If you hadn't already heard Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten a zillion times on Top 40 radio, during the 2007 Grammy nominations ('Tash lost out to Christina Aguilera) or sung by the choir at your church, then perhaps you caught snippets of it during Barack Obama's rally Wednesday in downtown Tampa. The song, whose lyrics urge listeners to "feel the rain on your skin" and "speak the words on your lips," is part of the presidential hopeful's set list as he makes appearances around the country.
Inspirational lyrics are Bedingfield's bread and butter. The native of Lewisham, England, started out on the Christian music circuit with her siblings, Nikola and Daniel "Gotta Get Thru This" Bedingfield.
From a tour stop in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the middle — arguably best-known — Bedingfield child spoke with tbt* about Obama, American Idol and losing her British accent when she sings.
Barack Obama was in town Wednesday afternoon, and they played Unwritten at his rally. How does that work? Does a candidate approach you and say, "Can I use your song?"
The candidates like to play music. He's allowed to play whatever he likes, and so I'm really pleased that he chose to play my song.
If you were an American citizen, who would you vote for?
Obama's using my track, so I'd probably vote for him. He's got good taste in music. (laughs)
What was the inspiration for I Wanna Have Your Babies?
The inspiration for that was, what are the kind of fantasies that go on inside a girl's brain that she doesn't talk about? I was just thinking, what would happen if there was a song where guys actually found out what girls are sometimes thinking and keeping to themselves?
You're right. We sit down for a first date, and instantly we're putting his last name on our name.
Yeah, and you freak a guy out if you tell him instantly that you're in love with him and that he's Mr. Right and stuff. That's one of the things that really interests me: What are the rules of dating? They're always changing.
When you sing, you seem to lose your accent.
Do you change the way you sing depending on if it's a British audience or an American audience?
Not really. My aim when I sing is that I want people to understand what I'm singing, 'cause my pet hate is when I go to a concert or listen to an album and I can't understand a word that they're saying.
What slang have you picked up in America?
I found it's quite hard not to say "like" all the time.
What advice can offer to the winner of American Idol?
I guess both of (the finalists) are probably going to get recording contracts. I would say make an album that you like, because you're going to have to sing it for the next year or so.
Is there a song you're sick of singing?
No, but sometimes there's moments where if you didn't change something about a song when you put it on the album, it's kind of stuck that way once it becomes a single. You like to hear it how you heard it on the record.