Natti Natasha, the energetic Dominicana responsible for hits such as “Criminal” with Ozuna and “Sin Pijama” with Becky G, has been performing for the past decade. She’s collaborated with pretty much every performer on top of the reggaetón game: Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Don Omar, Farruko, among many others. She’s proven to be a chameleon in the genre, blending the sounds she grew up listening to in the Dominican Republic and the Bronx.
But 2021 is a year of new things for Natti Natasha. Her daughter Vida Isabelle with her fiancé and manager Raphy Pina was born earlier this year after a public fertility struggle. And now, she is getting ready to release her second album, NattiVidad. She opted for that name to represent her rebirth as an artist, and dedicated the album cover to the birth of her daughter. With catchy beats encouraging women to live their best lives, the goal with the new record is to empower women to pursue what they want: a family, career, love, happiness, goals, and everything else.
NattiVidad takes you on a virtual tour of Latin America and beyond, with various beats that come together under the theme of women empowerment. “Noches en Miami,” with its electro beats, is different with a slower tempo, but it is still guaranteed to get folks on the dance floor. “Ram Pam Pam” with Becky G is a high tempo reggaetón track with cumbia undertones. She also teams up with her compatriota Prince Royce for the romantic track “Antes Que Salga el Sol.” Regardless of the beat or the collaborator, women remain on top in NattiVidad.
Remezcla caught up with Natti Natasha to discuss NattiVidad, tackling the new phase of her life and career as a mother, and being able to represent women beyond reggaetón.
Your new album is called NattiVidad, representing a rebirth. This year you gave birth to your daughter, Vida Isabelle. How did your journey into motherhood inspire your new album?
NattiVidad inspired me to keep being who I am. I feel stronger than ever now about my vision, who I am about, who Natti Natasha is, what she wants to express, and how she wants to express it. Because I see my daughter, and in the future, I want her to feel the same way. It’s something that I probably had to show the world that I’m a Latina in the urban market. People thought I was going to take a pause in my career. I said, “No. I am going to keep on with my project. I’m going to keep on with my career. And I’ll do it very unapologetically.”
We are sometimes conditioned to think we should “tone down” our sexuality in our Latina culture because we are now “madres.” What is your attitude towards motherhood and continuing to make music in which women feel sexually empowered?
For me to express happiness and share happiness and be happy around my loved ones, I have to be happy. And I’m happy when I do what I love and when I am who I really am — I am sexy, I am myself, I’m loud, and I’m quiet. I’m everything I feel like I should be; I accept myself. So no, I don’t feel like we have to change because we’re mothers. Now it’s when we really embrace it and have fun because we’re happy. Even if we don’t sleep or have any time for ourselves, it’s still fun.
“People thought I was going to take a pause in my career [after becoming a mother]. I said, ‘No. I am going to keep on with my project. I’m going to keep on with my career. And I’ll do it very unapologetically.’”
I agree. And in many ways, does it make you more creative now that you’re a mother? You had a why before, obviously, but now you have a bigger why. You have a family to support. How does that fuel your creativity? Do you find yourself more creative now as a mom?
Yeah, because I’m more relaxed. I don’t know what it is. When you’re happy with your family and become a mom, it’s like nothing else matters. You don’t care. It doesn’t matter what they say. You keep on doing you. And being creative is a part of my daily life. So when I’m with the baby, I’m still creative when I’m in the house. I’m still doing things that I have to do. I think it’s grown a lot more.
Everything in the album cover seems intentional. How did you come up with the concept of having a stroller as the cover art?
I don’t know, for Raphy and me, it was automatic. NattiVidad means rebirth. I just had a baby, but I had two babies because I had my album as well. And that’s what that represents. The microphone represents how expressive I am, how explicit I am, how I voice, how I really communicate the things that I feel in a very, very explicit way. I always say it could be a virtue or a defect, but it’s who I am. And that’s the freedom of speech. The flowers represent the feminist side of Natti Natasha, this family side, what I’m going through right now. It also has this hip-hop feel, this realness about it, this rawness, and I feel like it was the best way of communicating everything that was going on in the album and my life. I would love to have a gold stroller in real life!
It’s been a very challenging last 18 months for performers. You have many creative collaborations in NattiVidad with artists such as Becky G, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Prince Royce, and Justin Quiles. How did you manage to get all of these artists to participate in your album?
The good thing about making music is that you can do it from anywhere. You can do your part, send it over, and make it happen. For the video, though, we’re blessed that everyone said yes because it is hard right now to get together. We had to do a lot of COVID testing. We were safe, disinfecting, and using masks. We took all the proper measures to keep it safe. And especially, I was pregnant, so I was very scared [about COVID]. I’m still very scared because of the baby.
NattiVidad is a mix of different sounds. For example, “Noches en Miami” with a more electro club sound, to “Ram Pam Pam” with Cumbia undertones. How is that a reflection of your influences?
Girl, I’m from the Dominican Republic! I am from the Caribbean. We have all types of influences over there. I used to listen from hip-hop, R&B to bachata to merengue to cumbia to reggaetón to dancehall to reggae. I feel like we have all the roots right there. I think that’s why I’m able to have that versatility because my ear got so used to so many different sounds. When I like a sound, I can flow into it because I enjoy it. So that’s one of the most exciting things about what I do, that being creative gives you the opportunity of touching different genres. And I love it.
Many of the songs on the album are ladies anthems, like “Las Nenas,” “Philliecito.” What kind of feedback do you get from your fans?
“Frozen” and “No Quiero Saber” are some of my favorite empowerment songs as well. It’s fun to be able to represent women, to be a voice for them. So many women write to me every day. They say, “I don’t speak this way, but I get that. This is not how I say it, but I understood what you tried to say. And when I’m with my friends, this is how I talk. So I understand your message, and I thank you for that.” It’s so good, and it’s so rewarding to see these girls say this because that’s why I do it. I have a sister. I have a niece. I have a sister-in-law. I have cousins. And I know how it feels. I’m a part of that, too. I’m a girl. I’m a woman that’s gone through so many things in life. And if I can do it for other girls, then why not?
Stream NattiVidad below.