To hear Fort Worth-born singer-songwriter Natalie Price tell it, she didn’t embark upon a career, so much as surrender herself to a sense of inevitability.
“I don’t come from a musical family,” Price said during a recent conversation. “Growing up, music was not a real thing. Like, [my family and I] never went to see live shows. I couldn’t imagine [my parents] paying money to go see music — it just wasn’t a thing. Not that they hate music or anything like that, but it just wasn’t part of our rhythm.”
But Price, who graduated from the University of Texas-Dallas and now calls Austin home, was nevertheless intrigued by music from an early age, writing and recording songs on microcassettes as a child.
It was only after she moved to Austin about a decade ago that Price began to embrace the idea that being a working musician might be a path forward.
In the course of that time, Price was working her way toward what would become her self-titled debut album, out Sept. 29. “It’s been a years-long process,” she said of the 10 songs, produced by Mary Bragg.
In listening to the arresting work — Price’s gritty, glowing voice is a thing of beauty; she describes her sound as “Ameri-kinda,” a blend of folk, country, pop, and gospel — there is the feeling that, however long it took for Price to realize her vision, she is precisely where she is meant to be.
It’s a destination Price initially wasn’t sure she’d see. In 2017, she made the decision to bet on herself, arranging her life and finances in such a way that she was able to pay off her bills, save up some cash and book some studio time.
“Up until that point, I think I was waiting on someone else to believe in me,” Price said. “It took me a long time to realize that I had to both believe in myself … and then I had to commit to myself. Once you believe in yourself, and you commit to yourself, and you start making it happen, you figure out a way to make it happen.”
As she stands on the verge of Natalie Price seeing the light of day, Price now looks back upon all the uncertainty, hesitation, and stalled progress with a different perspective.
“That day, in late summer 2017, when I sat down looking at my bank statements and was crying — like, ‘I don’t see how this is possible,’” Price said. “If that girl could just get a flash or a glimpse of what I’m doing today, I think her jaw would be on the floor.”
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.