Black Magazine - - Black End -




Grant Fell: Your first foray into per­for­mance was in the field of act­ing and TV as Sima on All About Me. Around the time of your TV ap­pear­ances you be­gan writ­ing songs, some of which were fea­tured in films and TV shows – in­clud­ing En­tourage much later in 2008 – was it this song writ­ing process that started you down the path to­ward a mu­si­cal per­for­mance ca­reer or were you mu­si­cal as a child? Natalia Kills: When I was a lit­tle girl I used to write on ev­ery­thing. Walls, ta­bles, mir­rors...i was al­ways fas­ci­nated by the way words could change ev­ery­thing - you can make bad news sound like good news, you can make some­thing sound tempt­ing that was com­pletely un­der­whelm­ing, you can make some­thing seem glam­orous and de­sir­able when it’s re­ally a dev­as­tat­ing mess. I al­ways loved the emo­tional power words could har­ness and dic­tate. You have a sub­stan­tial re­sume as an ac­tress, beyond All About Me; Ca­su­alty, Corona­tion Street, Blue Mur­der, Silent Wit­ness and Love Kills are all fairly ma­jor TV se­ries. Is act­ing some­thing that you will con­tinue to do? Can you have a par­al­lel ca­reer here? I don’t re­ally think about it, so I’m not sure. I gave up act­ing as soon as I was old enough to re­al­ize I could be the one writ­ing the script in­stead of say­ing some­one else’s lines... I’m much bet­ter on this side of the pen! Tell us about the song ‘Shopa­holic’. That song blew up big time on Mys­pace with over 2 mil­lion plays on the site after Perez Hil­ton cham­pi­oned it. What was it like to sud­denly be fa­mous over night – sud­denly meet­ing peo­ple like Akon and Justin Tim­ber­lake? It’s funny be­cause at the time I didn’t even own a com­puter... I had three demos, a Mys­pace page and a pay-as-you-go phone with no credit on it. I used to go to the in­ter­net cafe and check my page once a week when I had ex­tra money. One day, I had half-a-mil­lion plays and fans, and a week later I was on a plane to LA. I was stay­ing in 5-Star ho­tels and fly­ing first class and couldn’t af­ford the bus ride to the air­port! So ab­surd! Have you ever met Perez Hil­ton? Yes! The first time we went out to­gether was re­ally odd - he picked me up at my ho­tel in LA and we drove to Hol­ly­wood… and as we’re go­ing up the es­ca­la­tor of an in­door park­ing garage, a man fell from the 6th floor and died right in front of us! It was tragic and we were scream­ing… def­i­nitely the most dra­matic din­ner date I’ve ever been on! You moved to Los An­ge­les in 2008 and then en­tered a pe­riod that, like your well­doc­u­mented trou­bled child­hood, would prove piv­otal on your life path and also pro­vide fod­der for fu­ture songs and mu­sic. De­scribe those two years in your life… I had kind of ru­ined my life back in London… I’d quit all my act­ing jobs, try­ing to be a writer and had given all my money to my par­ents when my Dad got out of jail… and I had a ter­ri­ble boyfriend that treated me like shit un­til one day I snapped and tried to set fire to our house. I was broke and had been home­less for a while, crash­ing on couches and floors and then fi­nally thought, “Fuck it!” and put some demos on Mys­pace and even­tu­ally man­aged to get out to Hol­ly­wood. I just needed to es­cape my night­mare and live the dream for once, so I had a few dol­lars and a suit­case with a bro­ken wheel and I lived in a run-down mo­tel for a year or so… right un­til I got a record deal. I would go to fancy shops on Rodeo Drive and try on ev­ery­thing - I wanted just to kill time and have fun, and at night I went to par­ties and met peo­ple who let me use their stu­dio and write songs. You con­nected with, signed to In­ter­scope and then moved un­der the Cherry Tree um­brella. How piv­otal has Will been in help­ing to shape the per­sona we now know as Natalia Kills? I made my al­bums with in­cred­i­ble pro­duc­ers like Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Fer­nando Garibay and Cherry Boom Boom…i feel like Jeff has been the most in­flu­en­tial contributor to my sound since he made the whole “Trou­ble” al­bum and he re­ally knows me. I used to write songs with Will for his DJ projects, but as soon as I signed to In­ter­scope I wanted to write my own record… I’ve only seen him a hand­ful of times since then, but he took me to Europe and let me and my band open for his last Black Eyed Peas sta­dium tour. He’s re­ally fun and full of odd ideas...i’m glad he gave me an op­por­tu­nity and lets me get on with my own sound too. You have now re­leased two al­bums, Per­fec­tion­ist in 2011 and Trou­ble in 2013. How do the two al­bums dif­fer and do you pre­fer one over the other? ‘ Trou­ble’ is the shit… it’s so wild and beau­ti­ful! I love that record more than any­thing in the world! It’s more like a con­fes­sion…be­cause I re­al­ized that I can’t be fixed or saved… so in­stead of try­ing to es­cape or apol­o­gize I’m just ex­pos­ing things that’ve made me who I am and make my worst mo­ments into what could feel like my best. Trou­ble is a col­lage of bad girl an­thems de­scrib­ing all the fucked up shit I ever did, sung through high im­pact hip hop drums and grunge guitars in Jeff Bhasker’s heavy pro­duc­tion style. It’s a de­fi­ant and neu­rotic ‘feel-bad’ feel­good al­bum, and even though I’m singing about the tough

