Nat Ripepi with Susanna Hoffs

This blog is all about reminiscing….I wanted to share with you one of my greatest musical memories…. Lets go back to the 29th of October 2010, which A) was my birthday, B) was the day I got to hold my (then) brand new CD PIECE BY PIECE for the very first time, C) I had one of the BEST gigs of my life and D) I got to hang with THE BANGLES!

I had been asked to be the opening act on a dream line-up of total legends, Pat Benatar and The Bangles who were performing on a huge stage in the glorious grounds of Perth Zoo! I was in complete and utter awe as I had grown up listening to both of these artists, singing and dancing around the house with my sisters when we were kids, so to be sharing a stage with them blew my mind! I was so shy and nervous going back stage, but after my soundcheck, I did just that and was soon warmly greeted by Mick Mahan, Pat Benatar’s long time bass player (and all ’round awesome nice guy!). He made me feel right at home and we chatted at length about all things music. Soon I was back on-stage doing my thing and WOW, what a gig! The audience were amazing. As I left the stage, The Bangles were waiting at the bottom of the stairs getting ready to go on. They greeted me warmly and complimented me on my set. Susanna even told me how amazing she thought my voice was! I think I nearly fainted on the spot!!! 🙂

There’s teeny tiny me on that HUGE stage!

Then it got even better …I wandered out to the merch tent after my set to see if I might sell a cd or two and was shocked to be greeted by a massive long line of people waiting for me to sign their CDs! I was signing CD’s for what felt like ages! I sold close to 100 CDs that night! I was on cloud nine! When the line was finished, I wandered to the side of stage to watch the rest of The Bangles set. They were awesome as expected. So much energy and such fun…I was feeling like a kid again.

The Bangles from side of stage

Unfortunately, I missed my window to meet Pat Benatar. She arrived while I was on stage and had a separate backstage area to us and also had to leave immediately after her set to catch a plane. My disappointment was only minor though as I still got to watch her from the side of the stage. Man…What a voice! Pure rock goddess! I sure have a thing or two to learn from her! Susanna, Debbi, Vicki and Mick all assured me she was totally wonderful off stage as well.

Nat Ripepi with Debbi Peterson

The girls from The Bangles were all Amazing! Even though they also had a seperate backstage area, they preferred to hang with all the crew etc. in the common area. I was too nervous and star-struck to approach them, but turns out I didn’t need to – as they all approached me – AND asked for my CD! They were all so friendly and fun and treated me like one of the gang. I had such a great night hanging with them, talking music, watching cool videos on youtube…I cant begin to describe just how cool they all were. I didn’t want that night to ever end!

Nat Ripepi with Vicki Peterson

I’ve opened for a lot of very talented and successful artists over the years, but this particular gig was the crowning glory of them all… I guess the stars were all aligned or something….it exceeded all my expectations and left me with some great memories that will stick with me forever. I’m forever grateful for this musical life I lead…. I’m one very lucky gal!…

If you have a favourite memory, musical or otherwise, I’d love to hear all about it! Please feel free to share it in the comments section below!

With love….nat xx

Blake Williams and Nat Ripepi at Mix94.5

Here’s another flashback blog…. This turned out to be one crazy emotional and exciting day! Read on to find out why…

In February of 2014, I was invited by the lovely Blake Williams to feature on his radio show ‘The Scene’ on Perth station Mix 94.5. I was very flattered and a little shocked as I hadn’t been actively looking for any publicity at the time. I was just happily plugging away at my regular pub gigs and preparing for the arrival of mine and my partner’s baby, so I was stoked to get back on the airwaves and sing a couple of live songs. I sang a track from my CD Piece By Piece and then participated in a little challenge. Each week, Blake asks his guests to cover a well known Aussie song, but he doesn’t reveal the track until you get there and then you have some time during the add breaks to put something together. I was given “Walking On A Dream” by awesome Aussie band Empire of The Sun. Below is a little vid my partner filmed of what came out.

 

If you’d like to listen to my little chat with Blake, you can listen to The Scene podcast by clicking on the link.

Then the crazy part begins…. After this interview, my heavily pregnant partner and I popped around the corner from the radio station to King Edward Memorial Hospital for a quick check-up and got told we weren’t going home – baby had to come out today! She had lost weight in the womb since the last check-up, so she had to come out ASAP! We were totally unprepared! No bags packed or anything. The only thing I had packed in the car was my guitar 🙂

Such a crazy day – singing on the radio one minute then going into labour the next!!! Thanks to the incredible team at KEMH, our beautiful baby girl arrived healthy and safe at 11:02am the following morning. Here she is….

What a day that turned out to be! One of the best (and most emotional) days of my life! I’ll be remembering that one 🙂

Any crazy memories you’d like to share with me? Leave them in the comments below.

’til next time…

With love x Nat

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