OA Scouted by David Bowie’s Producer
You might have heard of Natasha Jenkins. She’s just hit 1.2 million hits on YouTube, and has been scouted by Tony Visconti, David Bowie’s former producer and music industry legend in his own right. Natasha only graduated from the College in June, but has since had a whirlwind summer packed with music deals, recording sessions and now has tour dates booked for the coming months. Natasha stopped by at the College for a quick chat before heading to a recording studio to record her first E.P.
Just over two months ago, Natasha put a video up on YouTube (which you can watch here) which has launched her success. The video went viral after David Bowie’s record producer, Tony Visconti, saw her busking in the street and commented on the song she was singing. Natasha jubilantly recounts: “he came up to me and said ‘I produced that song in 1970 and that’s the best rendition I’ve heard of it’”. The producer then asked if she would like to be featured on ‘Unsigned Heroes’, a popular TV show filmed by Sky Arts. Natasha was made the face of the programme.
Since this success, two tours have been booked. One in the UK in December and another in the US starting in January. Natasha has also been invited to perform on the hit US talk show ‘Steve’, presented by Steve Harvey and has had countless newspaper articles written about her. She even describes how she’s been hit with numerous sponsorship offers: “this week I had to make the crazy decision between Yamaha and Gibson”, she explains.
Natasha moved to London two days after she turned 18 to begin studying at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP). She’s studying for a BMus in Popular Music, which covers music from the 1920s onwards. “The uni have been really good about everything that’s happened” she says, “I’ve been allowed to take a year out of my course in order to go on tour”. Is she enjoying London? Natasha recounts how Irn Bru is a hefty £1.80 south-of-the-border, and people are always in a rush!
The roots of Natasha’s success come from her experiences at a young age. She explains how she’s been busking since she was 12 and joined a jazz band at 15. At 16 she became an Assistant Creative Music Director at Scottish Opera. She was also a member of the College’s Schola Cantorum, the Opera Group and was Vice Music Captain last year.
Her family’s musical too, particularly her Grandma: Natasha recalls visiting her and singing 1930s hits in her kitchenette! It makes sense, then, that her favourite musicians are from an older generation – Jonny Cash, The Beatles, David Bowie, T-Rex, to name but a few.
Asked what her friends and family think, Natasha says that they’re all really proud of her, and her parents are “just gobsmacked”. Her dad has even offered to be her roadie, should she need one!
As for her ultimate goal, Natasha explains that she hopes to be “an artist in every aspect. I want to compose the whole thing – for every aspect to be mine”.
We wish Natasha every success on her upcoming tours and E.P. launch. Great Things Happen After The Green Blazer!
You can keep up to date with Natasha here