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Widnes-born Natalie McCool is set to release a new single, You & I, and head out on an eight-date tour with her band – visiting Leeds Brudenell (15 March), Liverpool’s 24 Kitchen Street (17 March) and Manchester’s Peer Hat (25 March). She talks to Big Issue North about co-writing and carb-loading.

What informs your music and songwriting?
I think people are the most inspiring to me. The psyche and our relationships with one another can be really fascinating, complicated things worth unravelling.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
I think my music has become a lot more honest and raw. I mean my album is really a heartbreak album but also encompasses themes of transcendence and acceptance so above all I think I have really grown up in recent years.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I am gearing up for my UK tour in March which will be like round two after my first album tour back in September. I can’t wait to get back on the road because we have the best time. My band are hilarious. I am also doing a lot of co-writing for different artists and projects which I love – it’s good practice!

What’s it like to operate in the music industry today?
I think you can pretty much do what you want. So I think it’s really cool. As long as you’re making a living from it – what could be better?

What’s on your rider?
This is a particularly hot topic with me and my band. For our last tour I forgot to put bread on there. So we had all this cheese and salad and meats and the band were like “there’s no breaaaaaaaad”. So I made sure I put bread on there this time round. We’re so northern. We just want bread. Ha!

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
I don’t know! Let me think. I’m gonna say, wwhen I was on a plane coming into Sydney Airport in Australia and I saw the Harbour Bridge from the air. I never in a million years thought I would go as far as Australia because I used to be terrified of flying. So that was like a dream. So there you go.

What’s your worst lyric?
Ahaha, I like this question. I used the word “juxtaposed” in a song once and whenever I think of it I cringe so bad.

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