Editors' Notes Among the many firsts Natasha Bedingfield experienced while recording ROLL WITH ME (such as having a child in 2017), it was her first time working with super-producer Linda Perry. The two embarked on a musical journey to connect the mind, body and soul for Bedingfield’s first album since 2010. “I want people to feel moved or to feel like they need to move,” she tells Apple Music. “That was the goal.” Mission accomplished. “Roller Skate” and “King of the World” pulse with Latin and Caribbean rhythms; “Can’t Let Go” and “Sweet Nothing” bounce with a joyous Motown backbeat. Most of all, songs like “Everybody Come Together” and “Hey Papa” show that Bedingfield hasn’t lost her knack for a touching testimonial. Fifteen years after the success of her post-millennial pick-me-up smash “Unwritten,” the London-bred, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter took us through her fourth studio album ROLL WITH ME track by track. “I feel like I'm 18 again, like I'm a beginner,” she says. “There are no rules. Anything is possible.”

“Kick It”
“As a pop songwriter, I love words that have double meanings. ‘Kick It’ is about this amazing challenge of how to make a relationship last while also maintaining your own integrity. How do you give of yourself without losing yourself? You hang out together. You kick it together. And sometimes you're willing to kick things that might harm the relationship. It's about that layered interplay between any relationship.”

“Roller Skate”
“It’s about freedom. Roller skating, as a kid, gave me this feeling that I could get outside of the concrete walls and the situation that I was in. I was always trying to keep up with my older brother [fellow pop star Daniel Bedingfield], who, even now, I feel like he's better than me in everything, whether it’s roller skating or singing. It's a little bit about what goes on for siblings, too. Mainly, it's just that freedom we just want to express in music, the freedom that you get from roller skating, and how powerful that is. Musically, it’s definitely a new sound for me. It’s Latin and Caribbean, and also Motown. You can't grow up in London without being influenced by Caribbean and Latin music.”

“Everybody Come Together”
“It's a very simple message. A lot of times the most profound things are very simple, and they’re the hardest to do. Our world is just getting more and more divided, and so I feel like we need music that is now saying, ‘Look, let's find a way to unite. Let's find a way to remember we're all human and to rise above hatred.’ It has a wonderful artist called Angel Haze, who raps on it. I love her style. I've known her for a few years. I feel like she's one of the best out there right now.”

“Hey Papa”
“Marvin Gaye had an amazing ability. At a time when everyone was singing love songs, he was able to really touch on things that were about social change. ‘Hey Papa’ definitely does that. It's part of my journey as an artist, because I've written so many pop songs that make people feel good. I always write and sing about things that mean a lot to me, and I think, the times that we're in, you can't have a microphone in front of your face and not talk about what's going on. ‘Hey Papa’ is saying, ‘Hey, when you just want someone to rescue you, where's the father figure? Where's the next Martin Luther King? Where's the people who are going to rise up and kind of help us?’ And that's probably us, you know?”

“King of the World”
“‘King of the World’ is the one song that is directly inspired by the birth of my little son, Solomon. Having a kid, the way that kid sees you, especially at the beginning, it's this amazing feeling. I love being around someone who makes me feel like that. He's my first child. I signed a record deal on Linda Perry’s new label We Are Hear while I was pregnant. Then, I went into the studio when he was four months old and Linda and I wrote the whole album with him there or asleep in the next room. We would finish in time so Linda could put her own son to bed, and I could put mine to bed. It was a different way of making a record, because usually I would write a record in the early hours of the morning rather than around a child's schedule.”

“It Could Be Love”
“It's one of my favourite songs on the record. It's like a good follow-up for [2008's] ‘Pocketful of Sunshine’, but a more modern take on it. It's just a simple love song. If you could see me at my best, you fall in love, but if you see me at my worst and you still love me and you're still around, then maybe it is love. Love is about showing yourself to someone.”

“Where We Going Now”
“We wrote it the day that Anthony Bourdain killed himself. There was a whole bunch of suicides that year, and we were in this mourning place, and it's so confusing when that happens. Suicide, it's just so horrible for the people who are left. It came at one of those times where you’re just broken, but it has hope, because I think that humans have this incredible ability to survive and to keep going and to push through.”

“Can’t Look Away”
“Both Linda and I are rescuers. We love to feel needed, and so we were just talking about how there are these people in your life that you love that are on self-destruct. It's real stories that we were both sharing with each other about people that we love. I think you can't really change someone unless they want to change. I can help, but at a certain point, you can't heal them unless they want to heal.”

“Can’t Let Go”
“My favourite lyric there is ‘I tried to micromanage the way you see me/But the more it seems to matter, the worse it seems to be/Can’t always understand, can’t see eye to eye/So I look inside and find a compromise.’ I try and control stuff and try and take responsibility for things, but at a certain point in time, I have to let go.”

“No Man I See”
“‘No man I see can ever make me feel like they're better than me.’ It's not gender-specific. It's saying no one, as a being. No one can make me feel like they're better than me. I think right now, particularly women have experienced a lot of domination and this feeling of being put in their place. But I think it's not just women. I think many people, and many of my fans, have experienced being made to feel small or being told they can't do something. It's about my journey, and so I was just sharing that. I found the more honest I am, the more it seems to relate to other people.”

“Sweet Nothing”
“It was this idea: What if, when you meet someone, there's a spark at that moment, and you see your whole future. That first time you just touch or walk past them, and you suddenly see your whole future, and then you realise that it's going to be over, so you don't even go there. It's an amazing attraction, and then you go, oh, but this is how it's going to end. Kind of like a little savant moment. I think a lot of girls have that. ‘Man, he's hot, but it's not going to end well.’ You can decide if you're going to act on it or not.”

“I Feel You”
“It's all about creating a moment where you just open up and feel something. One of the things for me about music is that I don't want my audience just to come and be impressed. I want them to come and feel something. I want people to come into an environment and experience all their senses, a moment where it feels like the heavens open and they can get what they need, whether that is inspiration or comfort or just to feel excited. It's the feeling that I want people to feel when they come to my shows.”

“Wishful Thinking”
“It’s about being a hopeless romantic. It’s from the stories of our lives. I love romance movies, but life is different than that. Session-wise, I think I was just really in a flow. It all came together really quick. I did grow up in church, and when I am onstage, there is that feeling that you would get. I feel like the late Aretha Franklin and that energy that you get in a spiritual atmosphere.”

“Real Love”
“That's like being a woman in the industry, or anyone in the industry. What is my goal in life? Do I want to be loved? Do I want to be feared? No. I want to be respected.”


More by Natasha Bedingfield

Featured On