Updated: Jul 18, 2018
Detroit native, Natalie Lucassian, is stepping onto the stage and stealing fans’ hearts everywhere (including ours). Haven't heard of her? Oh, you will. Her highly anticipated EP is set to release late this spring or summer, and, let's just say she's already made a name for herself in the Detroit area.
We had the opportunity to talk to Natalie the day after she wrapped up a recording session in Cincinnati for her four-track EP.
“Knowing me, because I’m a perfectionist, I think I’m going to spend a lot more time mixing it and comping it so it’s perfect,” she said. “Of course, it’s just knit-picking. All of the songs are recorded and everything is there so the strings was the last little bit.”
She recorded the bulk of the EP in Flint, Michigan at Soul Foundry and bits and pieces in Cincinnati. If you’ve been lucky enough to catch one of her sets, you’ve heard her play acoustic versions of the songs on her EP, but this will be the first time anyone has heard the songs played with different elements added to it.
“I take a lot of pride in that all of the instruments on my record are all live, even the weird little noises,” Lucassian said. “We wanted people to be like, ‘Is that a sample, is that a background vocal, what is that?’ It’s truly my favorite science experiment. It’s so magical, and I love it. Even if I’m exhausted, it’s so rewarding and I can’t imagine myself sitting at a desk doing anything but music.”
With so much mystery surrounding the new project, I asked her to describe the EP in a few words.
“I love talking about it with people but also, when it comes to being eloquent with words, it’s like ‘God, can’t you look in my brain and see what I’m thinking?’ she exclaimed. “I created this little world for myself, and it’s an autobiography. It’s a story about my life pretty much, almost like a coming of age. It truly is about stepping into oneself, and starting at a point where you’re unaware and lost. You’re not really sure what to do, restless. There’s a demo online (song ‘Restless’ that doesn’t sound anything like the EP version, and I’m very excited. That’s going to be the first song on the EP. That was the initial feeling and first song I wrote, when I went in and started working with Ashley (her manager)…Back to the EP, it’s a story about coming into yourself. The last song is very open-ended and gives me a lot of room to play with the holdings I plan on doing, but there’s an underlining tone of worth and just coming into yourself as a young adult but especially a young woman.”
Trying to better understand her sound, we asked her to explain what genre category she falls into. “The genre question? It’s always like ‘oh, what am I’? I think people are stepping outside of genre boundaries, but I’ve been described as vintage soul music meets indie-rock. So there’s those underlying tones of soul that are that gritty Detroit that just feels good in your soul music. But there’s no doubt it’s indie-rock too.” From her tastes of John Mayer, Lady Gaga, Jeff Buckley, Halsey and David Bowie, it’s easy to see what she has such a unique sound. "My manager was like imagine if Amy Winehouse was reincarnated as Adele's indie-rock little sister."
Keeping busy until the big release, Natalie preformed three shows in a span of four days at 20 Front Street (one night included a sold out crowd). “It was fulfilling. Every night, even though I was exhausted and not feeling well, double cupping coconut water, backstage doing nasal drips, it’s what I love to do. A couple of people might come up to you and be like ‘you know, this is awesome.’”
This led to the next question, what iconic Detroit venue would she want to play at?
“I love St. Andrews Hall. I really do. I’ve seen so many of my favorite bands there, and St. Andrews Hall is the point where you want to catch artists,” she said. “Before they go to the Fillmore, now before they go to Little Caesar’s Arena. St. Andrews Hall is the spot. I would love to play there and just any iconic Detroit venue—I would be so honored. I’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ I’ve seen so many concerts that I love. Like I cried in that mosh-pit.”
So what’s next for the rising star? We expect big things. We predict she plays MoPop Festival within the near future. Lucassian let us know she has more shows booked but can’t announce them. However, she has landed her first out of state gig in Chicago, which we think is just a stepping-stone to her international career.
“It can be so hard. That’s why I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had so far and not even having an EP out yet,” she said. “I only have demos online so it can be hard to be like, ‘Hey, can I play this huge credible music festival even though I don’t have an EP out yet? I promise it’s all there; it’s just not out yet.’”