Take Me To Wonderland: Interview with Natalia Kills (Part II)

It’s very Sin City, for sure. You know there’s that gang of hit girls–kind of like hookers? It’s kind of what inspired my live show.

Back in May of this year, I interviewed one of Cherrytree Records’ newest acts, Natalia Kills. The up-and-coming artist was just in the midst of unveiling her brand new web series, “Love Kills, XX,” as well as preparing the release of her debut single, “Mirrors.”

Since then, Kills has found herself in the middle of a whirlwind touring schedule–first opening for Kelis in October on her European tour, and then stateside in November to tour with fellow Cherrytree Records label mate, Robyn (which I just caught last Wednesday)!

While in town for her performance at the PopJustice/High Rise showcase in Brooklyn during CMJ a few weeks ago, Miss Kills was kind enough to hop on the phone with me once again to discuss all her murderous plans to date.

Click “Read More…” to see what Natalia Kills really thinks about her recent music leaks, her live performances, and touring with Robyn. She even corrects me when I mispronounce “debauchery”!

Ever the Perfectionist, that one.

Hello! How are you?
I’m great, thank you. How are you?

I’m doing well. Nice to be speaking with you again.
Yeah, wonderful!

Did you just get into New York?
Yeah, I did. I’ve just been in Europe, actually. I probably told you this last time, but I love New York so much. I’m always happy to be here.

Are you going to go to any of the other shows at CMJ?
Oh, I don’t think so. I’d love to! We’ll see, ‘cause I’m pushing for it right now. I really do want to go but we’ll see, I don’t know. I don’t know, my arms are twisted backwards, but there might be some arm twisting going on later so…

Of course. There’s like a thousand bands literally playing at the same time so it’s kind of hard.
Yeah, it’s great though! It’s just like a big celebration of music. It’s awesome.

It really is, yeah. Your own show is going to be tomorrow! That’s going to be at the PopJustice/High Rise event.
Yeah, excited about that too. You know, one time I was in New York, I played at this place called The Box. It’s like a private burlesque club. So before I went on stage, there were all these acts like–it’s like a striptease and a circus. It’s just really incredible, so I’m just excited now to be in New York because I feel like the shows here are more wild and the audiences are much more up for it. So I’m really excited for tomorrow!

Awesome! So, you’ve been in Europe and you’ve been with Kelis which is an incredible way to start, I think, to go out into the road. How has the experience been?
It’s great. It was really great to finally be home because, you know, I’m from Europe. It’s really good to just be back and this time the first show was actually at Shepherd’s Bush in London and my friends and my family–who I haven’t seen in more than a year now–got to come to the show, and it was the first time they’d seen me perform or do anything. They’d never heard the music, they haven’t been keeping up with the visuals, they don’t Google ‘cause they’re not in the music industry, so it was really cool to have that kind of reunion. It was really fun.

Oh man. What did they think?
Yeah, they liked it. They liked it. You know, my show’s quite shocking, so I was kind of like “Ooh, gosh. Can I really invite my brother or my Mom? I don’t know.” But, it was great, you know. They were really surprised…but in a good way. Are you going to see one of the shows?

Yeah, I’m coming tomorrow.

[Laughing] Yeah, I’m coming tomorrow and later on I’m going to Robyn. But, I was going to say I’ve avoided all spoilers. I haven’t looked at anything you’ve done on purpose because I knew I was going to see you so I wanted to be surprised.
YAY! That’s great! How exciting! I prefer the surprise. It’s very like, did you see the film Sin City?

It’s very Sin City, for sure. You know there’s that gang of hit girls–kind of like hookers?

It’s kind of what inspired my live show. So you’ll see…

Oh, I’m very excited. That sounds right up my alley.
I know! I’m so excited now that you’re coming though, that’s even better!

Oh, definitely!
Thank you!

But as I was saying: I’m going to see you opening for Robyn in November so you’re going to be going stateside and you’re going to be touring and all that. Are you excited for that?
Yeah, I’m really excited to be opening for Robyn. I’ve been a huge fan of Robyn’s for years now. Even before I was signed to Cherrytree Records and we became label mates, I’ve been a huge fan of Robyn. And you know, just being in the tour bus with my bad bitch girl gang is just–it’s just so much fun! It’s just great fun and I’m really excited. I’m going to cities I’ve never been to before, I’ve never been to anywhere before. Like Canada, I’ve never been to Canada before.

Oh, yeah. That’ll be amazing. Have you had a chance to meet with her yet?
Yeah, absolutely,. She’s like…she’s just really warm and really nice, and she’s just a bad ass girl. I love her so much. I love her music. You know, she actually sings. I mean, you’ll see when you see her show–

Oh, I saw it! You know, I saw the All Hearts Tour.
Oh, yay! No, me too! We might’ve been at the same show. Yeah, the way she performs. She really means it when she sings. You want to cry when she looks like she’s gonna cry and you wanna fist pump when she’s fist pumping. She’s just great.

