Soundtrack Of My Life: Natasha Bedingfield

Noughties pop sensation. Future Harry Belafonte biographer

The first song I remember hearing

Harry Belafonte – ‘Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)’

“I heard it when I was in my bunk bed. My dad’s office was right next to our room and he’d be in there cutting tangled-up cassette tapes (he had this little kit where you had to cut [tape] and paste it together) – and I heard this on repeat. I found out later that Harry Belafonte was an amazing equal rights activist, he helped Martin Luther King bring people from the music industry to marches. One time, I was at Carly Simon’s house and she showed me a documentary about Harry Belafonte, and each one of us in the room was like ‘we’ve done nothing with our lives compared to him!’”

The first album I bought


The Cranberries – ‘No Need to Argue’

“The first album that [my brother] Daniel, my sister and I really devoured and listened to back to front non stop, Daniel, I and my sister, was the Cranberries. There are so many harmonies, and it’s such a beautiful album.”

The first gig I ever went to

Gospel church service

“We grew up [going to] church, so the first music for me was gospel songs. There was this church that we used to go to where all these amazing brothers were the preachers, and they had a family group that used to sing. They used to get us up on stage and people were so encouraging. Daniel would rap and I’d sing, and that was our first ever show.”

The artist that reminds me of home

Amy Winehouse


“I remember going to the Jazz Café [in Camden] and watching her sing before she got her beehive and it all took off. We had our first hit songs at the same time – and it was interesting because we were polar opposites. Her songs were like “I don’t want to go to rehab” and “back to black” , whereas my songs were like: “I love you, I love you, I love you.” It was interesting to come out at the same time, and she definitely reminds me from home.”

The song I wish I’d written

Prince – ‘Purple Rain’

“It feels like a magic spell, like it’s opening up the heavens. When I sing that song at my shows, it changes the whole show and the energy in the room.”

The song I do at karaoke

Aretha Franklin – ‘Respect’

“I do songs by Aretha Franklin as she’s got similar range as me. I love ‘Respect’. I don’t like karaoke, a lot of my friends do it, but I guess I’ve been spoiled with really good sound [equipment]. I don’t like not being able to hear myself! I like being able to sing my own songs. I don’t like singing other people’s songs very much.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Joshua Bedingfield – ‘Could this Be War’

“Right now, because I’m a mum, it’s all the kid’s songs and they drive me crazy! All the nursery rhymes, all the PAW Patrol. But also, my younger brother Josh just released a song and it’s been on a lot around the house.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Annie Lennox – ‘Why’

“You were making me go to a dark place this morning when I was thinking about this one! I saw Annie Lennox speak at an event – and when she talks it feels like he ground is shaking, there’s this sort of wizard energy that she has. Her songs have it too. ‘Why’ is a sad song, and it would leave everybody questioning. But death is sad, isn’t it?”

The song that makes me want to dance

Natasha Bedingfield – ‘Together In This’

“I’ve just recorded this song for a really fun animated movie called Jungle Beat: The Movie. It’s totally good to dance to – and funnily enough, in the video we’ve got a whole bunch of people from all over the world doing a TikTok dance. The theme is that music and technology is connected to us, and even though we’re alone we’re all together.”

The album I’ll never get bored with during lockdown

Santigold – ‘Master of My Make-Believe’

“I really love this album. It’s a new one, but over lockdown I’ve kept coming back to it. And I also just love Bon Iver, that’s always my cosy music.”

‘Jungle Beat: The Movie’ is available online now

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