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

Vintage Toy Guitar and Teddy

It all started with a little toy guitar… I was about 6 years old when my parents bought my siblings and I the best Christmas presents ever! Toy musical instruments! They weren’t real instruments, but to my six year old self, they were the best presents EVER!!! Strumming that little guitar was the best feeling in the world! I had no idea HOW to play, but that didn’t stop me strumming away as loud as I could, singing at the top of my lungs!

For reasons unknown to me at the time, my parents decided that these toys were not for everyday play. They were to be kept packed away on top of my parents wardrobe, only to be played with occasionally, then put straight back again as soon as we had finished playing. As a kid I thought it was because these instruments were too special and precious to be left laying around with our other toys, but now I’m guessing it probably had more to do with the god awful racket we most likely made, driving my parents crazy! 😆 In any case, I remember constantly begging mum, asking if we could play with “the instruments”. Sometimes it was a disappointing no, but the best days were when she said yes! God I loved that guitar! And it was always heartbreaking when the time came to pack them back away again.

Eventually my mum got tired of fighting me every time she tried to take my guitar back and just let me keep it. I promised to look after it and did just that – returning it to its box and back into my cupboard after I finished playing. It was my pride and joy….and guess what? I still have that little guitar to this day!

I was 11 years old when I got my first ‘real’ guitar and started proper guitar lessons. Then, at the age of 16, I was asked by a friend of mine to put music to a poem she had written about our friend – a Canadian exchange student, who we had grown to love so much, but who now had to return home. I’d never really thought about songwriting before that, but I took the poem and gave it a go. The resulting song was a soppy ballad about how much we were going to miss our friend, but I was so proud to have (co)written my first song. When I sang it for the first time at her going away party, everyone cried! Those powerful emotions that were stirred up with a simple song had me hooked! I knew from then on that I wanted to be a songwriter! I was drawn to the strong connection that could be made between me and my listener through music.

It’s still that connection I live for today. There is no better feeling in the world than when I’m singing my songs and connecting with an audience. The energy and emotion that is shared is beyond compare. I’m so touched and humbled when I’m told how much a certain song means to one of my listeners. My songs have been the soundtrack to the lives of people I may never meet, but who send me little messages to say I was played at their wedding, or helped them through their breakup, or while on a road trip, or numerous other situations, which fills me with such joy that I can be a virtual part of these people’s lives in some small way. I hope to also be a part of your life and for you to be part of mine…

So here’s where you come in…

As independent musicians, we can only survive in this biz thanks to the support from loving fans like yourself. YOU are the only reason I’m still able to make music! Thank-you for allowing me to keep this connection flowing.

If you would like to feel this connection, then click here to listen to my album PIECE BY PIECE.

Thank-you for allowing me into your world and sharing this musical journey with me…

If you have anything to share with me or have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment below…