The Musical journey of SoundCloud musician

Nathalie B20

 

"Well for me, as I believe for many producers, music is a way to express myself. I tend to produce my best tracks on impulse. I could be listening to a conversation, maybe watching a movie, walking around looking at people passing by, and I start to visualize a scene. The scene comes with music. Sad or happy, low or excited. It all represents my moods and thoughts.
Although I was always surrounded by musicians, it never crossed my mind that I myself could ever be part of it, as in creating my own tracks.
For me, in the past, the way to express myself was either through painting or photography. I used to create very expressive photographs, with very strong contrast. I guess, it was very black and white with no greys in between. Obviously, that changed over the years.
When I was painting, I would play music in the background to inspire me. This idea, I received from a very talented art lecturer when I was a student. He would set us all around the studio with a model in the centre, and he would use music for every pose. For example he would use classical, such as maybe a very mellow, soothing ‘Debussy‘, then the next piece would be Rap/Hip Hop. Then the following would be Jazz. And the one after that, Heavy Metal. Anyway, the results were astounding. We would all look at our work at the end of each sessions and see how the music, whether it was soothing or aggressive would impact our emotions, our stokes on canvas.


So I guess this is the technique I use in my everyday life. I use what I see or witness to create music.
Like most, okay, let’s call them artists, although, I’m very uncomfortable calling myself one, I tend to be most creative when going through upheavals, when I suffer the most. I guess it’s a good thing, letting go of emotions through art.
When my boyfriend died several years ago, after he took his own life, I thought I was going to lose my mind. The pain was so intense. For several weeks, months, I stayed in bed refusing to do anything or see anyone. Then one day, as I went out, a complete stranger started talking to me, and mentioned this place where people volunteered to help others with handicaps. I didn’t really pay much attention that day, but kept the piece of paper with the name and address on.


Eventually I looked it up online to see what it was all about. It was a centre where people with handicaps and anyone from the community who were either very poor and unemployed could go to, to stay active and interact with others. A place where they could learn a new trade, or rather the basic knowledge they lacked, such as languages, in this case English, maths, basic IT, but most of all, many creative activities. Such as painting, scrip writing, yoga, Tai-Chi, Poetry writing, Wood Carving, Dancing, Acting, Music and many more.


I have to say, it took me some time to feel at ease with my surroundings and people, as I felt very withdrawn, but eventually I managed to let myself go. To trust the people around me. I even managed to forget about what made me so unhappy for a few hours during the day, while helping others.
At the time I was helping people whose English was very poor, to fill forms to get some sort of benefits to live on. I would see people passing the reception with instruments going down to the basement, booking rooms to rehearse.


Anyway, one day I asked one of the volunteers what was going on downstairs, and he told me there were several rooms used for musicians to rehearse and record music.

 

So I asked if he could show me, which he did. He showed me the recording studio. He showed me how to use it, and I was hooked. I even took drumming lessons.
This place, changed my life. From being almost suicidal to being elated and almost happy.


So this is how I started producing music.
Of course I’ve gone through many ups and downs since. Loosing my dad last year. But of course I cannot avoid the pain, but I can manage to channel the emotions through music."

 

* find Nathalie's music on soundcloud here

** The text is from a message Nathalie sent to me on SoundCloud in response to my query about her musical journey and whether she would like to participate in my Collaboration page. Though not specifically reflecting on the collaborative process itself, Nathalie's life story is interwoven with the story of music as a therapeutic journey, which I always find interesting. Nathalie's story is unique in the details of her personal experience, but the theme of the discovery of music and the connection to wellness is echoed by many artists. TW

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