“If The 1975 had a baby with Madonna circa 1990… that would be Natalie Gray.”
THE ME I PRETEND TO BE is the latest single from Synth-Pop artist Natalie Gray. Grabbing inspiration from some of Natalie’s favourite artists such as Cyndi Lauper and Madonna, as well as more recent artists such as Paramore, Kings Elliot and Lawrence, this song embodies the desperation of losing yourself and hiding behind a smile and a cliche whilst it feels that your world could crumble at any second.
Following the success of Natalie’s previous single “Fire” supported by BBC introducing, THE ME I PRETEND TO BE steps away from her usual upbeat and colourful sound and brings a more honest and nostalgic feel, touching on the reality of living with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, a theme that a lot of us can relate to. This latest track is Natalie’s first time opening up about her own personal experience with living with PTSD and struggling to find her old self.
Instead of reaching for your hairbrush and throwing your best 80s dance moves infront of the mirror, THE ME I PRETEND TO BE will have you opening your old photo albums and coming face to face with your own demons.
Natalie has teamed up once again with childhood friend and personal agony aunt Jack Craig, (the producer behind “Dance Floor” and “One In A Million”) to create this vulnerable and heartstring grabbing song.
THE ME I PRETEND TO BE comes after Natalie’s first ever UK tour “TAKE BACK THE BEAT” which raised money for Women’s Aid to help support survivors of domestic abuse and violence, a charity very close to Natalie’s heart.
We had the amazing opportunity of catching up with Natalie to discuss the inspiration behind her latest single.
Who is Natalie Gray the musician?
Natalie Gray is a synthpop artist originally from Reading, who teamed up with childhood friend Jack Craig to make silly noises in a vocal booth and hope they bring happiness to someone. Natalie is a proud ally to the LGBTQ+ community and is a current finalist in the upcoming Pride’s Got Talent competition. Natalie also tours schools with her music promoting love is love and talking to teenagers about important subjects such as mental health. Natalie has been supported by BBC Introducing as well as Spotify Playlists and has supported artists such as Rag’n’Bone Man at Penn Fest and Sody, Billy Lockett, and
Push Baby on a UK tour.
How would you describe your creative process?
A big part of my creative process is the safety to be open with my emotions, hence why my long-time co-writer is one of my best friends. We start by discussing songs that have impacted us or that we just can’t stop listening to and then talk about how we’re feeling that day, whether it’s happy, proud, anxious, etc, and then start throwing ideas into a vocal booth and see which sticks with us.
What inspired your song ‘The Me I Pretend To Be’, What do you hope your supporters takeaway from this project?
A few years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD after being attacked in London and it has caused me extreme anxiety and regular panic attacks. Before my diagnosis I felt like I was seriously losing it, there would be days when I couldn’t even leave my bed let alone my flat, and would overthink everything and get so worked up that I couldn’t breathe. I was so scared to show the people closest to me these feelings and ‘breakdowns’ that I put on a smile, told everyone I was fine and just pretended to be someone else. Until last year when I realized how draining it was and also how loved I am which means I can be open about this and have support from my family and friends without being a burden, and that’s what this song is about. Telling everyone who thinks I’m always happy, that I’ve been lying.
What can your supporters expect from you next?
My next song is actually a re-release of a previous song of mine but this time raising money for an LGBTQ+ charity to try to make this world a safer place for everyone.
I am also doing my first-ever headline London show on 23rd May at Bar Doña in partnership with Women’s Aid raising money for survivors of domestic abuse. Tickets are on sale now on Dice!
What is your definition of a pretty woman who hustles?
A pretty woman who hustles is someone who takes their beliefs and passions to make the world a better place even just for one other person, who won’t be limited by expectations and will continue to grow and smile knowing you only get to live life once, you might as well make a difference.
Natalie is excited to announce her first headlining London gig on 23rd May at Bar Doña raising money for Women’s Aid. Tickets on sale now here: https://bit.ly/42pqjU2
Natalie Gray on Social Media: @natgraymusic