“Treat it like a business. Show up on time, pay what you owe, protect your material, and learn how to use your intuition.”
Check out the interview with Cookie Natari exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Cookie Natari: It all started back in 1993 when I discovered I had a love for singing. After I joined the school choirs I spent a lot of my time studying groups like Envogue, SWV, and so forth. By the time I was 17 I was asked to sing in a band of 5 male artists and that same year I was writing music for fellow artists. By 18 I had started writing my own music and performing on stage alone. Shortly after I stopped performing to attend to my studies, but I continued to write songs in the background and once I graduated with a B.S and an M.Ed I found myself being drawn back to music.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I use social media and my interests and skills to promote Cookie Natari. I use pictures on Instagram and playful videos on YouTube. I design jewelry. I network with producers and DJs. I create nothing but original music. I use my intellect to draw in college students and literally produce and perform music of all genres to appeal to all genres.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
My greatest challenge is probably going to be learning the music business as far as do’s and don’ts and trust relationships. Being a female makes it hard at times due to individuals thinking they can get over on me, but I make sure I keep it business. I pay for services like everyone else. I show up on time, I stay prepared, I protect my material legally, and I come ready to work.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
There is not much going on in the music scene unless you are in an actual band. Neighboring areas have more events than where I am currently at. Every so often we have events, but the only way you get in is through invites. I enjoy myself for the most part due to always receiving invites to perform to most local events, but I wish I had more opportunities to get on the stage and continue to develop my stage performance.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I think the future of music is not looking so good. I think talented artists should focus on the mission instead of just the money. Yes the money plays a part, but so does the passion. They should focus on the fans and the minds of those that they affect through their music and start helping instead of hurting their listeners, not to say they all are hurting them. Artists can help by caring more about the fans.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Advice, I would say to follow your dreams and when it seems all odds are against you keep pushing forward. Use your struggle to overcome the struggles and not to get over on other people and eventually you will overcome. Don’t let others discourage you from what you know is true in you because they will try. Treat it like a business. Show up on time, pay what you owe, protect your material, and learn how to use your intuition.
What inspires you to write your next song?
God gave me the gift from birth and training through the development of my life. The gift of life itself inspires me to write. The pain, the love, the hate, the struggles, and the dreams inspire me to write. The visions, the joy, the experiences, the soul, nature, family, friends, jerk ex’s, and even the weird and unexplainable everyday things in life inspire me to write.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
First I find a beat that calls to me through my network of trusted producers. I play a CD in the car and use headphones outside of the car. I find random places in the park because nature inspires me, and I sing out loud; rap whatever the beat calls for and I play with it. Once I am satisfied I start applying the lyrics to the song and lyric sheet. Then I record the song myself, sit down at my computer, and mix the arrangements, and then edit it.
What do you think makes a great song?
Truth. The truth is always something great to listen too. The lyrically flow and song arrangement is very important. The topic of the song, the literary skills such as metaphors and symbolism, the word play, the catchiness of the hook, the emotions being felt, the artistic uniqueness and the overall collaborative relationship between the artist and engineer is what makes a song great.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?