Natasha Bedingfield is still glowing over the August release of Roll With Me, her fourth studio album and first new release in nine years, an interim during which she became a mother. Taking the gap into account the British singer approached the album with a real sense of purpose, some of which is spotlighted in the behind-the-scenes footage premiering below.
“I have to confess I did get lost in the studio a little bit,” Bedingfield, who worked with producer Linda Perry on Roll With Me, tells Billboard. “I’ve had a lot of radio hits and I’m very proud of my past work, but I had some specific things I wanted to do with this record.” One of those, she says, was to work with just one producer after having multiple hands on her previous projects. “I wanted to have a consistency running through this,” Bedingfield explains. “With Linda, we just got in a really good zone together.”
Bedingfield took a performance-oriented approach to the set, with a more upbeat tempo throughout its 14 songs, including singles such as “Roller Skate” and “Kick It.” “I really wanted these songs to be an incredible addition to my live show,” she explains, “so I just thought about what are the songs I was missing in my live show. What I wanted was for them to have an energy that just comes off the stage and wakes the audience up and makes you feel like you can forget about all the worries at home and let the music take you there. At the best lives shows I’ve been to, the music is an experience. That’s what I wanted this music to have.”
With Perry, whom she first worked with some six years ago, Bedingfield says there was “a really good chemistry,” while the producer — who co-wrote all of the songs and released Roll With Me on her We Are Hear imprint — found the set to be “different than anything she’s ever produced, too,” according to the singer. Bedingfield adds that motherhood — her son turns two during December — made an imprint on the songs as well.
“Becoming a mother is definitely an identity thing that was pretty life-changing,” she acknowledges. “I’ve always taken care of my family and friends like a mum, so to me I was stepping into a part of myself that had always been there and really embracing that. Having this new little bundle of joy in your life, how can that not affect the way you make your decisions and think? It also makes you more focused on how you can get work done in a shorter amount of time so you can spend more time with (your child).”
Bedingfield is spending more time on the road these days, too. She’s in the midst of a North American tour that runs through Nov. 3, and has plans to take the show around the world. And, Bedingfield asserts, the new material is elevating the concerts in the manner she hoped while she was making Roll With Me.
“I’m definitely singing the hits, too,” Bedingfield says. “The new songs work great, but I know I love to go to shows where people sing their hits as well. I’ve been to shows where people don’t do that and that feels like a letdown. I love to have the audience sing along, so I have songs people know, too, and the new songs just complement those, which is exactly what I wanted.”