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MK Interview with Natasha Meister

Natasha Meister has steadily set about conquering the local scene both as a solo artist and with the Natasha Meister Band  with a vigour and passion unlike many. She is from Canada but has settled in South Africa and just so happens to have one of the most exciting, distinctive and bluesy, Motown vocals, with just a touch of funk. She is impossible not to adore.

As for the Natasha Meister Band, it was formed with drummer Paul Tizzard, a SAMA award winner and member of many prolific local bands and bassit Roger Bashew, a freelance composer and producer and Jazz player.

The band came about soon after Natasha moved back to Cape Town. She explains she “met the boys at the old Decodance in Woodstock almost 2 years ago now.” She adds “They were backing local singer/songwriter, Tim Parr at his show there one night and I was invited out by Tim to play some songs and then they decided to come up on stage and jam with me.”

Natasha explains they chose the band name as “We originally came up with some silly names like "Kill The Weasel" but then we decided to keep it simple and just call it "Natasha Meister Band.

So far the trio is making waving waves. Think blues standards, inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Aretha Franklin, Etta James as well as the more modern artists like Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, and Adele.

She described their sound as “Rhythmic and soulful - it's a mix of pop/rock/country/blues/funk.”

The band has just released their debut album Halfway‘. The album was produced by their very own Roger Bashew.

Natasha does all the song writing and she says “I wrote a few songs that didn't end up on the album. Maybe my first 5-10 songs were definitely not great or worth putting on the album. When I first got into song writing it was difficult for me and I had no idea how to structure my songs or what to write about but I like to think I've come a long way since then.”

The main themes off ‘Halfway’ are: love, heartbreak, life experiences, hopes, and dreams.” She elaborates “I just write whatever comes naturally to me or what I'm feeling in the moment.”

As for her favourite track off the album she explains that the title track ‘Half Way’ is her favourite one off the album. She then adds “The whole album sort of revolves around that song and it sets the mood and tempo for the album quite nicely I think. It's an important song to me about where I'm at in my life and in my career and where I'm heading.”

The album as a whole is rather sublime and is definitely one that is made for every bluesy and soul fan‘s collection.

Talking about the future and what she would like to achieve in the music industry, Natasha muses “I would love to be a successful singer/guitarist/songwriter that brings something unique to the music industry. My dream is to make many more albums, collaborate with big names in the industry, and tour the world with my music.”

So what is next for the Natasha Meister band? They will be performing at the Grahamstown Arts Festival end of June this year, as well as a tour up the Garden Route beginning of July; featuring a performance at the Oyster Festival in Knysna. They are also planning a tour to Johannesburg for end of this year - or the next  - and working towards a second album and hopefully touring overseas.

It looks to be a busy time for the band so keep an eye for them. They are set to make their mark this year.


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