“I wanted to work with Natasha because she is one of the best live performers I have ever seen and has one of the most versatile voices I have ever heard. It was important to both of us to capture the true spirit of who Natasha Bedingfield is, and we nailed it.” – Linda Perry
With her smash single “Unwritten,” Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield offered up an era-defining anthem, a double-platinum hit that emerged as the most- played song on US Top 40 radio the year of its release. On her fourth studio album Roll With Me, Bedingfield showcases the power of her unparalleled musicality and her ability to stay true to herself—all while maintaining the same level of palpable authenticity heard in her breakout hits.
“When I sing live, I really belt the songs out—there is a raw vulnerability there that can sometimes get compressed or cleaned up once it ends up on the radio,” says the West Sussex, England- born artist. “I’ve always loved writing pop songs, but for this record I wanted to write them in a way that truly matches the live experience.”
For help in channeling that raw emotion into Roll With Me, Bedingfield reached out to Linda Perry—the multi-platinum producer known for her work with artists like Christina Aguilera, P!nk, and Alicia Keys. Arriving on the heels of a much-anticipated remix of “Unwritten” (created expressly for MTV’s The Hills: New Beginnings), the album finds Bedingfield embracing one of her most undeniable strengths as a songwriter: a rare ability to instill each of her songs with infectious positivity, without ever sacrificing emotional honesty or lyrical depth.
“Through so much of my life, music has been the thing that helps me to have faith and keep believing in the positive.”
In bringing Roll With Me to life, Bedingfield fully inhabited the feel-good vibe she’s best known for, often turning to artists like The Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and countless Motown legends for inspiration. “I was looking toward people who project this amazing energy into their music, whose songs just immediately lift you up,” she notes.
On the lead track “Roller Skate,” Bedingfield conjures up a carefree energy all her own, building unstoppable momentum with the track’s lush harmonies, luminous guitar work, and throwback beats with a modern twist. “‘Roller Skate’ is about rolling through the streets of London with my older brother when I was a kid,” she explains, referring to BRIT Award-winning singer/songwriter
Daniel Bedingfield. “There was a sense that we could go anywhere we wanted to go—and fast. I wanted the song to have that feeling of freedom and fun and total escape.”
With its anthemic chorus, rhythmic melody and beats, “Kick It” takes on many layers as Bedingfield explores the challenges of any relationship, whether it be contemplating your own inner struggle to maintain your sense of self, or trying to find compromise to make it last.”
One of the things the album touches on is the chaos of the current times, Roll With Me also delivers an impassioned call for unity on “Everybody Come Together”—a track made all the more impactful by Bedingfield’s soul-stirring vocals, Perry’s effervescent string arrangement, and a formidable guest verse from Detroit rapper Angel Haze. Meanwhile, on “Hey Papa,” Bedingfield turns in a particularly poignant performance as she explores the emotional impact of living in a world that is in need of social change.
“Becoming a first-time Mum and trying to write a record at the same time came with challenges, but it also enhanced the meaning behind the songs. I think that having a baby gave me an understanding of what real pain feels like,” she says. “It made me feel more connected with anyone who’s experienced things like depression, and it helped me allow myself to be more vulnerable and more honest about what really matters to me.” As a tribute to her son—the now- one-year-old Solomon—Bedingfield penned a breathtaking track called “King of the World.” “I think one of the reasons we love being around children is that we love who we become with them,” she says. “They embody this completely pure innocence, and it helps us to feel like our best selves.’
From writing her first song at the age of 12, she went on to sell over 10 million albums, earn a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and multiple Brit Award nominations for Best British Female Artist, and land at #66 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music. With her credible career also including collaborations with icons like Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, Bedingfield has steadily refined her artistic vision over the years, her constant evolution feeding directly into the process of creating Roll With Me. “I’ve realized that intention is everything when it comes to writing songs,” she says. “Coming up with clever lyrics isn’t all that important to me anymore—the goal now is to write something that resonates with people on an honest level, because that’s what fills me up.”
Having made all of Roll With Me in close collaboration with Perry, Bedingfield sees the album as a powerful merging of their distinct sensibilities. “Linda and I have this great chemistry, even though we come from opposite sides of the spectrum,” says Bedingfield. “And at the same time, we’re both all about making music that’s got real meaning and soul.”
As she gears up to share her new songs live, Bedingfield hopes that audiences will experience the same open-hearted joy she felt while writing Roll With Me. “I love playing live, and I feel like my voice has gotten stronger from singing all around the world,” she says. “But at the end of the day, it’s just about moving people.”