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The Chaz Interviews - July, 2003
by Chaz and the MP3.com artists

It was the summer of 2003 and MP3.com's active message board community was heating up as well -- with flame wars. Along came Chaz Fanaro, looking to cut through the negative noise. He began to interview many of the musical artists who pitched a tent on the popular indie music forum. Others pitched in with questions of their own. July of 2003 could have turned ugly, but thanks to the interviews blanketing the forum, it became a home for insight and mutual respect. The forums were wiped clean by Vivendi in December, 2003. The interviews live on.

Natalie Brown

Artist description
This expressive Urban/R&B/Pop singer/songwriter with a soulful and powerful 4.5 octave range translates her life experiences into songs that inspire, entertain, empower, and provoke.

Music Style
R&B/Pop/AC Urban/CHR/Soul

Musical Influences
Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Motown, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Kirk Franklin, Quincy Jones, Crystal Lewis, Elton John, Brian McKnight, Diane Warren, BeBe & CeCe Winans

Similar Artists
Mariah Carey, Eva Cassidy, Whitney Houston, Teena Marie, Deborah Cox, Tamia.

Artist History
There's little chance that you'll hear Natalie Brown sing and not be moved by the refreshing texture in her voice. This emotive Contemporary R&B - Singer/Songwriter with a soulful and powerful 4.5 octave range translates her life experiences into songs that inspire, entertain, empower, and provoke. Born in Ontario, Canada, Natalie Brown's path to success has indeed been a winding one. In third grade, audiences were awestruck when she played a singing gypsy in an elementary school play. She was encouraged to nurture her dynamic, mature voice and magnetic stage presence, which eventually led her to sing first soprano in the Nationally acclaimed Assinaboine South Youth Choir in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After moving to Vancouver, B.C., getting involved in theater, local gospel music and almost becoming an elementary school teacher, she made her way to California and landed a spot singing lead and background vocals on internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist Ron Kenoly's "Welcome Home" tour in 1996. She toured around the country and upon her return to her new home of San Francisco, CA Natalie studied with world-renowned vocal instructors Seth Riggs (Stevie Wonder, Tevin Campbell, Deborah Cox) and Dave Stroud (Terry Ellis of En Vogue, Rosie Gaines). In 1997 Natalie began working on demos and singing background vocals at local recording studios. Even though Natalie received interest from a couple of Major labels, she realized that she had to establish herself and her artistry via the Indie route writing her own songs and recording the kind of R&B music that inspired her both personally and artistically. Natalie signed her first Indie deal in 1998. Unfortunately, due to financial mismanagement the company shut down and her contract expired without an album being released. Not one to feel sorry for herself and now much wiser to the game, Natalie kept her eye on the big picture and in July 2000 accepted an offer from a label owned by the producer of her first album. "It was extremely rough at the time, but I
realized that everything happens for a reason and things work out the way they're supposed to," recalls Natalie. Natalie's debut album was released in late 2000 and contained thirteen original songs. Created with a thoughtful range of subject matter, tempo and mood throughout the album, "Let The Candle Burn" was enthusiastically welcomed by fans and industry personnel alike. She paints an interesting tapestry of sound on the album that includes carefree, upbeat tracks like "Let The Candle Burn", mid-tempo, gritty/sweet songs like "More Today Than Yesterday" and sweet ballads like "In My Dreams". Her often personal lyrics such as the deeply introspective song "Wind At My Back", inspire many, while the poignant message of "Confused" has proven relevant to those of diverse age, racial and cultural backgrounds. "For me, truth in my music is the most important factor. I really want the listener to peer into my soul and my life in hopes that somehow, what I have gone through will touch or encourage someone. I'm very proud of how the album turned out," remarks Natalie. Since the release of her album, Natalie has made appearances at venues throughout the US and Canada, showcased in top spots at premiere industry music conferences (2NMC [2001], Atlantis Grammy Urban Symposium [2001], Repped by TalentMatch at SXSW [2003]), remained in the top 10 on the Internet's most recognized charts and has gained a loyal following of fans. Through her extensive exposure and features on major Internet Music Sites and fans carrying the word to the street, she has won the attention of many. Her single "Run Away" was featured with songs from Destiny's Child, Allure, R. Kelly, Eden's Crush, Lil' Romeo, 2Pac feat. R.L., Jagged Edge feat. Nelly, Mary J. Blige and more in Promo-Only's July Rhythm Radio series and her music was selected for the CMJ/Savage Beast Technologies Music Discovery Network which facilitates retail distribution through Tower Records and other premier retailers. This has earned Natalie's music select radio play across the US, Canada South America, Austral-Asia and Europe. Billboard highlighted Natalie 3 times in 2001 (February, March and June) and notes her as one of the Top 10 Emerging Talents. "Let The Candle Burn" has received glowing critical reviews, been featured on websites all over the net, been licensed to national television programs, NBC (Meet My Folks), Paramount Pictures, MTV as well as to international companies for commercial spots and has entrenched Natalie firmly as a singer/songwriter in the Urban/R&B/Pop market. "Confused" was an honorable mention song in the 2001 Billboard Songwritng contest and "Let The Candle Burn", co-written by Natalie with producer Jeremy Rwakaara won the Just Plain Folks Music Award for Best R&B Song of 2001. The album of the same title was runner-up for JPF's Best R&B Album of 2001. Currently, Natalie splits her time between her homeland of Canada and the Washington, DC Metro area in the USA. She is busy writing and recording material for a Christmas album due for release in 2003 and her sophomore release due in 2004. Natalie Brown is a glowing talent who is consistently challenging perceptions of what an Urban/R&B/Pop artist should look and sound like. She writes songs that chronicle her life experiences and she invites us to sit in and analyze the musical landscapes of her thoughts and emotions. She often philosophizes as she reflects on her own life and of those around her: "We waste too much time looking outwardly for something that's already inside us". Spend some time with Natalie Brown and her music and witness the launching of a career full of great music and artistic growth. 2000-2003 InMotion Management.