So true!
I don’t know. I think I’m probably going to watch her show every night on the tour.

You should!
People will have to drag me away eventually. They’ll be like “You’ve seen seventeen shows, aren’t you bored already?!” and I’ll be like “Noooo!” [Laughs]

No! How could you be?
I know, it’s crazy. I love her, I’m captivated.

Oh, that’s amazing. Cool. Now, as for your single. The video is coming out for “Mirrors”?
Yeaaaahhh! It’s coming out! Really soon!

Any hints as to what we’re going to see in it?
Yeah, it’s like –ohh, what can I tell you without giving the game away?

Well, how about–how ‘bout: Will there be mirrors?
Um, yeah. There will be mirrors and…it’s beautiful debauchery. That’s what I’m saying.


Debauchery. Perfect!
There you go! [Giggles]

And I heard something about a remix album?
Oh, yeah! I think there’s going to be a compilation of remixes of “Mirrors.” Quite a few people have done excellent remixes of “Mirrors.” There is one in particular, actually, at the moment is Doctor Rosen Rosen’s.

Oh yes, I love him! Yes, yes.
Yeah, we’ve never met or anything but the remix is amazing because I didn’t even hear it for the first — I heard it for the first time, it was on the East Village Radio, and they played it live and I hadn’t heard it before and I was flipping out. I was like “Ahhhhh! That’s me!”

Yeah, no–he’s great! Cool, I’m looking forward to that. I loved all of the mixes for “Zombie” and everything.
Yeah, the thing with remixes is I don’t really know how to listen to them because it’s someone else’s kind of creativity and interpretation of what they think I should kind of sound like. It’s a strange way to collaborate with someone, but you know it’s great–the people being able to get their musical stamp on something they’re interested in. It’s good! I’m excited.

And the album is still coming along and everything? I know it’s been bumped a few times, but..
Yeah. It’s been finished forever. It’s just creating the build up…but, you know, a couple of the songs leaked–so I mean, I still perform half the album on stage, so I don’t know how much of a secret the songs will be by the time the actual album will be available. There will be all sorts of versions of the songs, I’m sure.

True, true. But I have to say I’m pretty excited that “Wonderland” leaked because when I heard it live, I was like “I have to get this!” so…
[Laughs] Well, I’m glad you like it! I’m actually just brainstorming at the moment the visuals for that. I can’t wait for–I mean I I’m probably going to make visuals for all of the songs on my record, but I definitely think…I hope that’s next as far as the visual standpoint. Who knows what will happen with the song, but I think it definitely deserves a video of some kind.

Oh, I think so too.

How has the response been to the leaks from the label and everything? Are they okay with it? What’s the general..
It’s good and it’s bad. It’s good because it brings more exposure and it gets more excitement which is obviously what the label really wants, and it gives my early followers X amount of things to look forward to and to be involved with. People come see the show and they can sing along to the lyrics because it’s more accessible now.

But, at the same time, you know, when things leak illegally, there’s a money situation of people not buying it–it means the promotion of it can’t be as big as it should be. The video companies aren’t as big as they should be because no one is buying it, no one is legally getting it. So, you know it’s the compromise you have to make. People get more excited, but then at the same time a lot of people actually buy physical or digital copies, you know, the art does suffer.

Me personally, I don’t make music to make money or anything, so I’m just happy it’s out there and people are enjoying it and I’ll always be as creative as possible when it comes to putting visuals behind it and doing the live show for people to enjoy it as much as they should enjoy it. So I’m happy.

A lot of your fans are happy. A lot of people told me to tell you they love all of the songs. Everyone told me to tell you they love “Break You Hard” and “Free” so…
Ohhh, nice! That’s so nice! Thanks, I mean that’s the whole point, really, you know–that’s why I’m making music! I mean, I’m expressing myself, but there’s no point in even doing that if no one can relate to it and I can’t share with anyone. That’s kind of the point with the live show as well. I really wanted to invite people into my world and what it is to be me.

It’s like I told you last time, when I was a little girl, I didn’t really want to be a princess or a model or anything. I wanted to be in this bad bitch girl gang, breaking hearts, breaking legs, breaking everything I could. You know, just to be able to do that live on stage and invite people to enjoy it with me…it’s just a really great thing to do. Just to be discovered at the moment is a really wonderful feeling. So it’s great.

It’s perfect. I’m so excited to see you now. I’ve truly ignored the spoilers. Everyone is like “Ooh look at this picture!” and I won’t look. So…
I know, I know. But, I’m so excited now. I’m always excited to do a show just because I obviously–it’s good, it’s fun. I’m real excited now because you’re gonna be there, and hopefully you’ll get to see everything–all the debauchery unraveling right before your eyes, so..

Perfect. I can’t wait!
Okay, awesome! That’ll be great.

Yeah, you too! Alright thank you!

Transcription courtesy of RJ Kozain.

The “Mirrors” remix EP was released on November 2. (iTunes)

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