Artist to Watch: Natalie Riccio
When I first listened to Carbon Cocktail, I was completely floored by the voice coming out of the speakers. Natalie Riccio’s music is an interesting mix of soul, folk, and indie rock. Not easy to pull off, but she excels at delivering a compelling performance in any style she tries. Natalie graciously took some time to speak with me about her music.
T3M: When did you first start playing piano?
NR: I been playing since my earliest memories. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t at least singing. I only had a few lessons as a child, when I was about eight years old. Other than that, I’ve been self-taught on the piano.
T3M: There’s a wide variety of sounds on your album; where do you pull your influences from and what inspires you?
NR: In my early years, I listened to what my Mom listened to, and she would play folk music. That’s when I first heard Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Lyrically, I feel a freedom in my lyrics and the need to tell a story. Later on, I listened to theater music. Stephen Sondheim is a major influence. You can hear it in songs like “Jumped The Gun.”
T3M: Have you considered doing any theater while you’re living in New York?
NR: I’ve actually been writing a musical with a friend of mine. We’ve toyed around with writing music for years but nothing ever really worked out. More recently we started taking it more seriously. We were like, “Hey, look at what’s out there, maybe we can actually put something together.” It’s something we’ve been working on for the past year.
T3M: “Oh, Emmanuel”…where does that voice come from?
NR: It’s just God-given. The delivery is due to years of pain and sorrow, then we can learn to deliver a lyric. From a very early childhood I’ve had a very mature voice. Adults around me were always fascinated with the way I sang.
T3M: What else are you working on?
NR: Right now, I want to record another album. I have all my material ready… although I’m constantly writing new stuff, which makes it difficult because I have to re-think the track-order. I’m in the phase of raising funds to record another album. I’m going to use less of the voice heard on songs like “Very Well” and give myself permission to really sing and use my instrument.
T3M: Any more shows in the works?
NR: I’m going to continue gigging and never stop.
T3M: Any closing thoughts
NR: I hope people listen to Carbon Cocktail, and give it a second listen… and give it a third listen. Come out and see a show!
Natalie Riccio played her first real gig in a dive bar named Chops. It was nestled in a crumbling down Howard Johnson’s in the Fenway Park area of Boston. Les, the owner of the joint, sat her down at a rickety piano with instructions to make his customers happy and make his customers drink. He poured Natalie a cheap glass of wine and she played night after night until 4 months later the club was closed. She was 17 years old at the time.
Natalie is now based out of Brooklyn, NY.
A composer, singer, pianist, performer, she is known not only for her sheer musicality but for her ability to flip an emotional switch both in herself and in her mesmerized audiences. From the introverted and dark to the laughingly satirical, her music flows, and her audience follows.
Natalie is currently touring, promoting and auctioning off on ebay her third self released album entitled Carbon Cocktail.