It’s a good time to be British singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield.
The U.S. has embraced her music (her latest album, “Pocketful of Sunshine,” reached gold status). She’s getting married in the next few months (to California businessman Matt Robinson). And major designers want to dress her (Vera Wang is making “the dress”). Add to that: She’s gorgeous. And nice. So nice that you feel a little sad to see her leave when the interview is over. Bedingfield is part of a wave of female singers from across the pond who are making a big splash Stateside. There’s the sweet Leona Lewis, Welsh crooner Duffy and soulster Adele, who won best new artist at the Grammys last month. That’s not to mention last year’s best new artist winner, Amy Winehouse. “America is so open to what’s happening in other countries right now,” Bedingfield says. “I’m British and from New Zealand so I’m kind of representing both countries, which is nice. And I feel proud, like [with] Adele winning. … I feel really proud.” CNN caught up with the 27-year-old on a recent trip to New York to attend Fashion Week, where she was spotted schmoozing backstage with Tommy Hilfiger and runway-side at shows for Alexandre Herchcovitch and G-Star. Watch the glamorous singer indulge in fashion » “I love coming to New York for Fashion Week. I pick up new ideas and pay homage to some of my favorite designers,” she said.
Music & Conversation with Shanon Cook
Bedingfield joined CNN to talk about those designers, describe her sense of style and discuss how the next album is shaping up. The following is an edited version of the interview: CNN: Tell me about your latest single, “Soulmate.” Natasha Bedingfield: “Soulmate” is actually one of the first singles I wrote on this album. It was inspired by reading a book called “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.” And the book is just all about how men and women are different and how we kind of have to explain to each other, because we’re speaking in a different language — how to love in the way that we need it. CNN: In the song, you’re looking for Mr. Right, yet in real life you have found Mr. Right. Bedingfield: Well, I wrote that song before I met Mr. Right. My first single ever was actually a single called “Single,” all about being single — a bit of a tongue twister there — like celebrating that stage of life. And I felt like on that next album I wanted to give part two to that. The whole album really is about relationships. CNN: So what does that mean for the next album Bedingfield: Ah! The next album. Well, you know I’m getting married very soon. … CNN: Congratulations. Bedingfield: Thank you. So the next album … I don’t know what it’s going to be about yet. I like to choose a theme and keep the songs in that, but I’m very excited. CNN: Haven’t you started working on it already You were doing some writing in New Zealand. Bedingfield: I did. I wrote a lot in New Zealand. That’s where my family comes from, so whenever I go back there I get inspired and get in touch with nature and use it as a chance to start writing. I also wrote on a bus called the Lennon bus. It’s a charity that Yoko Ono started. It’s got a studio on the bus, and it’s all about teaching kids how to use the studio. So I did a little writing on there as well with some kids. It was cool. CNN: Who are some of your favorite designers Bedingfield: I love a lot of the British designers actually. Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood. CNN: Have you always been into fashion Bedingfield: Always. Even when I was a kid. I went out and got a job early on, probably minimum wage so that I could spend extra on — you know, your parents just buy you like classics, right — so I could go and get my own little cool things. CNN: How would you describe your style Bedingfield: A little eclectic, a little sophisticated and somewhere in between really. [I like] clothes that make you feel good, fabrics that are nice and feminine. But with a tiny bit of masculinity in there as well just to edge it up. CNN: The fashion world is so different from the music world. What is the main difference there You get to dabble in both worlds. Bedingfield: Well, it’s interesting, because the worlds seem like they’re getting closer and closer because a lot of artists end up having modeling contracts. It’s actually quite a happy working thing. I feel like as an artist you get a chance to stamp your own personality on the clothes that you wear. And what you wear reflects on who you are. A model … they’re kind of more like a coat hanger for the designer. And I love the fact that designers and artists are working together because we end up creating something very unique. CNN: Do you get lots of free clothes Bedingfield: I do. It’s one of the perks of my job. CNN: That’s not fair. Bedingfield: Yeah, I love it. CNN: How do the Brits feel about all these British singers who are doing so well in the U.S. Do they feel proud when their artists make it overseas Is there a bit of possessiveness Bedingfield: I think that with every country if someone leaves home you get worried that they’re going to forget about you. It’s important not to forget about where you’re from and your roots, and so I’m conscious of that and make sure that people know how grateful [I am] and that I am coming home. I’m not away forever. I’ve been touring all over the States this year: two major tours; my album went gold and it’s great. But really there is no place like home.
CNN: What is the biggest difference between touring in the U.S. and the UK Bedingfield: Well, the U.S. is a lot bigger. But it’s not really a big difference. An audience is an audience. I guess you could hear different accents singing your songs back.