MUSIC | Natalia Kills on music, film, snow, and nakedness

Natalia Kills, the British pop singer-songwriter-performer-provocateur, is pulling out all the stops to make an impression in the music world—complete with a video series called Love, Kills xx in which Natalia...well, kills. She'll be at First Avenue on February 13, opening for Robyn. Via e-mail, she answered questions about her unusual life and distinctive career.

There aren't many artists who create and star in an online thriller series before they even release an album. How did Love, Kills xx come to be?
I've always loved film as much as music...I really think the 2 go hand in hand so I wanted to express myself in both worlds and find a way for people to get to know me. So I wrote down all my thoughts, dreams and nightmares for a while...you know, the stuff you think about while you're in a traffic jam like "Why didn't I key my ex's car..." and that sort of stuff...and i decided to shoot those things, basically make a film version of my imagination...and put myself in it reacting to the situations. It's also soundtracked with some of my music. So it's like being invited into my mind for three minutes. Scary stuff. Ha ha!

How long will the series continue?
There will be 20 episodes...there's been 10 so far.

Your music has a big, radio-friendly sound. How are you hoping to distinguish yourself from the many other artists competing for airplay and attention?
My music is pretty brutal. My songs aren't so typically lighthearted and bright...I like to say what I really mean—the stuff you'd scream at an ex or tell a friend in your darkest hour. Sometimes it's not even about the music, it's the opinion. My favorite songs are "Love is a Suicide," "If I was God," "Nothing Lasts Forever," "Break You Hard"...actually they're all my favorite.

Historically, there's been a significant difference between pop music in the UK and in the US. Do you think that difference still exists? Do you feel you're connecting with U.S. audiences?
I suppose I've done it the other way round. I'm English but I live in America, I've made my album here and this is where it's all began. So I think the question is, will I connect in the UK after being away for so long? I really hope so, as a lot of my inspirations lie there, like Kate Bush and Depeche Mode. I love England, I left my heart there.

This is your second performance in Minnesota, having previously played the Fine Line with Robyn. Did you have any memorable experiences when you were in Minnesota?
I was only there for a few hours before we had to leave for the next city, but i remember snow and lots of it!

What's your favorite t-shirt to wear?
Hmm, I'm not sure. Maybe my Clockwork Orange one. Sometimes it's nice to not wear a t-shirt...sometimes it's nice to not wear anything at all.

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Jay Gabler's picture
Jay Gabler

Jay Gabler (@JayGabler) is a digital producer at The Current and Classical MPR.