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Natalie Rowland ('21): Music

Cultivating whimsy through collaborative songwriting

Student Bio

My name is Natalie Rowland (’21), and I am a Music major at William & Mary. I am most passionate about songwriting and lyricism. Music is the closest thing I’ve found to magic and I love telling stories about the sweetness and absurdity of being alive while singing with my ukulele.

Standard FileLast summer, I wanted to hone my songwriting and composition skills, so I attended the NYU Summer Songwriting Workshop. In the intensive 2-week program, I wrote five new songs in collaborative groups of talented songwriters and workshopped my existing songs in private lessons with accomplished professors. I was able to develop strong, tangible skills and expand my network of musicians and mentors, despite the program being virtual.

For the rest of the summer I began recording and producing an original album titled “Heartbroken 5 Year Old” – which I am now finishing for my senior project. This semester, I’ve been arranging, producing, mixing, and marketing my album. With the Catron grant, I have been able to hire musicians, artists, and a mixer so I could produce the album of my dreams. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that done is better than perfect – art never feels complete to the artist and perfection is impossible. This knowledge has allowed me to create fearlessly and see my projects to completion.

In the video below, I perform a song I wrote during the NYU Workshop titled “Reap.” It’s about a flower that gets picked from the wild and lives the rest of her short life in a vase indoors, without any regard for how beautiful she would be in the right environment. With all my art, I aim to create meaning out of the mundane and provide an opportunity for the listener to accept ridiculousness and whimsy – to feel utterly young.

Student Work

Natalie discusses her experience in the NYU summer song-writing workshop and beyond and performs an original song in the 9-minute video below.

{{youtube:large:center|kkoCMPeK9iY, Natalie Rowland '21: Sharing her Catron experience and performing the original song, "Reap"}}