"Learning to believe in myself and accept my flaws is something I've learned throughout my musical journey."
Scottish singer thisisNAMASTE - real name Natasha Marie Stewart - grew up in the small town of Lanark and always knew she wanted to be a singer.
It was when she a wee little girl, around the age of seven, when Stewart's parents, both Dentists, realised their daughter had a pitch-perfect voice.
By the time she was 11, she'd penned her first song, with the hope of her friends forming a girl band with her.
Fast forward a few years, and one of her pal's saw an advert on Twitter for a backing singer position with none other than chart-topper Rita Ora.
After singing backup for the likes of Martin Garrix, Bebe Rexha and Ella Eyre, thisisNAMASTE is ready to stake her claim in pop.
She's already worked with songwriter and producer to the stars, Adam Argyle - who worked his magic on the official remix for Dua Lipa's 'IDGAF' - and is set for a bright future.
As she releases her infectious new single, 'Girl I Got You', Lizzie's Lowdown caught up with thisisNAMASTE to hear all about her journey so far and what's to come.
What was it like growing up in a small town like Lanark - would you say it gave you even more determination to achieve your dream? It was lovely, It's a small town so you get to know a lot of people.
Yes, I would definitely say it made me more determined to be dedicated to pursuing music.
I was involved in all the local drama groups, which was amazing, but I really wanted to get out and see what the world outside of Lanark had to offer.
How much did your parents' record collection inspire your music taste? To be honest, at the time, I was too interested in 90/00s pop music to really pay much attention to their music collection. However, weirdly, a few weeks ago we found my mum's old record collection and there are some bangers in there! Bowie, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, the list goes on, so it's been fun re-listening to them in lockdown.
Which artists/bands inspired you growing up? Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and then when I was a teenager, I became obsessed with Avril Lavigne’s album.
When did you realise you had a talent for singing? I guess my first memory was around 7 years old. I used to love singing in my bedroom and singing along to songs on the radio and I think my parents worked out then that I could actually sing in tune.
Did you always want to be a singer? Always. I don’t really remember ever wanting to do anything else. How old were you when you wrote your first song? I was 11. I wrote it in my diary and I wrote different parts as I wanted my friends to be in a girl band with me so I gave them a line each. All I’ll say is, I hope my songwriting has got better since then (laughs).
You’ve performed backing vocals for huge names. How did you get your foot in the door and who was the first artist you performed backup for? My first big gig was doing backing vocals for Rita Ora. I actually first heard about that job via Twitter. My friend sent me the tweet that Rita's Musical Director had posted looking for backing singers and told me I should apply. I honestly never thought I was in with a chance with getting it but then I went down to the audition and the next day they told me I got it. I was so happy.
What was the moment you decided you wanted to write and perform your own music? I knew I wanted to perform from being really young, like 8/9 years old. It was only when I got to about 11 that I realised that people wrote songs too and that’s when I started exploring with writing and have continued writing since then.
How did you come to work with Adam Argyle? Are you going to continue writing together? I worked with Adam Argyle on a previous single of mine called 'Exactly What You Want'.
Yes for sure, he’s fab, we’ll deffo work together again.
If you could write a song for anyone, who would be on your wish-list?
The inner child in me would LOVE to write something for Celine Dion considering it was listening to her that taught me to sing. Other artists I absolutely love and would love to write for would be Lady Gaga, Charli XCX, Sia, Tove Lo. What can I say, I love a strong powerful female artist…
What have been the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way? I have learned a lot and I have no doubt I’ll continue to learn much more. Most importantly, though, I think learning to believe in myself and accept my flaws is something I've learned throughout my musical journey and I still have more to learn along the way.
Would you describe your music as diary-like? Yeah, for sure. Songwriting is its own therapy for me. I write stuff that I feel passionate about. Things that have happened to me and even things that have happened to my friends, I use their experiences to write songs as well. Tell us about your new single, 'Girl I Got You'. It’s such an important anthem, especially in these times with more and more people suffering with anxiety. Is it important for you to provide a shoulder to lean on through your music? I wrote 'Girl I Got You' as an anthem to myself and others who suffer with anxiety. We are enough and anxiety doesn’t need to define who we are. I always want people to relate to what I say in my music and I hope the song makes others out there who do feel overwhelmed and anxious sometimes know that they are not alone and that they can do anything they put their mind to.
Is music like therapy for you? 100% We loved the Sammy Porter remix of 'I Can Do It'. Tell us how that came about and can we expect more remixes? Thank you! Me too. he did an awesome job. It came about through my label (Humble Angel Records) actually. They recommended him to me to remix of the track and I listened to some of his other stuff and thought he was awesome.
Regarding future remixes, you’ll just have to wait and see!
What’s next for you? More music! I have a few releases lined up already to go so I’m super pumped to get them out there. I’d love to do some live shows when it's allowed as I love being on stage.
Finally, what's the big dream for your music career? My biggest dream is truly to be able to do this for as long as I can. Releasing music, gigging, I’d love to headline my own tour, continue writing for myself and other artists - and just continue on this crazy old musical journey.
Stream 'Girl I Got You' now on all major streaming services.