20 questions with Natahlee
How long have you been on the music/entertainment scene? I’ve been involved in soca music since 1994 but I was singing reggae and dub on stage long before that, from about 16 years old.
When did you figure out soca/calypso was the path you are going to take? I started singing backing vocals on recordings and live, and chanting on other people’s songs. I loved it from then.
When would you say people started to take notice? People started to take notice of me from my Queen’s College and Warehouse days with Splashband and Legend but my big break came when I recorded Weakness For Sweetness with Leston Paul.
What is the lowest you have ever been in your career? I can’t really say that there have been any low points. What I can say is that success at Crop Over varies from year to year. Like everything else, every man (or woman) has his/her season so you ride the wave until it breaks at the shore. Then, you get back onto the surfboard and go again.
Hardest lesson you have learnt as a female in the music industry? Females have a shorter shelf life and much more is demanded of us than males in this business.
What is your most memorable? I have had so many wonderful experiences but my Party Monarch performance in 2005 tops the list.
As a female artiste how important is image to you? It should be very important to both female and male artistes alike. My idea of image runs a little deeper than “hair and make-up on fleek” though. It also has to do with integrity and being the best person that you can be. That’s image too.
How do you stay grounded? I just keep it real but it helps to have a very supportive family, wonderful friends, professional management and a positive environment.
How do you turn off and get away from it all? I go home, turn on the television and binge watch series like crazy.
What is your focus now in terms of your career? Continue sharing good music with the people and helping in the industry where I can.
You have been in quite a few over the years. What are your thoughts on competition? Competition provides an element of excitement for both the competitors and the patrons. However, it can stifle the flow of the music and cause artistes to become too fixated on the big win, forgetting that music was created for enjoyment and listening pleasure.
As an entertainer any risks that you took that paid off or didn’t pay off? In soca music, most risks are taken in competition. That said, I’ve taken risks in competition. Some have paid off and some haven’t.
Have you ever turned down any song that you now regret? No, I can’t say that I have.
How do you pick competition songs? I don’t pick or write “competition songs”. I choose songs that appeal to me and that I believe will have public appeal and if they advance into competition, then I deal with it from there.
Favourite song that you have in your catalogue? Colours is definitely my favourite.
Pet peeve? Typographical and spelling errors drive me crazy.
Plans for rest of season? I’ll be singing in De Big Show and I’ll attend some events as well.
If it wasn’t music what would it be? Well, I’ve been teaching primary school aged children for the past 12 years and I love it. I also did some acting on the local theatre stage and I always wanted to get into acting on the big screen. Maybe that day will come.
Finally, who or what is a Bacchanal Zombie? A Bacchanal Zombie is a person who parties hard, even when he/she is tired. This person loves soca music so much that it fuels him/her from fête to fête. #untamedmentality #getway #jammishattitude #bacchanalzombies