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Los Angeles, California (CNN) — Fans got a first listen to English pop singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield’s new music in an uncharacteristic way: a movie trailer.
” ‘Morning Glory.’ I just saw it, fantastic movie!” Bedingfield said. “And my song is the title track. It’s, like, just at the end. You know, obviously that makes the movie even more fun for me to watch, because it’s my song on there.”
After the trailer for the romantic comedy “Morning Glory” debuted in the fall, fans began buzzing about the featured Bedingfield track, “Strip Me.” The singer then announced that her third studio album of the same name would be released in November, later pushed back to a December release.
Bedingfield says she created this album over a two-year journey, during which she wed documentary filmmaker Matt Robinson and traveled, drawing inspiration from many different places.
“I went to New Zealand, which is where my family is from and where I’m from, and I got a whole lot of ideas,” Bedingfield explained. “Then I came to America, and I went to England a bit and Sweden, and basically in all of that journey, I made an album.”
CNN caught up with Bedingfield before her Los Angeles showcase in November, where she sang her songs from the “Strip Me” album live for the first time. The singer talked about the new album, working with various artists like rapper Nicki Minaj and why she sees hope in her music.
CNN: You said your new album “Strip Me” is about going back to basics. Can you elaborate on that?
Natasha Bedingfield: Yes, “Strip Me” is all about just stripping away all the smoke and veneers and stuff that we see in pop music today and just being real and bare. I feel like the whole world, everywhere I’ve traveled and seen the world, I feel like we’ve all gone through a stripping process at some time or another, you know, where things that we thought were secure beneath our feet have kind of just slid out from under us, and we’re kind of left just going, ‘Who are we in all of that?’ and ‘Do I matter?’ … I feel like we need to remind ourselves that we matter and our voices count, and nothing that happens to us in our life should be able to shake that.
CNN: Did you come up with this theme for the album before you began writing, or during the writing process, you began to notice this theme take form?
Bedingfield: Well, the theme kind of started to emerge. My main goal for the album was to talk about being human, human needs, desires, wishes. It just kind of started at that, and then it kind of progressed to what it is. … I think that when you’re songwriting, it’s like you put an antenna up and you kind of like feeling and hearing.
A lot of songwriters will say that you’re kind of hearing what is the world saying and tapping into those emotions and feelings, and you know I guess that’s kind of how I got the theme of the album. Musically, it’s very guitar-driven, with little drumbeats, like what I normally do.
CNN: What are you most excited for people to hear when you play these new songs live?
Bedingfield: I just think that people will hear a progression, and they’ll also hear songs that you can easily pick up and sing along to. It’s definitely more of, you know, what you get when you hear me, but I do think that there’s a progression there. I don’t know, I feel like it’s my best yet, and hopefully, everyone else can feel the same.
CNN: You often collaborate with others when you’re writing. Why do you enjoy working and writing with other people?
Bedingfield: Writing with other people, it’s just much more fun than writing on your own. I feel like writing alone, you get one side; it’s your side. … Also, I don’t play instruments very well, so the main reason I write with other people is because they’ll do the musical part. We’ll do that together, but they’ll kind of bring that, and I’ll bring more of the lyrics and melody, and we’ll combine that together.
CNN: You also collaborated with other artists on songs for their new albums, like rapper Nicki Minaj and country group Rascal Flatts. How did that come about?
Bedingfield: I just love the way the world is now. You know, we all have iTunes. We all have some many different styles that we love listening to, and you know, I’m really excited. I have a lot of really great collaborations coming up this year. Nicki Minaj, she asked me to sing one of her songs … and Rascal Flatts, you know, I’m a big country music fan, and it’s just great. The sky’s the limit.
CNN: What other current artists would you want to collaborate with?
Bedingfield: Oh, so many. I would love to work with Eminem. … I actually really love the Foo Fighters. It would be a dream to work with the Foo Fighters or Radiohead.
CNN: You have great pop hooks and melodies in all your music. Where do you find your inspiration to inspire others?
Bedingfield: I just get inspired by stories and things that I hear and situations and sometimes conversations. You know, it’s like, things will come up, and I’m like, “That sounds like a song.” … There’s definitely been times where I’ve gone out dancing, you know, gone out partying, and I’ll just come back with a beat or a melody or something I can’t get out of my head, and I’ll build a song around that.
CNN: You say this album is your best yet, and you’re extremely excited about it. What is it you really want fans to know about it?
Bedingfield: I want fans to know how important that they are to me. … I just value the connection of fans and the way that they’ve taken my music so personally and the way that they support me.
I want them to like my music. I really think of people who are listening to my music when I write it. I really think of what are they going to get into and enjoy and dance to and want to sing along to. You know, if it can bring some hope in a world where it’s kind of so easy for everyone to get bogged down in hopelessness.
You know, you just watch the TV, turn the TV on, and it’s just like, “Ahhh, this world’s a bit crazy.” But, you know, I feel like music has a really cool job in that environment to kind of help us see that there isn’t just a tunnel, there’s a light at the end, you know? We can actually have hope, and that’s what I feel when I listen to music.
Source: CNN International