Natti Vogel's music marries singer/songwriter fare with confessional cabaret alt-rock. And with song titles like "We All Move to Brooklyn," he proves he has a sense of humor too!

NAME: Natti Vogel

HOMETOWN: Cambridge, MA

MUSICAL TRAINING: I studied violin from the age of four, attended the Longy School of Music in Massachusetts, studied classical composition at Mannes College, composition at NYU Steinhardt, and I'm self-taught on keyboards.

FIRST GIGS: Winning the "Battle of the Bands" at New School University, opening up for the Dresden Dolls at Smith College, singing and playing cabarets with people like Alan Cumming and Justin Bond across NYC.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Late Romantic opera, Bjork, non-programmatic impressionist symphonic music, all ‘90s Hip-hop.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Pretty much just SZA every day now. Just wow. Her vocal phrasing is insane next-level, and the complex rhythmic interplay between voice and synth is endlessly fun for my mind to chew on, even as she rips my heart right open.

MY BIG BREAK: Getting discovered by my Chinese manager at a chic Beijing rock club owned by the French Embassy (愚公移山), and going on first solo tour of the country the next year. That was my first major job after college!

LATEST PROJECTS: I released my EP Serving Body independently on January 20 (with a solo headlining concert at National Sawdust the same night). Mike Tierney and I also produced a rich, extra album-only song for that release date and a bonus track for February that should coincide with the “Brown Rice” music video release. All the songs in the Serving Body universe are super keyboard-centric, so at the very least “We All Move to Brooklyn” sheet music should also be coming out this month, with hopefully the other tunes to follow.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I still love my Yamaha P-140 digital piano that I’ve had for 13 years and going strong, named Leopold. Obvious durability aside, he’s an articulate and full-bodied beast, with surprising sensitivity in the weighting! For acoustic beasts, it's Bösendorfer all the way.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Ask yourself why you are doing this every day, and if you are being true to those reasons in your daily actions. The world doesn’t need more rule-following, more insecurities, more needless competition: we need authentic voices to speak up and show us just how broad, deep and cosmically infinite our humanity is. Make sure you know that you have the power to choose who you want to work with and why, that you have the power to put your moral, spiritual and ethical values into demonstrable practice in the daily choices you make building your career. The world is watching: flex your integrity.

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