Who is Natania Lalwani?


She’s only 20, but Natania Lalwani’s delightful take on acoustic pop has taken her places already. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who describes her music as “comfortable, cozy and warm” has already amassed a wealth of experience from her stints at Berklee College of Music’s summer programme and the Musicians’ Institute vocal programme in Hollywood. She is a rising star on the fast-paced Californian music scene since moving from Mumbai in 2010. She has just released her debut album, Hope & Heartbreak.

Early beginnings
I started playing piano at the age of nine. My piano teacher, Sabrina Bilimoria, was always pushing me to practice, which I am so grateful for now since I write on the piano so often. I picked up the guitar when I was 15 and wrote my first song and have never stopped writing since. I just knew it was something I was meant to be doing for the rest of my life — though five years ago I could not have believed that I would be living in LA. I think all my songs are always filled with a tinge of hope; even if they are sad, they always have a few lines in them hinting at hope.

Learning in the U.S
Berklee was such an amazing experience. I met so many talented people there who inspired me and made me want to work even harder. I got to go to advanced classes and really focus on understanding the wires of music and the way it works. I wanted to spend my next two years really crafting my writing and music, so I enrolled in the Associates Degree programme at Musicians’ Institute. I had such incredible mentors, pushing me to achieve. I think the main difference between home and LA is the pace. You can’t slow down or take a few days off from what you’re doing here because opportunities are everywhere.

Inspiration all round
My phone is filled with lyrical ideas that just pop into my head. The other day I met someone for breakfast at the cutest little cafe and we were sitting between these bright orange walls and immediately I wrote down Between the Orange Walls as an idea for a lyric. That’s the kind of stuff from which a lot of my ideas originate on a daily basis and then I elaborate from there. Sometimes a melody starts playing in my head and I quickly get out my phone and record me humming, which can get a little awkward in public (haha!)

Hope and heartbreak
It’s a collection of music I am so proud of. It’s about love, loss and everything in between. The EP comes from such an honest place. Someone who knows all the lyrics to that EP will probably know me better than someone I’ve been friends with for a while. The icing on the cake was when VH1 decided to air the single, Cherry Love.

Looking ahead
I just released a brand new single, The Letter, with a music video, which I am so excited about. Also, I’m in the middle of talking about a tour in India early next year!

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