Aspiring singer-songwriter Natalie Harrison, a sophomore Mass Communications major, had the chance to get on Instagram Live and talk with singer-songwriter and record producer Ne-Yo. The student was thrilled when the award-winning artist surprisingly reached out to her. “One day on Instagram Ne-Yo DM’d me and was like ‘Hey, what you got working? So that was kind of crazy. I guess maybe he clicked one of my songs or he saw something and messaged me.” Being on Live with Ne-Yo made Harrison nervous and the moment was surreal for her because everything happened so fast. “I’m excited and grateful that it happened. It also feels great to know that he’s in my corner and we’re working together on things.”
The Baton Rouge native went to McKinley Senior High School and was involved in the Glee Club, talent shows, and served as Miss Sophomore. She discovered she could write songs at the age of eleven when playing with a piano at her uncle’s house. Harrison took piano lessons for a while before stopping. She credits her family for support and her mom for creative abilities. “I know this sounds funny but when I say my mom rapped, she used to write stuff back in high school. She was also a Pantherette, but I can’t dance,” Harrison laughed.
Old school singers that have influenced her singing are Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Mary J. Blige, while her newer influences consist of Beyonce, Summer Walker, and Tink. “I like a mixture of everything. I’m like old school mixed with new school because sometimes I bust out and sing some throwback stuff. Then I could sing some new generation songs too. So I guess a lot of singers have influenced me. I don’t have a favorite.”
Ne-Yo and Harrison participated in an informative collaboration, with some wise advice and tips on life being shared. She recollected on this, “My favorite advice from him was just because I receive a ‘no’, that doesn’t mean anything. He told me that a ‘no’ builds character. I think I’m going to keep that in mind because sometimes I get discouraged when someone doesn’t pick me.”
Besides socializing with Ne-Yo, Harrison has been currently working in Los Angeles, California with Mixx, a producer who has collaborated with artists such as Teyana Taylor, Polo G, and Justin Bieber. They are finishing up her EP titled “Side-Switching,” at Paramount Recording Studios which comes out in April.
Even though she is actively developing her up and coming career, Harrison still has her eyes set on education and plans on getting her degree. “I only have two years left so I’m going to be a hot girl and get my degree like Megan Thee Stallion.” She hopes in the near future to build her fan base, and make sure that she’s following her passion with dedication.