I recently had a chat with classically trained, lover of all things 1940's, local performer and Vocal Studio entrepreneur Natalia Pardalis of Pardalis Studio for Music & Performing Arts The conversation was easy while we bounced from subject to subject, as we women so often do. It was lovely. Let's find out more about the intriguing, marketing dynamo that is Natalia Pardalis, shall we?
Q - Who were your musical influences growing up?
I have so many ..... Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland are probably the top three. But I also loved Alicia De Rosa. A classical pianist.
Q - When did you first start singing
I have always sung -- but I started taking singing lessons in my early 20s
Q - How old were you when you wrote your first song? What was it about?
Well, that's quite the story -- I was about 1 year old ... Well, that's my parents tell me lol. Apart it was minor 3rds. The words were Bye Bye from your Baby. I would wave and sing it to my dad when he would leave for work. I remember always trying to compose as a kid but I wrote my first official song in high school. lol, Basically Somewhere over the Rainbow ripped off.
Q - What is your most embarrassing or funniest moment on stage?
A Christmas Gig --- my guitarist got drunk and I didn't realize till we were on stage doing Baby It's Cold Outside. He was also singing the guy parts... I was so mad. But my friends said it was hilarious. In retrospect, I wish someone had recorded it.
Q - How is filming a video different from a live performance?
It is about telling a story -- much like a live performance but it is also about camera angles and making sure you have enough film .... it takes a lot of film to create a 3 min music video. I love creating videos because like Walt Disney said: ".... anything is possible" (he was talking about cartoons but still works). I get to think out of the box and creating a story that connects with the music.
Q - You have a unique fashion style? How did that come about?
Growing up, I always loved watching old movies and loved how glamorous everyone was back then. My grandmother would always show me her jewellery and furs and tell me stories. When I was in my 20s, I was in Florida and happened to go to a rockabilly bar. All the girls were dress in vintage clothing and had the perfect cat-eye eyeliner. I was hooked. I quickly discovered YouTubers like Cherry Dollface and Vintage Vanity where I learnt how to do the hair and makeup. I later when to hair and makeup school where I specialized in Vintage Inspired Hair and Make up.
Q - How would you describe your music?
An attempt to be Nina Simone lol hmmm I would say it's a description of life
Q - You’ve become involved with weightlifting. What type of weightlifting do you do and how did it come about?
I do powerlifting. Long story -- I was a gymnast as a child and when I was about 12 years old I slipped off the high bar and landed on the wood floor on my right knee (left knee landed on the mat). I blacked out for a second and all I remember is hearing a loud cracking sound - imagine the sound a whip but heavier deeper. Sadly for many years, doctors did not take me seriously and I suffered from chronic pain. On a pain scale my daily pain was about 8 out of 10 and if it was raining or cold or snowing prob about 11. For years, I would try to work out and would for a few months and then it would aggravate my knee somehow and so I would hobble for a few months. I would go from doctor to doctor. I had one doctor tell me to maybe go to a psychologist as maybe I was imagining my pain and then another doctor told me it was typical of a formal athlete so expect to be in a wheelchair by 40 years old. A few years ago, my best friend's husband got into powerlifting and then another friend got into cross fit. I watched both of them become strong and started researching it. I realized that it might be a solution. I decided to try and found the most amazing trainer Caroline Moreno and together we started looking at why my body didn't want to heal. We realized it wasn't my knee at all but rather my left hip (i know strange considering my right knee would hurt). We focused on building flexibility, mobility, and strength. My pain has dropped to maybe a 2 on rainy days and most of the time it doesn't hurt at all. I can't recommend powerlifting enough. It also keeps you humble -- when you have 200 pounds on your back ... you could hurt yourself so easy with a wrong move. You have to work on focus and discipline.
Q - Do you eventually want to compete as a powerlifter?
My trainer wants me to compete. I'm thinking maybe next year
Q - If music wasn’t an option, what would your occupation be?
Q - Michael Jackson or David Bowie.
Hard one ... but lately, I've been playing Bowie's Space Oddity a lot. I discovered it last year when I was at a crossroad in life. The lyrics really connected with me.
When it comes down to it Natalia is a lovely human being. She is kind and generous towards other artists, including me. Click the link to learn more about Pardalis Studio for Music and the Performing Arts. A full service performing arts studio where you can learn anything from how to sing to drums and marketing. You can follow Natalia on Facebook and Instagram.
Below is her latest "Secret Garden" video.