YouKnowIGotSoul had a chance to talk with Natasha Ramos who was formely signed to the Neptunes label Star Trak. Now as a free agent, she lets us in on her journey as an artist. She also speaks about what it was like working The Neptunes, the unreleased classic “In the Midnight Hour” and discusses her mixtape.
Talk about your beginnings in music and how you got your career started as a singer
NR: I’ve been intrigued by music all my life. My first performance in front of an audience was at the age
of 6 at the Little Miss San Juan Pageant in my hometown. I started singing professionally when I was 17 years old. I got my first big break performing at every event that would showcase my talent.
I heard a story that you eventually linked up former Destiny’s Child members LaToya and LaTavia, how did that come together?
NR: When I was 17 years old, I auditioned to perform/compete in a local talent show. This talent show was arranged by Linda Casey (Mother of Twins from R&B Group Jagged Edge) *Shout out to Linda Casey*. This was all happening a few months after Destiny’s Child broke up. They were video taping the auditions and were covertly auditioning for the Third member to be in a new group being formed with LaToya and LaTavia. After receiving/viewing the auditions, the girls decided
that I would be the best fit for the group. I was flown out to Atlanta (where I stayed for close to a year), and proceeded to record an album with LaToya & LaTavia. We recorded 10 songs, but I started having some internal differences with the groups management, so I decided to split from the group.
How did you eventually linked up with The Neptunes?
NR: While I was signed to Arista Records, My A&R (Kenny Ortiz) introduced me to the Neptunes and they were interested in working with me. That’s when “Midnight Hour” came into the picture.
Talk about some of the music you worked on while with The Neptunes.
NR: “Midnight Hour” was the first song I recorded with the Neptunes, “Invisible” was the second. There are some songs on my Mixtape (http://www.datpiff.com/Natasha-Ramos-Feelin-Myselfmixtape.221943.html) that were produced by them “Pack Up”, “Dope Boy”, and “Deeper” just to name a few… Hot Joints
“Midnight Hour” is a personal favorite of ours, give us some background on this song?
NR: Thank you! This song was the first song I recorded with the Neptunes. As some may know, there is a video of it being created, on youtube. I was extremely excited (although the video doesn’t display that) *laughs* I was recovering from being sick & had just arrived on a flight from LA coming from a long week and a half of recording with Rodney Jerkins. I was blessed to have received the opportunity to work with such successful and creative producers.
What was Pharrell like working in the studio?
NR: He has an amazing ear for melodies!! He’s also very humble. We use to get into small disputes because I am a perfectionist & he finds perfection in the imperfections. It was a great experience from which I was able to learn so much!
What was Chad like working in the studio?
NR: Maaann… Chad is a cool, chill kind of guy! Another tremendously talented person!
Did you ever have plans to release an album produced by The Neptunes?
NR: I did have plans on releasing an album, but it wasn’t going to be produced by the Neptunes 100%.
The closest we were to releasing the album was having a meeting to discuss the track list for the album.
Talk about the group “Affair” and how that came together.
NR: After Arista Records folded, Pharrell decided that he wanted to form a 3 (spanish) girl, R&B group with the first member being Vanessa Marquez (Then Star Trak artist). Through Kenny Ortiz (My A&R at Arista) he communicated the idea to me. After thinking about it for a month or so, I decided to say yes to the group.
Why didn’t that work out?
NR: After having 2 different girls to fill the third spot, Vanessa and I had creative differences with the first girl, & the second girl shopped a solo deal & went with that. So I guess after that, P gave up on the idea. Vanessa and I were trying to get the label to just push us as a duo. But P had a different vision.
Did you feel like it was a step back career wise having to go from a solo artist to now being part of a group?
NR: It took me a while to agree to being a part of the group for that reason, I thought it might have been a step back. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, that God wasn’t going to put this amazing opportunity in front of me for nothing. Whether it was for me to finally get my huge break or to go through all I did and learn more about the business, the people in it, and myself as an artist- it was for a reason. In the end, I don’t feel like that experience was a step back in my career. In fact, i believe it has better prepared me for what’s to come!
Were there any hard feelings since the whole Star Trak situation didn’t work out?
NR: No… I just wish that everyone would have realized what they had under their belt. I wish that everyone had the same agenda. No hard feeling though. I have learned and grown from all of my experiences with Star Trak and everyone prior to them.
Where did you end up going after the Star Trak situation?
NR: After Star Trak I worked a free agent & decided to just stay on the grind… Do things a little differently.. my way.
Talk about the mixtape you recently released and when most of these songs were recorded.
NR: The mixtape I just released contains songs that I recorded over the past decade. I felt that it
wouldn’t be fair to my fans and supporters to never be able to hear the classic songs recorded with some of the most amazing producers.
What else are you currently working on?
NR: Right now, I am working on an 8 song EP to be released by the end of the summer, amazing
performances, & just making the world aware of the fact that I BEEN in the game & I’m ready to
What’s been the biggest struggle for you in trying to make it a career in music?
NR: My biggest struggle has been having my foot in the door and having the door slammed on it. In other words, I have had dreams sold to me while I sat on the back burner. The worst feeling is to not have any control and have someone else in control of your dreams.
Anything you’d like to add?
I want to thank you for your interest in interviewing me. I really appreciate all of the support!
Again you can download my Mixtape here: http://www.datpiff.com/Natasha-Ramos-
Follow me @ULuvTashaRamos