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Natalie Brown

Photo of Natalie BrownIdentity Music Group

How would you describe your music?

Commercial sounding Pop/Soul/R&B/Adult Contemporary music. Music has emphasis on melody than current Top 40 sounding music which is 'beat' heavy.

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

"Band: I am co music director and lead singer Studio: co-writer and principal performer Business/Marketing: I work with a manager and have a very firm say in all business and marketing decisions. If I am not interested in the venture, it doesn't happen. I call the shots for my career, but do have 3rd party insight/guidance with regards to all decisions. I think it is very important to have a few perspectives in all decisions before you make the final call. We as artists can be too emotionally involved in something to make an accurate judgment on of our own accord."

Describe your gear.

"Live gear is a Sure SM57 I co-own my own studio and we have the following gear: Select Mixing/Mastering gear:

Monitors:

* B&W 803S * Genelec 1032A

Monitor / Volume Controllers:

* Crane Song Avocet * Dangerous Music Monitor Controller * SPL Phonitor

A/D/A Converters:

* Crane Song HEDD-192 * Lavry AD122 96-MKIII * Apogee AD-16X * Lynx Aurora 16

Summing Mixers:

* Neve 8816 * Dangerous Music Mixer

Headphones:

* AKG K701 * Sennheiser HD 800

Dynamics:

* Manley Stereo Variable-Mu * Crane Song STC-8 * API 2500 Stereo Buss Compressor * Chandler Limited TG1 * Rupert Neve Portico 5043 (x4)

Equalizers:

* Cranesong IBIS * API 5500 Dual Equalizer * Avalon Design AS-2055 * Millennia NSEQ-2 * Inward Connections DEQ-1

Software:

* Sonic Studio soundBlade * UAD-1 plug-ins * Sonnox plug-ins * SSL Duende plug-ins * Algorithmix plug-ins * Flux Mastering Pack plug-ins * Weiss SARACON "

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"Absolutely. This is still a sexist and ageist business. How many 50+ year old women do you still see getting the same chances or opportunities as men of the same age? VERY few and far between. Either that or women get so sick of being judged by age and looks alone that they give up. I am sure it is not the same for all genres, but for commercial sounding music age and looks is almost first concern when doing business deals.

I also feel that we women get 'told' a lot more by fans and industry people alike what we should be doing and how to do it. They don't ride men as hard. They are more free to just be themselves as artists. We are constantly told to conform to something.

Another thing I find is that it is much easier for a guy to tour, especially if he is a solo instrumentalist. Being a woman, you have to be so careful on tour and it can be unsafe at times. It is also more costly as as a woman you are much less likely to sleep in your broken down van on the road... it's just not safe."

Related Themes: She's Got The Look

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

I can't answer this as I don't know a while lot of older female artists.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"One of the most valuable pieces of advice was about retaining and exploiting my own publishing. I've made my living from placements of my music in film/TV/commercials and if I had not learned about publishing, I think I would have had to take a day job that was not music related to feed myself.

As for advice for women just starting out: 1.) Don't sell sex as your main appeal. You will age and in this business older than 25 is OLD! So be sure to sell your musicianship instead of your booty and breasts. You may have short term gain, but your career will not last long if you 'sell sex'. 2.) If you can write or co-write your own songs, do it! Learn about publishing and how to exploit your songs to earn income for yourself. 3.) Be careful of pretty much any man who approaches you to 'make you a star'. They generally want to bed you and will discard you once they get what they want. There is no instant stardom. 4.) Get to know the BUSINESS. Don't put your career into the hands of anyone else but you. Yes, get a good team around you, but make sure that you end up with the final say. 5.) Listen to your gut instinct, it's usually right!"

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

It was the one that I had been naturally gifted with and quite honestly in my family there was never money for lessons so I did what was free to study, which was voice. Eventually I ended up moving to California and got a scholarship to study Speech Level Singing method with Dave Stroud and Seth Riggs. I also studied voice at college. It's just what I was drawn to the most and had the most passion to practice!

Related Themes: The First Time