Pho­tog­ra­phy: stephen Til­ley Cre­ative di­rec­tor: Rachael church­ward Fash­ion ed­i­tor: zeenat wilkin­son Hair: lau­ren gunn at Stephen Marr us­ing O&M Make-up: kiekie stan­ners for M.A.C Cos­met­ics


times, it some­how makes me feel like it was never that bad at all… The song Satur­day Night, and in­deed the video di­rected by your long time col­lab­o­ra­tor Guil­laume Dou­bet is quite per­sonal for you, and de­picts nu­mer­ous el­e­ments from your life. Was it cathar­tic for you writ­ing this, and in­deed re­leas­ing it? Time to move on? ‘Satur­day Night’ is the sound­track to my life. It’s strange be­cause mu­sic and movies al­ways por­tray be­ing young as th­ese in­vin­ci­ble years of free­dom, op­por­tu­nity and love, but when I was a teenager I didn’t have any of that! I wanted to make a song and a video that showed how fucked up youth can be - hav­ing no con­trol, money or guid­ance. The video is lit­eral - the ac­tors play­ing my par­ents look just like my real fam­ily, the set de­signer built the ‘home’ from pho­tos of the house I grew up in, and those videos of me at the end (the pageant, the clowns, fire­works and Christ­mas din­ner) are all real home movies. When I was re­ally young my par­ents were crazy rich, by the time I was 12 the cops had taken ev­ery­thing, my fa­ther was in jail and we were broke. I moved out when I was almost 15 and spent my whole teenage years with no money, fight­ing with my boyfriend, join­ing a cult and get­ting in trou­ble with the po­lice…i kept telling my­self: ‘I’m go­ing to be fine…” even when I didn’t even be­lieve it. But ev­ery time it felt like the world had ended and time had stopped, it seemed to just keep go­ing, no mat­ter what. Time has no con­sid­er­a­tion for sad­ness… time doesn’t care about re­grets or im­pa­tience…days and weeks go by and even­tu­ally you re­al­ize its all part of a cy­cle, its all just another Satur­day night. That’s quite poetic and qui­etly awe­some Natalia! Let’s talk fash­ion. You al­ways look fan­tas­tic, have you al­ways been fash­ion con­scious? I’m quite cer­tain I’m al­ways off trend. I don’t feel very ‘fash­ion­able’… I just dress how I think ev­ery woman should - ex­pen­sive, dan­ger­ous and slutty… if you follow those three things you can’t go wrong re­ally! We know that you love Pra­bal Gu­rung and that feel­ing is mu­tual. Ditto, Jeremy Scott. Tell us about your re­la­tion­ship with th­ese de­sign­ers... I love their col­lec­tions, and their fash­ion shows are the most fun ever! I think any­one who makes cloth­ing de­signed only for whores, man­nequins and the aris­toc­racy are re­ally on to some­thing… I’m in. How would you de­scribe your own per­sonal look? I look like a black-and-gold Marabou sex doll from an am­a­teur school­girl dom­i­na­trix fetish film. We were so very im­pressed when you were here in New Zealand. Ev­ery la­bel in town was try­ing to get some­thing on you in the hope you would tweet or In­sta­gram the gift to your sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand fol­low­ers. You were very gra­cious in do­ing so and thank­ing ev­ery sin­gle one of them… I adore NZ and the fash­ion scene is so far ahead it’s shock­ing! My fa­vorite thing I came home with was this in­cred­i­ble black leather Amalia O'neill corset/bustier with plas­tic power tits. I’ve worn it for my last 3 shows! New Zealand re­ally has been good to you: Satur­day Night charted here for a while last year, you were much loved dur­ing your short trip by all-and-sundry and then there is one of our own, Willy Moon…any plans for live per­for­mances down un­der, per­haps with Willy? We just moved in to­gether in New York! It’s divine! I would tell you how much fun we’ve been hav­ing, but then you’d fig­ure out how lit­tle work we’re get­ting done… What is next for Natalia Kills? Is there a new al­bum in the pipe­line? We have been record­ing a few songs…it’s much more ag­gres­sive and sar­cas­tic about true love and what hurt means. I want to make a record about all the aw­ful things we do when we’re bored. You have a rare day off. De­scribe a per­fect day off for you. I’d like them to close down Bergdorf Good­man for the day and let me take ev­ery­thing I want! That would be per­fect. What was your last dream about? I was late for din­ner with Mia Wal­lace, Brandy Alexan­der and Amy Blue who were all my friends that had agreed to start a band with me. The bed was a train mov­ing through all th­ese dif­fer­ent ci­ties and rooms. I was dressed as a bride in a satin night­gown from the 70s and I kept cling­ing on to Willy Moon think­ing we were go­ing to fall off, or the wind would blow my veil off and I’d lose it. The train con­duc­tor had no face as if all his skin had melted off as he be­came a skele­ton, and he stood at the foot of the bed yelling out what the next stop would be, but the train never, ever, stopped. Even­tu­ally, we crashed through the ceil­ing into a vel­vet room where my dog Bambi could talk. She ex­plained we were in a sex club with re­ally strict rules and needed to obey the Mis­tress in or­dered to be freed and go home. The mis­tress was Larry King dressed as a furry with a whip and PVC doc­tors bag of tools... then Madonna texted me and I had to go meet her at the stu­dio straight from there, but I was still wear­ing the satin night­gown and the ripped veil, a ball gag from the sex club and the con­duc­ter’s hat with the skele­tons hair still hang­ing out of it. She liked the out­fit and asked me if she could bor­row it for a pho­to­shoot... Ah the old “Larry King dressed as a furry with a whip”, you are hold­ing a din­ner party for some very spe­cial guests with no con­cern for cost or lo­ca­tion. Who would you in­vite and what would be on the menu? I would in­vite Mae West, Bill Clin­ton, Ted Bundy, Beth Ditto, Sharon Tate, Anna Ni­cole Smith, Phil Spec­tor, Belle Knox and Chaz Bono. And we’d all have to be naked eat­ing ice cream un­der a black light. I think that is the best an­swer we’ve ever had to that ques­tion...who, or what are you in­spired by more than any­thing or any­one else? Most of the boy’s I’ve dated and the drugs I’ve taken have each given me a years worth of love and hate to write about... If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? I would make all heels feel

