Pleased to Meet You Spotlight: Natalie Prass

An Old Soul

Feb 26, 2015 Web Exclusive Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share


Name: Natalie Prass

Where: Prass was born in Cleveland and, after a short time in Los Angeles, her family moved to Virginia Beach when she was three or four years old. After stints in Boston and Nashville, Prass recently moved to Richmond, VA, where her label, Spacebomb Records, is based.

"I literally just moved three-and-a-half weeks ago. I got off tour with Jenny Lewis right before Christmas and couch surfed," says Prass, who toured as a member of Lewis' backing band. "All my stuff is in storage in Nashville, so I just had what I had from tour, a suitcase, my gear, and just some random shit. I was just like, 'Book my plane to Richmond.'"

Foundation and Formation: Prass began writing songs in first grade, inspired by her father, who wrote songs in his spare time. After high school, Prass enrolled in Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she spent one year before moving to Nashville and transferring to Middle Tennessee State University, where she studied songwriting. Prass released an EP of acoustic, singer/songwriter fare, entitled Small & Sweet in 2009, which she sold at shows she'd play in the Nashville area. After another EP, 2011's Sense of Transcendence, Prass continued to hone her skills, touring much of the past year as part of Lewis' band. Prass' self-titled debut was released on January 27 of this year.

On the main difference between Boston and Nashville, Prass says: "Boston is a beautiful city. I haven't really spent any time there since I was 18 or 19, so I feel like my view of Boston is really messed up. So I'm not going to knock it. But my experience there was that it was really cold and really dark all the time. And windy. And then people were really mean, especially at the bookstore [where I worked]. Then when I got to Nashville, it was just like utopia. Pleasantness."

Reference Points: Stax-era soul, Motown Records, Burt Bacharach, Diana Ross.

"I get compared to Dusty in Memphis, and I listened to that record like once," Prass says of Dusty Springfield's 1969-released classic. "I should really listen to that record again, because everybody's saying it sounds like that. But everything else, that's definitely what I listen to all the time."

Sound and Vision:

 

Releases: Natalie Prass, her debut album, produced by Matthew E. White and Trey Pollard and released on Spacebomb and Columbia Records.

Links:

www.natalieprassmusic.com

www.facebook.com/NataliePrass

www.spacebombrecords.com

[Pick up or download the forthcoming next issue of Under the Radar to read more from our interview with Natalie Prass.]



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