A Chat with Natalie Nicole Gilbert (03.11.21)

Known for her intimate lyricism and musical versatility, multi-award-winning artist Natalie Nicole Gilbert can easily captivate an audience. We speak with her about her most recent album Recovery, favourite meals and much more.

OSR: What drew you to music?

Gilbert: My mother was a professional pianist, so music was everywhere while I was growing up.

OSR: What inspires you to make music?

Gilbert: Seeing a need for change, watching the trials that friends and loved ones go through, enduring challenges myself, finding new ways to communicate and express concepts.

OSR: What is the backstory to your new album Recovery?

Gilbert: Initially, it was meant to be a clever title with ‘Cover’ in it for a collection of cover songs, but then we kept adding more originals. The central theme of bouncing back from struggles remains.

OSR: Did you have any challenges during the writing and recording process?

Gilbert: Most of the album was recorded during the pandemic so all our recording was done more or less remotely. All the instrumentalists recorded in their own studios and sent us their tracks to integrate into the mix. At the same time, because of Covid, many of the artists we collaborated with had more time to work on more tracks, so it gave us more freedom to take our time and really delve deeply into the songs we recorded.



OSR: What is your creative process?

Gilbert: It varies per song. When I’m songwriting I like to start on the piano or guitar, but also sometimes start with a melody that starts to haunt me. Then, I bring it to others I enjoy working with to see if it catches their fancy and if they have any ideas to build on what I’ve created.

OSR: Do you come from a musical family?

Gilbert: Yes, in addition to my mother working as a full-time pianist my sister also sings and the three of us often performed together for events when I was growing up. That’s where I get a lot of my harmonising and arranging sensibilities from by and large.

OSR: If you could change one thing about Recovery, what would it be and why?

Gilbert: Oh, so many things. As artists, we always hear things in the mix we’d like to strengthen or do another take or another mix or tweak on, but over the years I’ve learned that after I’ve given it a reasonable amount of time, I have to let the song live and breathe on its own and just release it. We can always release alt edits later or touch it up in the EPK if something really jumps out at us. Often the little things I hear that I would change are the things that fans like. It’s all down to preference, so it’s good to step back and set it free.

OSR: What do you hope people take from your music in general?

Gilbert: That though we’ve all had a tough year they have the strength to press on and keep at it. Sometimes pressing on will take a different shape than we originally expected or may require more from us than we were initially prepared to give, but we’re capable and it’s so important to try.


Natalie Nicole Gilbert press for Recovery

OSR: If you could spend the weekend with any person, who would it be and why?

Gilbert: I miss my solo retreats just taking some time alone in the woods or taking long road trips. I know that may seem an odd answer when we’ve all been “isolated” during the last year or so, but as an introvert, I personally feel that isolation has made people expect you to be more connected digitally – we all have less time to turn off and enjoy the quiet.

OSR: What is your favourite meal?

Gilbert: Almost anything Italian, as long as there’s no mushrooms or olives.

OSR: Do you have future plans?

Gilbert: We have a number of releases queued up for the rest of this year and next. A music video mix of a song on Recovery, ‘Victory’, was just released. Otherwise, Covid has underscored that it’s difficult to make plans very far in advance these days, so I’m trying to take it one week and month at a time.


Thank you to Natalie Nicole Gilbert for speaking with us. For more from Natalie Nicole Gilbert check out her official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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