Natasha sings our praises

The song­bird loves her Kiwi es­capes

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - Woman's Day This Week -

From the Auck­land sub­urb of Hills­bor­ough to the bright lights of Los An­ge­les, Kiwi pop star Natasha Bed­ing­field has come a long way since her school days in New Zealand – and now the Grammy nom­i­nee has opened up for the first time about how her Kiwi roots have shaped her.

Though her Kiwi parents moved to Eng­land af­ter the birth of her big brother, fel­low singer and TheXFac­torNZ judge Daniel, the 35-year-old “Love Like This” diva at­tended pri­mary school in the City of Sails and has since spent a sub­stan­tial amount of time on our shores. In fact, Aotearoa is her favourite place to spend qual­ity time with her hus­band of eight years, Cal­i­for­nian busi­ness­man Matt Robin­son.

“We go ev­ery cou­ple of years,” says Natasha, speak­ing to Woman’sDay back­stage af­ter a gig in LA. “I’m very close to my grand­par­ents. I have one nana and one grand­dad still alive there.

“And we love to go sail­ing there. Matt’s got a li­cence so we can go any­where in the world with our sail­boat. He’s the cap­tain and I have to do what­ever he says, and he loves that. It’s the only place where I don’t ques­tion him!”

While Matt com­mands at sea, Natasha is the ex­pert with all things Kiwi and says her time in NZ proved to have a strong im­pact on her life and ca­reer. She earned a Grammy nom­i­na­tion for her hit “Un­writ­ten”, which she says is about fe­male em­pow­er­ment, and be­lieves much of her pas­sion for girl power stems from her back­ground.

“Be­cause we grew up as im­mi­grants, we de­vel­oped a lot of our iden­tity in the New Zealand cul­ture. Things like how New Zealan­ders speak their mind and women are equal. It was the first coun­try where women could vote, so be­ing fem­i­nist and be­ing equal to men are im­por­tant to us. Plus, it’s just such a beau­ti­ful coun­try, so the na­ture of New Zealand has re­ally im­pacted me a lot.”

Strug­gle street

The Bed­ing­field fam­ily’s years in the UK were also piv­otal, with Natasha – one of four kids – re­cently re­veal­ing that much of her child­hood in­volved financial strug­gles. She says her parents had to fight to pro­vide for the fam­ily af­ter mov­ing to Eng­land to work for var­i­ous char­i­ties.

Natasha re­calls her pen­ny­wise mum bud­get­ing the equiv­a­lent of $56 a week for food, then vis­it­ing su­per­mar­kets late at night so they could buy end-of-day items at dis­counted prices. She says the fam­ily also re­lied on sec­ond-hand cloth­ing and lived in an area pop­u­lated with un­savoury char­ac­ters.

“There were a lot of very weird peo­ple around us, but we thought that was how the world was. It was a fun child­hood be­cause our parents in­cluded us in ev­ery­thing, but it was in­ter­est­ing to grow up and re­alise not ev­ery­one is a drug ad­dict! We grew up with a lot of ad­dicts around us and just thought that was very nor­mal.”

Natasha started work­ing part-time gigs when she was 11, then fol­lowed in Daniel’s foot­steps af­ter he earned his big mu­si­cal break with the 2002 world­wide smash hit “Gotta Get Thru This”.

As well as earn­ing her own chart suc­cess with sin­gles “These Words” and “Pock­et­ful

‘ Buy­ing a house was a re­ally big mo­ment for me’

of Sun­shine”, she’s per­formed for the Pope, toured with Justin Tim­ber­lake, hung with Katy Perry, and recorded mu­sic with Bey­oncé and Mariah Carey.

But while money is no longer a strug­gle, Natasha still doesn’t take cash for granted and strug­gles to name her big­gest splurge over the years.

“When you grow up with not a lot of money, you keep re­mind­ing your­self what money is worth and you try to keep in touch with that,” she says. “Buy­ing a house was re­ally a big mo­ment for me – and buy­ing a car.

“My dream as a kid was, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a store, not look at the prices and just buy clothes?’ So just do­ing that for the first time – putting a whole out­fit on and not looking at the price – felt very deca­dent!”

Natasha and Matt mar­ried in Mal­ibu in 2009 and the singer says “hav­ing dis­tance” has been key to mak­ing their mar­riage work in a town where each year of wed­ded bliss is “like dog years”.

“The thing that has been a good key in­gre­di­ent for us is that when we started dat­ing, we were used to our own space and, per­son­al­ity-wise, we’re both in­tro­verts, so we like time alone.

“We don’t feel in­se­cure when we’re apart and we trust each other. We do miss each other, but some­times miss­ing some­one makes you love them more. Some­times it’s a good thing!”

-- Time apart from Matt makes Natasha ap­pre­ci­ate their time to­gether even more.

Natasha and brother Daniel.

Hav­ing a lov­ing, close-knit fam­ily has helped the singer to al­ways see the world through roset­inted glasses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.