Music is about discovery. When we heard an advance copy of UK soul/house singer Natasha Watts‘ 2nd Time Around, it was a spine-tingling moment us music junkies live for. On her aforementioned album out May 2 on SedSoul, Watts, who has worked with DJ Spen, Terry Hunter, Reel People and Bugz In The Attic’s Kaidi Tathum, spreads her creative wings and elevates to new artistic heights. Among the standout tracks is “Insatiable,” an incredible duet with UK soul legend Omar who in a perfect world would be a household name in America. Curious to know about her influences and how she got here from there, we asked Ms. Watts to share a few of the artists who have inspired her along the way.
Cilla Black – “Anyone Who Had A Heart”
This track was one of my earliest musical memories. I remember recording it off the radio when I was about 6 or 7. When I heard this track I specifically remember thinking, “Wow, I want to sing like that.” Cilla’s voice really got me, and I made it my mission to learn all the words and sing it all day until I got it!
Whitney Houston – “Saving All My Love”
I don’t really think this lady needs any introduction, but to say she is one of the reasons I sing is an understatement. I love her and everything about her. I even used to pretend to be her when I worked on a holiday park at the age of 16. I still have her first album on wax, and I will treasure it as the making of who I wanted to be.
Joi Cardwell – “Let It Go”
This vocal track blew me away when I first heard it and it made me want to sing house even more! From the melody to the lyrics, me and my sister learned this together and it’s still one of my most favorite tracks!
John Holt – “Forever My Darling”
My love for reggae will always run deep. One day I would love to create an album consisting of such a thing! This track is by far one of the best reggae tracks ever!
Be Be Winnans – “Brand New Dance”
The first time I heard this I literally cried in the middle of the dance floor! I was at Southport Weekender and I had a ‘moment’ all by myself [laughs]! I love vocal house and this track is at the top of my list!
Natasha watts – “Born A Star”
Yes, I know it’s one of my own songs, but the reason it’s influenced me and continues to influence me is because when I listen to it it reminds me why I sing and who I do it for. Everyone should have that one track that keeps them in the right lane and continues to keep them focused on the future.
Chaka Khan – “Sweet Thing”
This lady has the voice of an angel! I’ve been a fan for years and got to see her live a few years ago for the first time. I love the vocals and the expression she delivers always makes me smile. And when she opens up at the end!
Brandy & Monica – “Boy Is Mine”
I remember when this came out I was like, “I need to be one of the singers in this video, I am going to make it my mission to do that! I still know all the words and would still be in the video if they asked me! Nineties R&B is my youth, and I would happily go back there.
The Snatch – “The Herbaliser (Sensual Woman)”
This right here is one of my favorite pieces. I love the mood, love the flute, love the sexiness of the whole thing. I got to meet the people behind the track and wish I had a chance to have been on it! I love this!
Jill Scott – “He Loves Me”
This track needs no introduction. I am sure their are a million singers that off the back of this track decided to go into the studio. For me it’s still her best track and by far one of the reasons I sing today. Just listening to it now has brought back so many memories and feelings of being in awe of her!