Introducing… Natasha Watts
The name of this charming songbird has been on the lips of those by fortune blessed to be in the know for a while now. With what and when I shall get to momentarily, but the ‘spotlight’ feature is about an album first and foremost, so be you a fan of hers for some time or only now to be afresh in the delight, the marvellous news is that at last her debut collection is upon us.
I first became familiar with the lady a few years back with Time To Shine (Aaron Ross feat. Natasha Watts). It was an instant case of “WORD!” – anyone who knows me or is familiar with my musings upon these pages is aware of how I adore songs of affirmation.
As it was the MuthaFunkaz Soul Time Mix that got my juice initially a-boiling to that most sweet sizzling state, so it is that one that I now select here.
I later discovered of Natasha’s personal loss in having to say goodbye to her greatest support and inspiration, that being her Mother, and how this track therefore held a special meaning for her. As I too have had to do the same – Time To Shine truly takes on that extra power to myself also. As someone once wrote:
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”
Another worthy listing here is 2009’s MuSol feat. Pete Simpson & Natasha Watts – I Believe; so much so that both the Original Mix and the Central Avenue Soulful Remix sit here for your auditory cortex stimulation.
In 2012 she released the four-track Downtown Diva EP, which included a wonderful take on Touch Me (All Night Long). An undeniable classic, first brought to us with Wish & Fonda Rae in 1984 and then covered by both Cathy Dennis in 1990 and Angel City in 2004, with her rendition she gives the familiar a whole new lease.
That year also saw her being one part of the stellar collective brought together for the Cool Million III album with the track Show Me.
To her debut album then, and to begin at the beginning with Born A Star. Upon playing this tears wetted my cheeks with a smile, carrying its deeply personal expression of love that both Natasha and I, as mentioned, have been blessed to hold as ours. It is a beautiful, bouncing chorale of eternal gratitude, and this song will remain with me now as a forever favourite.
The best culinary dishes are created by putting together the finest ingredients, and it is just the same with a musical enterprise. So the fusion of Natasha Watts upon an album produced by Cool Million (aka Frank Ryle & Rob Hardt – the European production duo whose mission statement most assured in accomplishment is to “take soul back to the future”) well, it makes for a sumptuous feast of many flavours.
Singles taken from this rich body of work have been Change, and Go Slow, both of which hit the Number One spot in the UK Soul Charts last year
Other stand-out tracks for me are Worth (too right!) and Skywards – it is a mighty good way to be looking. This is an album of variety, which illustrates with polished precision Natasha’s abundant music education. It is both comfortably retro and quintessentially current. She has the sultry slo-jams, the gentle lilts, the kick-sass no attitude and the affirmation; so in my castle, Natasha Watts is not only welcome, she is a Queen with whom I place a crown upon her head. Though she’s been at this game for a wee while, I think this is just a taste of what is yet to come.
Check out more on the producers Cool Million here: https://musicgspot.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/coolmillion/