Natalia Chai is an independent R&B/Neosoul singer-songwriter based in Edmonton, Canada. Natalia is classically trained in piano and this definitely shines through in her music as she has a nostalgic old school vibe to work. Natalia Chai's first EP 'Connections' was released in March of 2017, followed by her debut album 'Connected' in 2018. Her music touches on social issues as well as individual conflicts, which makes her sound relatable to many people.
In Natalia’s most recent single "Ride or Die" (ft. Jeff Hendrick) she sings about wanting a partner who will stick with her through the good times and bad times. She expresses her love for him by singing ‘’I will ride or die with you, I’ll give you my all’’. Natalia is willing to be vulnerable with her partner and she is looking for the same thing to be reciprocated as she sings ‘’can you tell me how you feel, tell me everything that's real, you don't have to be afraid, just me and you will be safe’’. She is looking for trust within their relationship which is what makes this record a universal love song, one that we can all relate to. The vibe of the song is very nostalgic and it’s performed in a genuine way. This is definitely a song to relax to and vibe out to, whether by yourself or with a loved one. Natalia is definitely on her way to becoming a household name.
Listen to "Ride or Die" here.
Hey there Natalia Chai, welcome to BuzzMusic! We're really excited to be featuring your newest single "Ride or Die"! Could you tell us how this song came about and what inspired the record?
Thank you so much BuzzMusic for featuring my newest single "Ride or Die". Inspiration and ideas come randomly and at unexpected moments for me and that was exactly what transpired in November of last year. I was at my piano tinkering around when I stumbled across my first chord and immediately I heard the next progression and it just flowed onward musically. I started humming a melody line that took a couple of tries to find the top line that you now hear on the track. As I developed the instrumental further, the way that it made me "feel" dictated and inspired my concept along with some personal experiences. Jey Blaq of VestEd!Music, my dream team producer immediately understood the vibe that I was going for and brought it to life. In combination with the old school R&B feel, I wanted to elicit a feeling of the desire of an element that is missing in our society today and that is the concept of loyalty - loyalty to our lifetime partners, loyalty to our family and closest friends and loyalty to my first love and passion - music!
How would you say "Ride Or Die" is different than your previous releases?
"Ride or Die" is different from my first two projects in many ways. Like any musician, singer-songwriter, and artist we are on an ongoing journey in finding our "sound". In "Ride or Die" I found my sound where I intended to create a nostalgic R&B smooth, mellow and sultry vibe that you hear produced in Atlanta/Philly allowing the listeners time to feel the music - how R&B was from the 90s and early 2000s. This was brought to life with the brilliant live saxophone sections played by the one and only, fellow local R&B and saxophone legend Jeff Hendrick. This song was written in 3 days versus my 3-month average. Writing lyrics is usually the longest part of the process but with this track, the words flowed. The bridge is one of my favorite parts of the song because I was able to incorporate a Neosoul harmonic touch that listeners won't expect! "Ride or Die" is also different because I find myself sometimes forgetting that I wrote this song.
You have such an authentic classic R&B vibe, is there anyone that was from the 90s or early 2000s that you would love to collaborate with?
There are too many but if I had to choose a few, my first would be Alicia Keys. I remember all too well the summer of 2000 when her debut single "Fallin" came out on MTV and that was the moment when it opened up a whole new musical world to R&B, soul, funk, and Motown. Brian McKnight, Maxwell, Mint Condition, Sade, Groove Theory, Lauryn Hill, D'Angelo, and Erykah Badu. The list continues with Jill Scott, Jazmine Sullivan, and India Arie.
How would you describe being an independent artist in Edmonton? What is the music scene like in Edmonton and what is your favorite part about it?
The music scene in Edmonton is a very small community compared to Toronto and Vancouver. Although small, there are established communities within different types of music genres. Given our demographic in Alberta, genres that flourish are folk, indie, and country whereas R&B, Hip-hop, soul are maybe less recognized. Public appreciation for live music is a struggle but there are amazing venues that support artists of all walks in life and provide us with opportunities to share our creativity. As an independent artist in Edmonton, there are pros and cons. The market is not as saturated as in Toronto and Vancouver, therefore, it allows me a little more room to "stand out" however investment opportunities in artists especially those who are just starting up, are limited compared to other provinces. The best part of being in a young music scene like Edmonton is being part of the beginning stages of something that has the potential to grow. There is something about being a part of the small and humble beginnings - to know that what I'm building for myself is simultaneously contributing to a community that I hope will put Edmonton and Calgary on the map as music cities.
Thank you for talking with us Natalia! What can fans anticipate next from you?
My fans can expect new projects every 2-3 months where I collaborate with amazing musicians, artists, and producers that unveil my story. They will be witnesses to the evolution of my sound and can expect the truth, vulnerability, and material that will make them feel and engage in real "conversations". I hope that my current and new fans will be able to stay "smooth, to groove to their own beat, be inspired and to believe that anything is possible". Thank you so much BuzzMusic for this opportunity and I am excited to create and share more music and content with you all.