Sometimes you have to create your own opportunity. Emerging R&B/pop star Natalie La Rose can attest to that. At the tender age of 20, Natalie took a leap of faith and moved from Amsterdam to the United States to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. A few years later, while attending an ESPYs after party in 2011, the ambitious singer approached Grammy nominated rapper Flo Rida and told him that they were going to work together.
“I heard he was performing, maybe a day in advance and I was like, ‘Okay. I need to meet him,” Natalie tells Rated R&B. “‘He’s a multi-platinum selling artist and he makes international music and that’s the same vision I have.’ I thought it would be a great idea to introduce myself to him and I’m so glad I did [laughs].”
After convincing Flo Rida to give her a chance, Natalie joined him on tour and had the opportunity to perform some of his songs with him on stage. By 2013, Natalie found herself signing a deal with Flo Rida’s International Music Group (I.M.G.)/Republic Records. From that moment on, the rest is history in the making.
Natalie’s breakout debut single “Somebody” featuring Jeremih released earlier this year. The song, which contains an interpolation of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” was a huge success. It peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Songs chart and became certified double platinum by the RIAA.
Her follow-up single, “Around The World” featuring Fetty Wap, is gaining a lot of buzz as well with over 7 million streams on Spotify alone.
There’s no stopping Natalie now. She recently ended her stint on Fifth Harmony’s “Reflection Tour” and is putting finishing touches to her debut EP. The Rated Next Artist chatted with Rated R&B on her success, her new EP, her experience touring as a solo artist, her favorite dancers and more.
Check out our interview below.
RATED R&B: Congratulations on the success of your debut single “Somebody.” It’s certified double platinum, has over 100 million streams on Spotify, is one of the most Shazamed songs in the US and the list goes on! What inspired that track?
NATALIE LA ROSE: I am a huge fan of 80’s music and I thought it was a cool idea to have a song inspired by one of my all-time favorite songs (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston). Flo Rida — I’m signed to his label I.M.G. — helped me write the song. I just wanted my first single to be very relatable, danceable and have a good vibe. Apparently, we did a good job [laughs].
RATED R&B: Do you feel any pressure to recreate the success from “Somebody”?
NATALIE LA ROSE: I guess every song that I put out has a little bit of pressure to it because you always wonder how people are going to receive it. I’m just excited to release more music. I’ve been working on music for years and finally six months ago was the moment that I was able to showcase to it to the world. Now I’m just ready to do even more and release more projects.
RATED R&B: Tell us the story behind creating your latest single “Around The World” featuring Fetty Wap.
NATALIE LA ROSE: The idea came from Max Martin. When I heard [the track] for the first time, it was just a sketch and I already knew that it would be something right for me. The title had something international — me being from Amsterdam, the title spoke to me. It matches who I am and what I do. We started building the song. I recorded it. I think it was so cool what they did to it and to have Fetty Wap on the song was really special. He’s so talented and is doing really well at this moment. I was really happy with how it came together.
RATED R&B: You were recently on tour with Fifth Harmony. How was that experience for you?
NATALIE LA ROSE: It was a great, great experience. This was my first time that I actually did a tour as a solo artist. I’ve been on tours with Flo [Rida] but I was singing his songs. To actually have my own set and have some of my own fans come to the show was really amazing. Even though it was a Fifth Harmony show, everybody was very supportive and excited about what I did.
RATED R&B: Is there a project in the works?
NATALIE LA ROSE: We’re working on an EP right now and the third single is coming. They’re probably going to come out around the same time. We don’t have an exact date yet but maybe somewhere around September/October.
RATED R&B: What type of vibe are you going for on this EP?
NATALIE LA ROSE: I would say good vibes…positive. It’s not going to be a lot of songs on there. It’s going to be light, nothing heavy on it. It’s all pretty rhythmic as well.
RATED R&B: What sets you apart from other artists?
NATALIE LA ROSE: What I think is very, very important is when I make music I immediately think about the visual aspect because I’m a dancer. I want to work with themes and interesting concepts. Also, I really think it’s important that with my music I’m able to inspire and motivate people to do what they want to do. I think my story, coming from Amsterdam, is a really great inspiration to other people [and proves] that you can make anything happen if you set your mind to it.
RATED R&B: What was it like when you first moved to the U.S.?
NATALIE LA ROSE: It was strange because I moved to LA and LA is such a busy and big city. At the beginning, I felt a little lost because in Amsterdam I knew everybody and I knew where to go. Everybody knew me and it was very easy for me to get around and do my thing as far as dancing and music. When I got to LA, I had to start all over again. So, in the beginning I was a little lost. Thankfully, I was there on a scholarship so I had a couple of months to just chill, look around and see what was out there for me. I just love the energy of the city. That actually kept me motivated and kept me going.
RATED R&B: As you mentioned, you not only sing but you also dance. Who are some of your favorite dancers?
NATALIE LA ROSE: My all-time favorite dancers are Michael and Janet Jackson. Nowadays, it would be Beyonce and Chris Brown.
RATED R&B: What else can we expect from you in the near future?
NATALIE LA ROSE: After an EP, it’s going to be an album which I am looking forward to. Also, we’re going to travel outside of the U.S. I’m going to Hawaii for the first time to perform and do promo, so I’m really excited! I really love traveling. I may be able to go home for a couple of days too, which is always great — to go back after my music has been released and perform in my home country.
Follow Natalie La Rose on Twitter/IG @NatalieLaRose & like her on Facebook.com/NatalieLaRoseMusic.