We interviewed singer Natasha Bedingfield before a recent performance in Manhattan.
You've performed many top hits. Out of all of them, which is your favorite and why?
It's hard to decide on a favorite. But I like "Unwritten," even though I've sung it thousands of times. I like it because everyone sings it with me in the crowd, and it gives me a big buzz.
Do you sing songs about everyday life or real life situations?
I do. Yeah, actually most of my songs are about something relational. Things that happen around me. It's not always just around me, but a lot of times it's real life. I like songs that mean things to me. Significant.
Who was your idol when you were younger, and who is your idol now?
When I was younger, it was definitely my mom. And she still is now. But we've always been just more like buddies, more like friends.
In concerts, when you go out onstage and see all those people, do you ever get nervous, and if so, what gets you through it?
I sometimes get nervous, but not when I'm singing. It's more like when I'm talking because I think I feel quite comfortable with singing. Speaking can be quite nerve- wracking. I did get nervous when I sang at the White House because [Barack] Obama was sitting there, and I was singing here. But the way I stopped feeling nervous was I just told myself that I wasn't nervous, and it seemed to work. And I also just imagined that instead of with him, it was someone I knew. Instead of the president -- it made it not such a big thing. I imagined someone that I actually was a friend of. And it was great. There's one point that I thought my line was whatever. I just sang this really crazy ad-lib at the end, and I closed my eyes, and I just did a hair flick, and when I opened my eyes, everyone stood up and clapped. So I was like, OK, that went well.
Since you're British, how does it feel to be so popular in a different country, and are you just as popular there as you are here?
Well, I try not to spend too much time thinking about where I am most popular, and that's because it makes me start thinking about like the people who don't like me. And I feel like it's the wrong focus for me. Like I can't be creative if I worry too much what people think. At the moment, I've been doing a lot of work in America.
Who inspires you to sing the type of pop music you're best known for?
I love looking through iTunes at just like artists coming from the past. I love like Diana Ross, I love Annie Lennox, and people now; I love Alicia Keys and Adele and a lot of male artists, like John Mayer, Eminem.
What did you do to get to this point, and did it involve a lot of sacrifice?
It did involve a lot of sacrifice, but a lot of fun as well. There were quite a few years where I felt that it was my friends who sacrificed a lot because I wasn't there for their birthdays, I didn't remember their birthday presents because I was out on the road all the time. So in some ways, there were definitely moments of sacrifice. Just not always being there with people.