Group Members
Natalie Brown

Instruments
Voice, Piano

Albums
Let The Candle Burn

Press Reviews
I think Natalie sounds really good. I like the sound of her voice. She's singing well. She's
got a sexy vibe. The drum programming is really good and current. I think that she sounds
totally professional. This ('Let The Candle Burn') is a really good song with good
production. -Dave Way, Veteran Mixer/Engineer (Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Stevie
Wonder, TLC, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Boys II Men and Babyface.) ...Alongside any
other current female on the chart right now, Natalie maintains the standard. If this is her
audition, then she has Mariah, Whitney, Alicia potential. Sorry for sounding amazed, but
considering the indie nature of this release ... what are the major A&R Directors doing out
there? -Paul Cashmere, Executive Producer, Undercover MusicEntertainment Zone Magazine
(Australia) Natalie Brown is the real deal! As I listened, I just nodded quietly to myself
chanting, "yes, yes, yes"! This is quality music, this is what CHR is all about. My big
problem with CHR music is it can cross over into mindless drivel, I get the impression that
Natalie Brown understands that and has stepped up to the plate. This is good, quality music
for any genre... I'm sold! - Clint Gaige, Reviewer, Gods of Music Natalie is brilliant about
constructing ballads. Just a listen to 'You're So Good To Me' should have record execs
running if they had any sense. Her vocal range is the stuff that stars are made of. -Ben
Ohmart, Assistant Editor, Music Dish The 13 tracks on this sensually captivating disc
demonstrate the poise and finesse of a competent soul artist in the making.-Roxanne
Blanford, All Music Guide Natalie's songs are well constructed, literate, and immediately
engaging. The words are delivered with sincerity, true emotion, and her voice is literally
unmatched in the industry today. -Dave Walton, ArtistLaunch.com Founder "Run Away" is an
urban contemporary / contemporary hit radio contender of the highest standards. Natalie
Brown is a hit contender who should be getting major label distribution and airplay
promotion. She's got the look, the sound, the writing skill, the arranging, the production.
This is the total package folks. -Chris K., Reviewer, Gods of Radio Sometimes when you hear
an artist you just know great things are in store, or at least should be ... Natalie's story
on her artist page is worth the read ... this is one seriously tenacious lady ... with music
that's ripe for today's Top 40/CHR/URBAN landscape, Natalie commands not only the song, but
your attention as well. -Pro Critic Radio, MP3.com Natalie Brown is a woman with the perfect
look, the perfect sound, the perfect style. Her music is a passionate blend of Pop and R&B
that will sweep you off of your feet. This music has definite mainstream appeal and wouldn't
surprise me in the least if it where burning up the R&B and Pop charts... this album has it
all... 5 Stars. -Michael Allison, TheGlobalMuse.com I liked the funk-laced track from
Natalie Brown. She uses a cool track and infectious chorus to make a nice song called 'Run
Away'. Don't sleep on it! -Suzanne Miles, Music Critic, Promo Only Magazine Let The Candle
Burn is as classy an R&B effort as we have heard in a long time! Natalie is smooth and has
the same easy tonal clarity as Whitney Houston. Her pitch is impeccable and it's nice to
hear a mordent on a line that is tasteful! Watch this girl, she has TALENT!! -Beson

Chaz the Spaz
My, you are quite an achiever! With all your activities, how do you find the time to do all details involved in on-line promotion?

