Natalie Shay gives us all the details about her new singles “Figure of 8” and “play”


Credit: Holly McCandless-Desmond

There are two sides to every story: an a-side and a b-side. In the music world, this could be a lively, animated song and its acoustic brother, or it could be two tracks that mean very different things entirely. If you listen to Natalie Shay, you have been fortunate enough to hear this broad spectrum of tracks in her lyrically, stylistically, and emotionally dynamic songs, such as her latest releases “Figure of 8” and “play.” She has been described by the press as “one of the UK’s hottest emerging talents,” and with performances at highly acclaimed festivals and appearances on national television, there is no reason to doubt this fact. This past year, Natalie has been building up the hype for her next body of work through the release of dual singles that give a well-rounded story. I recently caught up with Natalie to find out more about her latest singles, her upcoming EP, and what she is looking forward to next in her career.

Hi, Natalie. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I know it is an exciting time for you right now as you just released “Figure of 8” and “play,” so congratulations! How does it feel to have those out in the world?
So good! I’ve been sitting on them for quite some time now, so the build-up has been immense.

Both tracks sound different from each other musically, but lyrically, they are similar in that they touch on toxic tendencies and aspects in relationships. Was it challenging to write one more so than the other? 
They’re both written differently!! “Figure of 8” was written in the studio with Evalina and Sophie Ackroyd, and was a team effort–our girl power anthem. I wrote “play” at 4 A.M. alone in my room. I prefer my little 4 A.M. ditties, but they’re more poems set to music. I think the two tracks complement each other.

Do you usually write in the early morning or was this a one-time thing?
I stay up ‘til like 6 A.M. most days. I feel most creative alone in the night. If I’m not writing in a session, it’s usually in the middle of the night on my own.

Why did you decide to release these together instead of one at a time?
I’ve started doing a thing now–whenever I put out a big single, I’m gonna release an acoustic self-written b-side that tells the story of the single but in a more intimate way. For example, my last release “The Edge” has a b-side called “everything’s been happening.” It gives me the chance to get my little poem songs out there.

Are there any specific lyrics from either track that speak to you the most or that you want listeners to pay attention to?
“play” is a song I am most proud of. I think it’s one of the strongest lyrical releases for me. It’s very lyric-focused; I quite like the line, “distraction blooded circumstance.”

You are set to release Champagne next year, an EP that will serve as a follow-up to last year’s MILK EP. Will Champagne have a similar feel to MILK or does it have its own vibe?
I’d describe it as a progression. Similar vibe but fresher/stronger. Still indie pop bangers and acoustic sad songs.

What can fans expect from the EP in general?
Natalie Shay bangers and lyrics that will make you go, “Oh, yeah! I’ve been through that!”

Which track or tracks from Champagne are you most excited for fans to hear?
The January single is my personal fave 😉

You have played at several festivals so far, including Latitude and SXSW. Are there any festivals in particular that are on your bucket list for the future?
I’d love to play Glasto. I’ve never played Glasto! I guess that’s my big goal 🙂

What does the rest of the year look like for you?
Lots of shows! Recording. General jam-packed music life of fun. I’m also on a massive UK school tour at the moment!

Thank you again for your time. Is there anything else you wish to add or share?
Thank u for talking to me 🙂 PLEASE GO AND STREAM “FIGURE OF 8” (and “play”)!!!

Credit: Holly McCandless-Desmond

Keep up with Natalie Shay: X // Facebook // Instagram // TikTok // YouTube // Website


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