Not many of you may know exactly who Natalia Kills is. She’s been a recurring feature throughout nearly all of my articles (what can I say, I’m a fan) and I said her – amazing – song Controversy as the official 4th best song of 2012 and told you that her – probably mind-blowingly amazing – upcoming 2nd album ‘Trouble’ will be one of the albums to watch out for in 2013.
But who is Natalia Kills? I won’t bore you will all the details (although I do literally know every single detail) but, basically, Natalia Kills is a British singer-songwriter from Bradford. After a brush with fame when she starred in a BBC sitcom and landed a top 20 hit with ‘Don’t Play Nice’ under the moniker of Verbalicious, Natalia Kills – then simply known as Natalia Cappuccinni – uploaded songs to MySpace, which caught the attention of blogger Perez Hilton.
Long story short, Natalia flew to LA, signed a deal to the record label of will.i.am (!) and Lady Gaga’s record label, Interscope, and ‘Indie’ US pop record label, Cherrytree. She quickly re-named herself Natalia Kills – her record label wisely advised her to do so, since her last name is quite ‘posh’ – and in 2009 released two songs, ‘Zombie‘ and ‘Activate My Heart‘. Her first proper single was released in 2010 and was called ‘Mirrors’. ‘Mirrors‘ is the greatest song in the history of time. Sorry Bad Romance, but it just is. Her debut album, Perfectionist, was released in 2011 and is just as equally, life-changingly brilliant as its lead single.
Sadly, despite them being nothing less than modern masterpieces, Natalia found little success with her debut album and its subsequent singles, ‘Mirrors’, ‘Wonderland’, ‘Free’ and the amazingly titled ‘Kill My Boyfriend.’ But now, I am glad to shout from the rooftops that Natalia Kills is BACK. Kills’ new song, ‘Problem’, both establishes Kills’ role as an exciting, innovative, brilliant pop artist and sets a new identity for Kills, who lost a lot of her originality when both her image and her music – noir-ish, atmospheric and darkly brilliant – were compared to the Lady of Gaga. ‘Problem’, with its electra vocals, 90’s grunge guitars and police sirens, establishes Kills as a troublemaker of the pop world, an artist who’s not afraid to re-invent herself and step away from the mainstream.
Produced by Jeff Bhasker – who most famously produced fun.’s number one smash ‘We Are Young’ and the Lana Del Rey album ‘Born To Die’ – the song’s beat, especially those guitars, are infectious. It’s the type of soundtrack you’d expect high school girls to do their catwalk strut to down the corridor. It’s an expression of love, lust and passion. It’s an explosion of guitar riffs and police sirens and Kills’ voice cooly breezing over the music ordering you to ‘take your shirt, shoes, jeans, off’ until the beat drops and the guitars blare.
‘Problem’ may not be the most radio-friendly song in the world, but isn’t that what the charts need? In a world where will.i.am and Britney Spears’ ‘Scream and Shout’ exists, with its faux-British accents and its label of a ‘club ready’ anthem, pop music seems to need a kick up the backside. A bit of originality to shake things up. I don’t mean to sound like I’m some kind of pop Svengali – I’m not – but I’d say that Natalia Kills serves that kick up the backside with a lot more ‘tude than some of her pop companions.
Lady Gaga hasn’t released music in nearly 2 years, BeyoncÃ© has not yet fully returned to unleash new music on us, Ke$ha’s last album has dried up and who the hell knows where Katy Perry is but now seems like precisely the right time for a not-altogether-new but most exciting artist to enter the charts and kickstart a new era of pop.
‘Problem’ is the most exciting pop song I’ve heard since ‘Bad Romance’. It is, all at once, a homage to the 90s, a cheeky nod to Jeff Bhasker’s hip-hop roots and a declaration that Natalia Kills is a force to be reckoned withâ€¦and that the girl is most definitely a problem.
‘Problem’ by Natalia Kills is out now in the US, although a UK release date has yet to be confirmed.