1. When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
When I was about 15 my music teacher asked the whole class to rehearse “I’ll be there" by Mariah Carey. We were to perform for a special easter show to the whole school. When it was my turn to sing the teacher became very excited and asked me to sing the lead and he said to me I had a future as a singer. That is what gave me the confidence to begin my journey as a music artist.
2. Who are your musical inspirations and why?
I had an incredibly diverse upbringing. My mother is Indian but her family lived in both Surinam (South America) and The Netherlands. My father is Dutch through and through, therefore I grew up listening to South American music, Surinam music, Indian music, Dutch music and EDM. The artists that inspired me had cross-over success like Gloria Estefan, DJ Chuckie and Ravi & Anoushka Shankar.
3. Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
My first music video appearance was playing sax for the famous Dutch singer Lee Towers. While studying I was a games tester for Playstation and I even have a credit on Gran Turismo 5. My surname is a well-known Austrian ski resort town called Saalbach.
4. What song of yours best describes you and why?
‘Goddess’, because sometimes I do like to dress and feel like one!
5. What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
The best gig was performing live at the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. I was invited by the Nefertiti Festival and it was incredibly special as it was the first time in history that live music was allowed at this sacred place. I also got to meet many of my lovely Egyptian fans some of whom had travelled over 600 km just to see me perform. To top it all I also got to meet the princess of Egypt!
6. If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
The World Cup final (soccer) because so many countries are involved and it is such a huge sporting event. Plus I am a football fan and the icing on the cake would be Holland winning the cup!
7. What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
One of my best achievements was that during quarantine my animated music video for ‘Change The World’ got playlisted on Club MTV, MTV Dance and Clubland TV all at the same time! Recently I have been regularly live streaming to all my fans in over a 100 countries so one of my future goals is to be able to perform live with my band in every one of those countries.
8. Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
One crazy backstage story for you. A few years ago at one of London’s leading electronic music clubs with just 30 minutes before we were due to go on stage and over a thousand people waiting to see us, a full camera crew ready to film the gig and several members of the press reviewing the show, the venue gave us the bad news that the live mixing desk had broken and only DJ’s could go on stage to perform.
We somehow had to find a replacement in less than half an hour or no show, so you can imagine we were all having a complete melt down. I sat with my head in my hands in the dressing room, my band and crew were so desperate that they were outside asking strangers and knocking on doors to see if anyone had a mixing desk.
Then my manager swans in the dressing room and asks how it was all going and I said: “Awful, but by any chance do you happen to have an audio mixer?” He said: “Actually I bought a brand new digital mixer a few days ago and it’s in the back of my van still in the box, why?”
Unbelievably with one minute to go the venue were plugging in our instruments as we walked on stage and the crowd had no idea what had happened. It was a happy ending and a really great gig that I’ll never forget.
9. What do you like best about being a musician and why?
Being able to connect with so many lovely fans all around the world.
10. If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
I would be a fashion designer, I made my first dress when I was 12!
11. What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
I really loved Tomorrowlands 15th year anniversary show with the Metropol Orchestra at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. It was great because I got to see some of my favourite Dutch EDM DJ’s perform with my all time favourite Dutch orchestra.
12. What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
Red Hot Chilli Peppers (I’ve got all their albums but never managed to see them live), and Don Diablo because his live performances are legendary.
13. What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
My father inspired me when I was very young to never ever give up however hard the circumstances.
14. What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Dancing to music always makes me happy. My acute sense of smell can be unimaginably incredibly annoying!
15. What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
I like designing and making my own clothes to wear.
16. Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
Yes, it is a good thing as music artists are able to reach more music fans than ever before and get immediate feedback on their new music on social media platforms like YouTube, Soundcloud etc.
17. How important do you think your look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
To me it’s important because I like my image and look to reflect the music and my message. With my multicultural background my outfits tend to be a mix of east and west, I wear a lot of Indian jewellery, asian fabrics, I like Egyptian style eye make-up blended with EDM rave culture.
18. Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?
I have a Peacock feather tattoo on my right arm and a sun heart on my left arm. The peacock feather represents eternal, immortal beauty which sounded good to me!
19. If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?
I would change all the schools to be more like the Rudolf Steiner school that I went to. They put a lot of attention on the individual child’s creativity and potential whilst still providing all the mainstream studies.
20. What would your ideal day consist of?
It would be a mixture of some of my favourite things… songwriting and fan chat in the morning, swimming with a cocktail in the sun in the afternoon, my mums authentic Surinam dish for dinner, followed by an evening dancing at a gig or night club.
21. What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations. Can you tell us how this has affected you personally, how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
At first I was a bit depressed when all flights were cancelled just before I was due to go to Argentina to perform at Lollapalooza festival with D3FAI. Plus the lockdown meant that I was also unable to do my usual live streams with the band to my fans.
I decided not to sit around but to get proactive, so I began DJ-ing and started my Goddess Is A DJ monthly podcast (available on iTunes, Deezer, Mixcloud, Soundcloud etc.) I set about making a Goddess style DJ booth in my Boudoir so that I could perform live to my fans from home. I realised I actually really enjoyed DJ-ing and I’ve now got my own regular show on the EDM festival channel on DI.FM which I’m super excited about.
My message to people out there would be stay positive, try new things and embrace technology.
22. If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
I would ask them how they would change the world and then maybe together we could make it happen.
23. How would you answer the question Who is Nathassia and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music?
There is no difference between the Nathassia that you see in my music video’s and live performances and the Nathassia that is away from music. When I’m not working I tend to go to music festivals, gigs, I love to dress up, listen to music and dance which is kind of what I do when I am working!!
24. What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
I was about 7 or 8 when I bought Gloria Estefan “Abriendo Puertas”, because of the South American groove.
25. What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
I would say first of all learn an instrument to a high standard, maybe join a band, and for sure take the time to learn everything about the music industry. Then you would have a good chance of success.
26. If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
It would be Nitin Sawhney who I have always admired for both his music and huge influence in the UK music industry, for example he is chair of the PRS foundation. I was most excited when he recently followed me on Twitter!
27. If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
Creep by Radiohead because being a huge fan of the Lucifer TV series I was simply blown away by his performance of the song!
28. What things make you uncomfortable?
The only thing I can think of is when I get sent random pictures of naked men on Facebook with no explanation!
29. If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
It would be about growing up as part of a large multicultural family. I have incredible memories of family parties that went on for days with a band playing loud surinam music in the house, I have fond memories being a bridesmaid at traditional Indian weddings in both Surinam and The Netherlands. We would wear sari’s, bindi’s and what seemed like hundreds of bracelets on my arms! If any of the family flew in from abroad to pay a visit then everyone would help with the food by cooking in a massive outdoor pan that seemed to be able to feed the world!
30. What has the rest of the year got in store for you?
I am excited to perform live with D3FAI at Lollapalooza festival Argentina later in the year. I have several exciting new releases, I am looking forward to building Goddess Is A DJ. I love to keep learning on all creative aspects so I am currently on a Blackmagic post-video editing grading course and I hope to be a certified Blackmagic colourist soon.