ties back into being honest and emotive. It felt right as a catharsis for me personally. I’ve recently started exploring more in writing from the perspective of an artistic persona though.

 

“Last Time”, Crisis (2013)

“Come and Say”, Inevitable (2015)

 

Would you be comfortable being described as a lesbian artist?
Yes, although I’m not trying to overtly prelude anyone from relating to my music. We don’t describe heterosexual artists as “heterosexual artists”, they’re just “artists” that happen to identify as straight. I’m just writing from the perspective of my life and I happen to be a lesbian.

How influential is your sexuality to your music?
It’s as influential as any other aspect of my life, culture and upbringing. 

Do you see yourself more as producer and writer or as a singer?
It’s tough to pick, I’d say its an even 50/50.

All songs from Inevitable were written, performed and produced by you. Is that correct?
That’s correct. All songs start with me sitting at my computer in my studio making sounds, describing feelings and trying to make it all fit. More often than not, I’ll begin with a eight bar loop of drums or synths that I really like and build from there. But I’ve also started songs with just a vocal melody. It’s really just about what comes out naturally.

You have been living in Portland for the last nine years, but you were you born in Sacramento and you studied in Los Angeles. Could you briefly describe those transitions?
My first transition from Sacramento to Los Angeles was solely just for school and to get closer to an industry hub. I learned a lot while I was there but eventually felt like I actually needed more distance from the business side of the music industry to feel free to create something unique. Portland nine years ago was very different than it is today, but it still stands as a source of inspiration for me in the amount of creative, alternative and out-of-the-box thinkers that are celebrated here.

Bruno Horta

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