Natalie Hamilton is a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist that has been praised as “Evocative” with a “Stunning Voice” by Ink 19 Magazine and “Marvelous, Feminine and Tough” by music journalist Thom Yurek (Rolling Stone, SPIN Magazine.)
With a velvet voice that effortlessly spans over four octaves, and melodic jazz/pop piano playing, Hamilton’s voice and compositions meld the “sophistication of jazz” with the “timeless intimacy of folk.” (Ink 19)
As a public figure, how do you think being hailed as a role model impacts on others and what pressure does it put on you?
I can’t help how anyone perceives me, but I can do my best to live up to my own moral and ethical standards, knowing, inevitably, that sometimes I’ll hit my mark, and sometimes I’ll miss my mark. But as long as I’m aiming in the right direction, in the direction of goodness, then I’m doing alright. Did you know the word “sin” actually means “to miss the mark?” It is derived from the Greek verb ἁμαρτημα. When I learned that, it changed my perception of people’s errors, or so called “sins.” Now, when I see someone do something that I think perhaps is not a good thing to do, instead of condemning them in my mind, I just say “Oh, they missed their mark of goodness… they meant to do good. They’ll do better next time.” And I leave it at that. And that goes for someone who has just stolen a pack of gum (like I did as a child) or committed some heinous act, like starting an entire war — they are missing their mark of goodness. Somehow they got it twisted in their mind that what they are doing is the right thing to do, but they are aiming horribly in the wrong direction. But they will learn, with time, and they will aim in the right direction eventually.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change in the world?
That everyone would have all their basic needs met, and that the Earth was healthy, no more pollution, clean oceans, that sort of thing. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Do you have a motto or a mantra you apply to either work, life, or both?
Never Give Up.
How do you cope with stress?
Not very gracefully.
What is your biggest weakness? What helped you to identify it? What helps you to get
Anxiety. Crippling anxiety. It has gotten better over the years with proper therapy and techniques to deal with it. Breathing techniques, exercise, journaling, proper diet, sometimes medication is necessary. It’s an ongoing process — but it is rarely crippling nowadays, although it does rear its ugly head from time to time, in true Medusa fashion.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
I never give up on an idea that I feel truly passionate about. I do need to alter it at times or set something down and take a break from it for a little while. But there really is no need to give up on something you truly believe in or feel passionate about. But by all means, give up on lousy ideas! As soon as I realize I’m acting on a lousy idea, I give it up immediately, right then and there. But the interesting thing is that even the lousy idea often has the seed to some greater idea in it. But I would say, the greater idea is more like a greater or deeper desire. And Life is mysterious in the ways it fulfills its true desires. And I think there is a difference between silly ideas and deep desires. Give up silly ideas… never give up deep desires.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I don’t believe any talents are useless! If you can balance a spoon on your nose, then you should do that! Some so-called “useless” talents bring us the greatest laughter in this world. I don’t know if I have any useless talents, I’ve never been asked this before… and no one has ever told me I do. But I am very good at recognizing (and delighting in) the useless talents of others… so perhaps that is my useless talent? What could be more useless than that?
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
Yes. Almost always. It is my favorite place to sing and I’m very good at it since I’ve been practicing there since I was an infant. I like to “sing my day” for lack of a better description. I make up songs of what is happening in my life, or what I want to happen… usually in some operatic form. For instance: “The grocery clerk forgot to give me back my $20 bucks! What a jerk!” And of course, the “jerk” would be emphasized and sustained on some ungodly and slightly out of tune high note that I would never sing in public. I really do my best work in the shower. It’s too bad there’s no one there to hear it. Hits, I tell you. All shower long, one hit after another.
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
If it dealt only with my past, I’d title it: “This Isn’t Going To Be Pretty.” But if it dealt with my present into my future, I’d title it: “We’re Out Of The Woods.”
You are a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Rainbow. Why would I ever want to be anything other than all the colors?
What’s your least favorite personality trait you like about yourself?
I swear too much. It’s a horrible habit that I delight in daily.
If you were captain of a ship, what would you call it?
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