com­fort­able no mat­ter how high or pointy they are.

Favourites: What are you lis­ten­ing to at the mo­ment? Right this sec­ond I’m lis­ten­ing to “Stupid Girl” by Garbage. What are you read­ing? The lyrics I wrote with Madonna for her new al­bum... Your cur­rent favourite TV se­ries? Mad Men. Film? I just saw “Only Lovers Left Alive”... it was very funny! I love Tilda Swin­ton... Artist? My boyfriend said I look like a Pi­casso. Cos­met­ics brand? YSL have beau­ti­ful lip­sticks with in­cred­i­ble cases. I hate things that make you look beau­ti­ful but come in aw­ful pack­ag­ing, so th­ese re­ally work for me... Hair brand? No girl can live with­out El­nette. Nail brand? Julep have beau­ti­ful sparkles! Footwear brand? I adore the Agent Provo­ca­teur “Loleata” Marabou bed­room slip­pers! They’re not just for the bed­room, I wear them ev­ery­where! City in the world? Paris... or wher­ever my boyfriend is...

Jew­eller? I like jew­ellery from Es­tate auc­tions.­tal­i­

Fash­ion as­sists: Dy­lan James Richards & se­bas­tian Mcgirr-hunt

Shot at: white stu­dios op­po­site page: Shirt by zambesi,

top by stolen girl­friends club, vin­tage neck­lace from Jet­set Bo­hemian, shorts by Ruby, rings by zora Bell Boyd Jew­ellery this page: Bustier by amalia o’neill, leather buckle top by JIMMY D, skirt by Top­shop, tiara

and plat­forms, Natalia’s own

open­ing page: Bra by

lonely, lay­ered neck piece by karen walker, neck­lace by swarovski, crown, Natalia’s own

this page: Bra by lonely, lace-up panties and Crino­line by amalia o’neill, plat­forms,

Natalia's own

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