The Heartwarming Folk Sounds of Natalia Salter

Natalia Salter is an English-Peruvian creative who has had a whirlwind of a year in 2022. Cutting her teeth by touring the UK and Europe as a collective in the folk scene, she’s had extensive musical experience that she now puts into her solo work. Her latest offering ‘Million and One‘ is a heartwarming new single that features a colourful melting pot of infectious vocals, rhythmic guitars and ethereal backing vocals. We sat down with the rising star to discuss her fantastic year, and much more. 

‘Million And One’ has a noticeably more optimistic tone and colourful palette compared to your previous singles ‘Coming Down’ and ‘Hold Back’, what inspired this different direction?

That’s cool that you noticed!  It was new territory for me as an artist, compared to my usual tone.  As a person, I feel I am mostly optimistic and positive, but for some reason when it comes to writing I tap into a different, rawer side of myself and have always resonated with a more melancholic sound.  

When I wrote ‘Coming Down’ I was still in a pretty dark place compared to when I wrote ‘Million And One’ during the lockdown.  I was feeling a real shift in myself during this period.  Although it was all a bit scary and chaotic, having that pause really made me have a deep appreciation for the simple things.  Also, as a person with quite high levels of anxiety and resistance, that time made me embrace the things I couldn’t change.  All the lightness I felt got channeled into ‘Million And One’

2022 has been quite a year for you- where do you see yourself going sonically in 2023?

I am very excited about incorporating more electronic elements into my sound in 2023.  I have been diving into a lot of Cocteau Twins and Portishead this past year, so listening to them has been massively inspiring some of my latest ideas.

As a Peruvian-English artist who works between London and Valencia, what perspective do you feel you bring from experiencing different cultures intimately?

Because I spend so much time traveling between the two and have lived away from my family for so long, I don’t have a strong sense of belonging anywhere specifically. But, not in a sad way, I actually find this really freeing and makes me less rigid as a person in general.  Home is wherever I’m at and I am always up for exploring new ideas and new territory, metaphorically and literally.  The different landscapes also really inspire my mood and creativity.  Spain somehow feels more HD, vibrant and exciting; whereas when I’m in the UK I just feel really cozy and introspective.  I do most of my dreaming and thinking in Spain and then come back to the UK  to flesh out and write the ideas. 

Before your solo career you were a part of a folk collective then worked as a top-liner, what made you take this different, solo, direction?

I’ve always written music for myself but had a few years of feeling completely uninspired and deflated from toxic experiences with the industry.  I took a big break from social media and started writing poetry again.  Suddenly all these ideas started flowing and I felt like my muse had returned.  I’ve started to overcome so many insecurities that I felt like I needed to share this new body of work in the hope that people will also resonate with the feelings I had whilst writing these songs.

What do you want audiences to take away from the new single?

I want people to know that it is possible to learn to love yourself in spite of your past mistakes and personal struggles.  That there is a lighter side to life if you just trust and embrace the change and allow yourself to take a different approach.  Life can actually be pretty fucking great when you learn to let go.

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