Natalya Phillips releases debut album

Natalya Phillips releases debut album

Seannie Bryan

Natalya Phillips performs live on CHSTV to promote her new album.

Sarah Scudder, CHSTV

Madison Dearie, staff writer and photographer, foregin correspondent

We’ve all heard of teenagers who’ve become famous overnight but it’s something special when it’s someone from our own school. Last Christmas, Natalya Phillips recorded a debut single “You Remind Me of Christmas,” this year a debut album, “Whisper”…and she’s only a junior.

The music business is nothing new to Phillips, whose father is the Emmy award winner, two-time Grammy nominee composer/producer Allan Phillips.

“My dad is a music producer and a very talented musician so he did most of the instruments on the album, except for the strings. Since he’s in the business he was able to find others to play those parts,” Phillips said.

Before any of this, though, Phillips made a go in other artistic industries. Appearing in the Old Globe Theatre’s musical production of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in 2002 and 2006, Phillips then, at the age of ten, made it on the radar of the casting director for Prince. The director cast her in a number of music and film projects with the star.

All the while Phillips spent time booking print and commercial ads and training with the legendary voice coach Terri Weiss.

So while in the seventh grade, Phillips decided to focus on her singing and record an album. She already had the training, the help and the musical ability, but there was one challenge.

“I’d only ever written two full songs. So, the album’s been a four year work in progress. Because I had to learn to how to be a songwriter first,” Phillips said.

Phillips said the process of writing her own songs helped her to grow as an artist and develop a style.

“Originally, my goal was to become a folk artist. My idol was Tracy Chapman so I wrote songs that fit into that genre. Then when I started writing my own songs, I created my own type of music…my style is still near folk but, also, jazzy and abstract,” Phillips said.

The album “Whisper,” made up of thirteen songs written and sung by Phillips, showcases her new style and is named for a song on the album.

“’Whisper was the first song I wrote. And I felt like ‘whisper,’ which just sounds soft and calming in itself, would really set the mood for the album,” Phillips said.

The songs themselves range from simple,

“For the song ‘Weeds,’ I grabbed my ukulele and I sat in a tree and I just wrote about my surroundings,”

to cinematic,

“I think people might really like “Don’t Say Nothing” it sounds like a motion picture soundtrack,”

and then there’s the silly,

“One was actually about my dog; you can quote me on that! It’s called ‘I’ve Got a Friend,’” Phillips said.

To hear “I’ve Got a Friend” and other songs from the album ‘Whisper,’ go to Itunes or Amazon.com, which released Phillips’ debut album on Nov. 15.

“I hope people like it because I put so much of my emotion in it and I dedicated so much of my life and put so much of me into it,” Phillips said.