Natasha Bedingfield’s third album, Strip Me Away, sees her baring her soul as never before. It’s an album that’s brave, bold and bursting with great, unashamedly pop tunes. “I’ve been doing this for several years now, so there’s more confidence,” she says. “I don’t feel I have to hide who I am any more, or apologise for it.”
A lot has happened for Bedingfield over the past few years, much of it in the USA, where her second album, Pocket Full Of Sunshine continued the massive success of her debut Unwritten. Her record sales soar past the 14 million mark, and has written some 50 songs in the past two years, working with an impressive list of A-list collaborators. All of the songs on Strip Me Away are written by Natasha working with old friends like Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton and Wayne Wilkins (whose other credits include Cheryl Cole, P!nk, Christina Aguilera).
She’s also worked with Swedish pop writer/ producer Kleerup (Lady Gaga), and with Eg White (Adele, Duffy, James Morrison), who co-wrote “Recover”, a gorgeous meditation on pain and its aftermath which has already been adopted by Cancer Research UK as a theme song. John Hill, the man behind the Santigold album, worked with her on the rockier anthems “Little Too Much” and “Run-Run-Run”, and also introduced her to the alternative music scene in New York.
Natasha toured US radio stations in the weeks leading up to its release, singing stripped-down versions of the songs live on air with just a guitarist to accompany her. This led to a call from rapper Nicki Minaj, asking Natasha to join Eminem, Drake and Kanye West as a guest on her debut album Pink Friday – appearing on the track “Last Chance”. Other collaborations, like the songs she recently wrote with Wyclef and John Legend, are likely to emerge later, and Bedingfield also contributes vocals on “Easy”, the forthcoming single by Ohio-based country kings Rascal Flatts.
It’s hard to imagine another artist who could work simultaneously with one of America’s biggest country bands and its hippest new rap act, but it’s a sign of her broad appeal: her songs have appeared on a wide range of TV shows from American Idol to The Vampire Diaries, and on the soundtrack to over a dozen films. With so much material to choose from, Natasha found it painful deciding what to finally include on Strip Me Away. “But I do feel it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. There’s nothing on it I don’t love, that doesn’t fit together for me.”