Interviews

17/09/2013

Whatever Happened To Verbalicious?


This blog has had many guises; a photo journal, a music blog, coffee shop reviews… but there has always been one constant since 2008. The most read blog I have ever done, and continually to this day, is one I wrote about my brat-rapper obsession with Verbalicious. She was a one-hit wonder with Don’t Play Nice and I remember vividly the excitement of being able to go to Woolworths* and buying the CD single** and then taking the disc to an indie/pop disco in Manchester called Shake-o-rama and never seeing it again, dancing hard on the wedding dancefloor upstairs at The Thompsons Arms. Good times.

Fast-forward almost a decade, and I’ve managed to get paid to interview popstars and write about music. In that capacity, I met Natalia Kills, aka Natalie Cappuccino, aka verse/verbs i.e. Verb-a-fucking-licous. It was too good an opportunity not to ask her what happened and update the most read blog I’ve ever done. Which is what I just explained to her…

Natalia Kills: Shut up! I wish I knew about it, I would’ve written a reply. And it would’ve gone a little bit like this… I had a shit manager, my record label completely ripped me off, I didn’t want to put out the album because of how horrible and corrupt the deals that I was in. On multiple layers they were taking advantage of me. Trying to manipulate my direction into a kind of direction that I couldn’t represent honestly. So before any worse could happen than what was happening I gave it all up, and then decided I just wanted to be a songwriter and of course I’d been ripped off to fuck so I’d lost all of my money and I’d spent years in a law suit trying to get out of all the deals and ended up with nowhere to live, and living on the floor of a hostel in Earls Court for over a year. And then being like ‘fuck it’ and stealing a bunch of shit and selling it on Ebay and buying a plane ticket to LA, living in and out of $25 a night run-down motels on Sunset Strip and Hollywood Boulevard and then eventually getting recognised and working with random [people]... Anyone who would just give me an hour in the studio, I would take home the demo, put it on a Myspace page and eventually someone said I want to introduce you to a DJ who said I want to introduce you to someone else - and it was Will.i.am and he signed me as a songwriter to Interscope. Then I started working with Cherry Tree on Interscope. And then I made Perfectionist. And that’s how - if I could’ve replied to that blog, that’s what happened to Verbalicious.

You know, I found the links to your Ebay page...

Fuck off that’s brilliant! What was the ebay page?

It was all kinds of stuff like sunglasses, bikes...

Everything. Oh my god, did you buy anything?

No.

Good, because I was terrible, half of those things didn’t exist and I don’t think I posted any of them, I needed a plane ticket babe. I had nowhere to live, I couldn’t afford food, it was a disaster.

Even though it's rough, you've basically described the artistic bohemian fairytale - the idea of throwing everything into a rucksack, fucking off and making yourself.

Oh my god! But that’s the thing it’s either that or you do something that you don’t want and then you have to - it’s not even about living a lie, it’s about being more unhappy having everything you ever wanted than having nothing but atleast you have a sense of self or happiness. And I just guess that’s what I was looking for at the time. And even though it got me in a lot of trouble and it made things very difficult for me - there was no other way for me to do it. What would I have done? Where would I be now?

Maybe I’d be speaking to Verbalicious now...

Who would what? Release seven albums, platinum everywhere, and I’d have some crazy blow addiction? [Natalia laughs]

And that, ladies and gentleman is what happened and what could've happened to Verbalicious. As Natalia Kills she's doing a very nice line in contemporary pop and her latest album Trouble is OUT NOW.

* a now defunct chain that used to sell mainstream music

** a now defunct format that used to feature b-sides, remixes, clunky PC-viewable videos, posters, postcards to sign up to a mailing list based in Leamington Spa, etc.