By Elaine Tantra
Natalia Toache is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter who grew up in Mexico City. She is currently about to start her third year at Berklee (in Boston, MA) and is double majoring in Songwriting and Music Business & Management.
Toache has been doing music ever since she could remember, but decided to pursue it as a career during high school. In October 2020, she released her debut single, “Blue,” which is about understanding growth and separation and seeing that process through colors. The music video for the single — which was directed by me and stars Natalia alongside Joe Messina and Irma Högberg — dropped on May 15th.
Ahead of the video's release, I chatted with Natalia about her musical beginnings, the video, and more.
What initially drew you into the music industry?
Well, I don’t think there was anything that specifically drew me into the music industry, but more of the fact that what I wanted to pursue as an artist and songwriter put me in a place where I needed to be involved with the music industry. When you’re growing up and you want to be a singer or a songwriter, you don’t really think that you’re gonna be part of something as big and as influenced by so many other people. It’s more of a realization that I had when I started to get serious with my music. But if it comes to being drawn to it, it was more of a thing that happened, rather than something that I looked for.
What is “Blue” about and what inspired you to write it?
“Blue” is about growth and separation in a relationship. I think it’s really interesting how a lot of people change for the better or the worst in a relationship, so it’s about seeing that through colors — wanting to be like someone else or wanting to be better for someone else while they’re already changing for someone outside of your relationship. Like, after some time being broken up, you still kind of hold on to how that person used to be and you’re still hoping that they identify with the same colors as you and the same frequency kind of thing, but they’ve already moved on and they’re now changing for someone else, just like you had changed for them. So, it’s about going through that emotion and realizing that no one really stays the same and you might even change for someone else or for yourself in another moment in your life.
What inspired me to write “Blue” ... there wasn’t really any specific thing that made me write [it]. I guess it was just that it felt right at the moment. I started off with the first lines — “If you ever write a song, let it be about the color blue” — kind of like a conversation to myself and to someone; I didn’t have anyone in mind specifically. I guess it was a mix of what I felt in my first semester at college and how I saw people interact with each other. I’m very observant, so seeing my friends get into relationships and having this growth or just like this complete switch into another person, it really was a learning experience. I write a lot based on someone else’s experiences, so “Blue” was inspired by the people around me and how I read their emotions, and how I kind of implemented some of my ideas to what they felt and how I perceived it from an outside perspective, or even a little bit of my experience, but it’s not just for one person, specifically.
How would you describe your creative process when writing songs?
My creative process is very different every time I write. One day, I might have this really cool idea for a title of a song, or I might have some lyrics in mind with a melody and I record that and keep it, or if I really like it, I try to get a guitar. But if I don’t have one near me or can’t completely pursue that idea at the moment, I’ll have something to continue when I have the time. Sometimes, I also just start off with four chords, something that can get me in the mood, and then I try to write and sing over it, kind of improvising. I don’t write a full lyric — I start off with something and, from there, I see where I can go. It’s really hard for me to write whole songs in one sitting, I mean just the lyrics, but I can do that if I’m playing the guitar and singing the melodies, knowing what I want the song to be like.
What do you hope to achieve or express when writing songs?
Probably having people resonate with my feelings. As I mentioned before, I’m really good at reading other people’s emotions and I’m a pretty good listener, I would say, so I want to kind of help [my listeners] through what I’m writing because it’s based on their feelings, too. It’s a message of self-care, love, and support to my friends and to myself. If I can help people feel better through what I’m writing, I would feel very accomplished because it’s beautiful to see how people connect with music and how they share that with other people. It’s just something that makes you realize that you’re not on your own and you have people that feel the same way. So, it would help me having people listen to [my music] and feel the same way, or that it would help them knowing there’s someone out there who is also struggling.
Are there any musicians that influence your music now, or any that you’d hope to collaborate with in the future?
I think I’m always, if not 100%, at least 80% influenced by the people I’m listening to when I’m writing my music, because I never really stop listening to music. It’s where I get my inspiration from and where I learn the most from. So, I’m always getting some good inspiration from Troye Sivan or BTS and their production work, which helps me kind of have in mind ideas of what I wanna pursue. Dodie, Tom Odell...there’s so many artists that I keep finding and just go back to, like Harry Styles, too. But, these days, I’m most inspired by my fellow classmates — my inspiration comes from being surrounded by such incredible and amazing talented musicians in my school, which is truly a blessing. I get to learn from people who sit right next to me or who I can text, which is crazy and I’m so grateful that I get the opportunity to learn from people in such an intense way, if that makes sense. My singing inspiration comes from my best friend, her name’s Sandrina, or my friends that help me produce or help me understand producing. I truly am influenced by them the most. They’re the future of the music industry and I get to get their help first, which is amazing.
I’d love to continue to collaborate with my friends from Berklee because they’re so talented and I know they’re gonna make it. If I can learn from them right now and still work with them in the future when we’ve already grown and done bigger things, that would be just such a cool thing and beautiful thing to experience. And, in a more hopeful way, I’d love to collaborate with a lot of artists that I’m listening to, like Olivia Rodrigo. I think what she’s doing right now is amazing and inspiring. I’d love to collaborate with Laufey — who just graduated from Berklee — Sabrina Claudio, Post Malone...I think that would be super fun! There’s just so many people that you can collaborate with and that’s just the coolest thing about the industry. There’s always people coming up with new things, things that you haven’t done and you wanna try; it’s just amazing.
I remember you said you were working on a few new songs, how is that going?
I’m working on a new song that can hopefully be out in the world in a little bit. I’m also trying to work on an EP, hopefully. School was just super busy this semester, but I know the right people that can help me achieve this and have so much fun with it and make it as honest and not pushed- I know there’s people that can help me create the best thing I can in the time that I have without making it feel like it’s a pressured project. Something that’s honest and me, and that’s also the influence of my other friends that help me achieve it. Because an EP or a song isn’t just my work, it’s the work of so many other people and that’s the best thing — that I can share something with a team I’m in complete awe of, and that’s just the coolest thing.
Make sure to keep up with Natalia!