There’s no doubt about it. These are troubling times. 2020 has definitely hit us hard, but through it all, I’m trying to keep looking for positives. Having my gigs cancelled and nowhere to be, meant I suddenly had a whole heap of spare time to fill, so I started thinking of ways I could somehow give back. Music is the only thing I know how to do, so I thought about who would benefit the most from hearing it and how I might be able to deliver it to them during the “lockdown”. This following video shows what I came up with.

It was a wonderful, heartwarming, bucket-filling afternoon and I’m so grateful to the staff at Opal Aged Care in Alfred Cove for allowing my dream to become a reality. They do a fantastic job of looking after our most vulnerable. Keep sharing the love y’all, in any way you can! xx

Considering most of the world is in lockdown right now or following the #stayathome advice, I thought it would be perfect timing to talk about “Home”. I personally, have never spent this much time at home! After over 20 years of constant gigging, it’s a very weird feeling not having ANY plans or anywhere to be. After the initial panic of finding out all my gigs had been cancelled and worrying about the wellbeing of my loved ones, I have tried to spend some time looking for the positives.

One positive is seeing how trying times can bring out the best in people. It feels like the world has gone a little crazy, but in amongst it all are some beautiful stories of hope, goodwill and connection. My favourite ones are the viral videos of high rise apartment blocks in Spain and Italy where residents are out on their balconies singing and dancing in one big communal choir. For centuries, music has been a powerful tool for healing and bonding, so it is no surprise to see music bringing people together in a time when we have to be physically distant.

I lost my work due to COVID-19, which according to ScoMo’s recent public address means musicians are deemed ‘non essential’, but I would disagree. Humans are social beings and many are finding it very hard and unnatural being so isolated. These videos show just how essential music is for our mental health and wellbeing, which is why musicians all over the world are finding creative ways to continue sharing music. Hard times can definitely bring out the best in us.

I’ve been complaining for ages about needing more time to reignite my creative spark and now I’ve been handed all the time in the world to get back into writing and recording. I was lucky enough to set up a home studio in my apartment right before the restrictions came into place, so now I can really sink my teeth into producing more music. My first project is to record an unreleased song which I coincidentally, have called “Home”. I wrote this song after getting ‘a little bit lost’ and realising how it made coming home so much sweeter. Quite fitting for the situation we find ourselves in now. I’m so happy to find myself with more time at home and I can’t wait to see what creativity comes out of this.

So, while you’re waiting for me, here’s a little sneak peak of ‘Home’ which was recorded live at The Quarry Amphitheatre on the 7th of March, just before all the lockdowns and restrictions on social gatherings came into effect.

winged angel playing guitar

In August of 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer. The timing couldn’t have been worse (not that there’s ever a good time)! I had only just released my long awaited CD Piece By Piece at the end of 2010 and had big plans to promote the album during 2011. Devastatingly, my father was diagnosed with a brain tumour and passed away in May 2011, so needless to say, when my diagnosis came, it was a huge shock to both me and my family. My music plans were put on hold indefinitely as I needed immediate major surgery, followed by 6 months of chemotherapy. My Doctor gave me a 45% chance of being alive in 5 years!

I truely thought that that was the end of my music career…

The surgery was very extensive and I was later told that I nearly died on the operating table! Scary stuff indeed!  I was extremely fortunate to have an amazing team of doctors and nurses as well as the undying support of my loving family and friends. They literally saved my life! I thought long and hard about how I wanted to spend the next few years if they did indeed turn out to be my last. It didn’t take me long to figure out that all I wanted was to spend as much quality time with my family and friends as possible…and to keep making music!

Fast forward to 2020 and I’m so grateful to say I beat the odds! I am currently happy, healthy and cancer free 9 years later! 

That experience taught me so much. It really drummed home to me the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff”. You realise that it’s ALL just small stuff! The only thing that truely matters is THIS moment and how important it is to make the most of every second. As painful and traumatic as that experience was, I actually consider it a gift! No one knows how long they have left on this earth, but I was given a very clear reminder of that! Now, I use that reminder to get me through the toughest of days. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I think back to how grateful I am to simply still be here and that makes all the crap disappear.

I also had another weapon in my healing arsenal – my music. It’s been well documented that music has many healing powers and I am now walking proof of that. Even though, after the operation, I could no longer do gigs, as soon as I was strong enough to hold my guitar again, I was playing. The chemo also affected my voice, so my singing wasn’t the greatest, but I didn’t care. It just felt so good to be making music. I ended up writing a song about my experience called (not surprisingly) THE GIFT. It’s my reminder note to myself to always be thankful for this life and it’s become one of my most requested songs. I’m so glad it resonates with my audience as much as it does with me.

As I write this, I am as yet to get into a studio to record The Gift “properly”, but I’ve definitely got plans to do that in the next year or so. In the meantime, here’s a video of me performing the song live, not long after I started performing again. I’m a little shaky after so long away from the mic and very nervous about performing this song for the very first time, but I think you still get the idea 🙂

If you like this track, you might also like to check out my album PIECE BY PIECE. There’s another song on there that has taken on a whole new meaning since my diagnosis and has become an unofficial anthem for what I went through. It’s called I Will Not Fall and it’s my favourite track from the album. It was co-written by the amazingly talented Emily Baker while I was living in Brighton, England and it still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it. As my way of saying THANKS for joining my list, I’d like to give you this song for FREE – as my special gift to you!

I hope you love it as much as I do…

Download I Will Not Fall here…

or stream the song here…

Let me know what you think once you’ve had a listen by commenting in the comments section below. I always love to hear what my songs mean to you!

Thanks again and see you soon,

With love x Nat