SwanRising
AND when are you coming to visit me so we can go to the beach together ???

therealnataliebrown
Chaz!
I am so sorry it's taken me a few days to get back here. I didn't know the question would be put here (thought it would go to email), so I profusely apologize for taking so long.
To answer your questions:
My, you are quite an achiever!
Well, I do try to do a lot of things to keep building my track record to get to where I want to be with my music and other career related aspirations. There is still a very long way for me to go with my music and all the music and film related things I wish to do. It's a wonderful journey with lots of twists and turns, but that is the beauty of it all really!
I'm an A Type personality. That can be a good thing and detrimental at times.
With all your activities, how do you find the time to do all details involved in on-line promotion?
I don't sleep!
Just kidding...
Music is my full time job, so I can dedicate 24-7-365 to all the career stuff I need to. I have a pretty good routine that I have implemented that leaves time for all my activities. Right now I'm recording two projects, actively licensing music, promoting online and I throw in a few seconds a day for a social life.
Music is my life and I am 1000% dedicated to achieving my goals as an artist, running my label and publishing company and of course a huge part of what I do is to help out other artists via my site and communicating with artists just starting out about all aspects of this business. That is a huge part of my life and I do a lot of volunteer work for Indie music organizations.
I'm very driven and very passionate... I guess that's what fuels me and enables me to do all that I do.
Thanks for the great questions.

therealnataliebrown
Swannie,
You don't know how badly I want to come to the beach!
Unfortunately the schedule right now is so packed that there isn't much time for a 'fun day'. I really want to come out and see you. Between not having a car and being so busy, it's just tough.
But I would love to come, I hope you know that.

7mama
Do you foresee you ever being in that awesome top 10 in the rollingstone or billboard sites, you really do deserve it Natalie, I have been a huge fan of yours for sometime now?

Ted Lehman
Natalie your CD is finally being featured at the shack.
It will be up for a couple of weeks. Tell your friends.

therealnataliebrown
7mama that's so kind of you to say.
As for if I forsee myself in the Top Ten of Rolling Stone or Billboard...
If the right things line up for me and I continue to build my track record as ana rtists, I could definitly see that type of thing happening. It takes a fair number of elements to get into the position where you can get into those publications and have songs reach that large of an audiuence. All the work that I do now with my songs, my artistic and business development is to build the kind of track record and history that I will need to be able to partner with companies that can help give me exposure, marketing budget, radio promo budget and all the things necessary to take my music mainstream and have it heard on a larger scale. If I can do enough work and get enough track record then anything is possible.
But for now, it's one step at a time. And one thing I know is that it takes a lot of steps to get to the place you want to be.
Thanks for the question and for always being so encouraging to me

therealnataliebrown
Awesome Ted! I'll be sure to note that on my website.
Thanks for the support

therealnataliebrown
Natalie your CD is finally being featured at the shack.
It will be up for a couple of weeks. Tell your friends.
Ted, I've got it linked from my official site now.
Thanks again for the support.

Ted Lehman
Why thanks back atcha' Nat. Now that's what I call reciprocal promotion.
BTW you should also see your CD featured later today at The Wire Web as well.
I'll come back when it's live there too.
Happy Tuesday Natalie I hope it gets ya some biz.

Ted Lehman
Why thanks back atcha' Nat. Now that's what I call reciprocal promotion.
BTW you should also see your CD featured later today at The Wire Web as well.
I'll come back when it's live there too.
Happy Tuesday Natalie I hope it gets ya some biz.
You are now at The Wire Web too....

7mama
Hope your new endearvors take you to the top Natalie, and Im waiting on that to happen someday, I will NOT be surprised!

therealnataliebrown
Ted!
Thanks, that's awesome I just changed my website to reflect that it's at Wire Web as well.
7Mama- thanks for the good wishes. I will just keep working hard doing what I love and anything good that happens is just icing on the cake!

Chaz the Spaz
What are your goals and what do you have planned for your music?

therealnataliebrown

I've got lots of goals!
My goals for the next 5 years are to keep recording and releasing music, to continue my Independent film acting work, to keep building my publishing company (natfunk music) and to continue to license my material to film and TV and hopefully place a few songs with other artists. Those are just the general career goals I have.
As for the music... I'm recording a Christmas album called "A Cool Christmas" that will be a blend of Cool Jazz & R&B and that should be available at the beginning of November. I am also working on my sophomore album entitled Polyphony. I hope to have that out in April 2004. I plan to keep trying to get better at what I do with each release and to keep on releasing and building my catalogue and track record. I plan to do some foreign licensing of the Polyphony master and hope to do some touring in the US and Canada in 2004 and then get over to Europe and Austral-Asia in 2005. I'd love to get to South America as well, as I have a great fan base there, but that all depends on if we can license the master to that region.
All in all, I want to keep developing my skill, stay involved in all things creative and continue to enjoy doing the things I am most passionate about.
There are also some personal things that I'd like to accomplish and those involve my charity work and helping with developing writers and vocalists.
Thanks again Chaz

MORE INTERVIEWS WITH CHAZ

  -- Rick Munarriz

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