Liverpool Sound And Vision: The Saturday Supplement, An Interview With Natalie McCool.

In one of the hottest and keenly contested categories in this year’s Liverpool Music Awards, Natalie McCool, Anna Corcoran and Eva Peterson are all strong contenders for Female Artist of the Year 2013. Ms. McCool has had a phenomenal year with the release of her debut album and several high profile gigs in which she has wowed audience members and critics alike.

This young woman from Widnes never gives anything less than her best, whether on stage at Leaf on Bold Street and being one of the most outstanding acts of Sound City 2013, being a firm favourite regular interviewee and performer on Radio Merseyside or even popping in to the University of Liverpool L.S Radio Studios and giving a scintillating performance on Liverpool Sound, Natalie is at all times professional but with that wonderful spark that marks her out as real genuine hero.

Catching up with Natalie is always a pleasure and whilst she is so busy, time is short but ahead of the Liverpool Music Awards I was able to get some questions in and ask her about these prestigious awards and her nomination.

2013 has been quite a year for you so far, what with the new album and now this nomination in the Liverpool Music Awards. Has it all sunk in yet?

Natalie: “I just take it all as it comes really, there’s a lot happening but it’s all good news. The Liverpool Music Award nomination was really brilliant, I went to the nominations party and I was actually really nervous. I actually hid in the toilet when they were announcing the Female Artist of the Year nominees. I came out just as Dave Monks announced my name so that was quite lucky otherwise it would have been a bit awkward.”

What was your first thought when you saw you had been nominated?

Natalie: “I was just really excited and also a bit relieved because it’s such a great thing to have been nominated for. Everyone has so far been really supportive, voting for me and sharing the link, so that has been great and much appreciated. I’m really excited for the awards event because I’ll be performing too. To win as well would top it all off.”

How important do you think the Liverpool Music Awards are to the city?

Natalie: “Yes I think it’s great that people recognise all the music and events that do go on in Liverpool day to day, not just the big festivals and events but events that local bands and promoters put on, local grassroots stuff, it’s all really important and adds so much to the music scene here. I don’t think a lot of other cities really have the community we have here – everyone seems to know everyone else and to work with each other a lot of the time, I think that’s great. I also think the Liverpool Music Awards are really varied awards with different categories to reward people who are working in all areas of music in the city and that’s important to recognise too.”

You are up against two very amazing musicians; that must make you very proud to be included, especially with the incredible abundance of female musicians in the city?

Natalie: “It must have been difficult for the judges to pick the nominees as I know they must have been inundated with applications. I do feel proud to have been nominated, and in such a great category too!! With Bill Ryder-Jones, Esco Williams and Miles Kane also nominated in the Male Artist of the Year category – yes I am proud!”

Your album was stunning, a piece of creative art that struck a chord with those who listened to it, was the process an easy one for you?

Natalie: “It was a process that took time; we released a few singles and E.P.s and then decided to put all the tracks in one place with a couple of new ones – on the album. It works so well, I suppose the album is like a journey in my musical style, it’s really varied but it’s still…me – my voice, my songs, my guitar playing – so it works. A lot of feedback I’ve had has said the above too, people are responding so well to it – the album launch we had at District (formerly The Picket) was amazing – so much support and the lovely Chris Hawkins (B.B.C. 6 Music D.J. who has supported Natalie from very early on) came to host the show – what a legend he is!”

Your mum and dad are also very supportive, is that a key to how the year and your career has gone so far

Natalie: “Yes they are and it’s really great to have that! They are only up the road in my hometown of Widnes so for anything in Liverpool they are always there! I do a lot of stuff in London too so it’s nice to get the support when I come back up here.”

What is next for you?  

Natalie: “I have my Abbey Road E.P. coming out in September, watch out for the release of that – and also I have a feature in Seven Streets in August which is going to be cool! I have a couple of videos coming out too which I absolutely can’t wait to release because I think people will respond very well to them!”

Congratulations on the nomination from Liverpool Sound and Vision. It has been a real pleasure listening to your music and talking to you.

Ian D. Hall