An interview with Natasha Bedingfield

Natasha Bedingfield first exploded onto the pop music scene in 2004 with her first album, Unwritten, and the title track became the most-played song on U.S. radio stations in 2006. Since then, she’s picked up a Grammy nomination for best female pop vocal performance and watched as her latest hit, “Pocketful of Sunshine,” get stuck in Emma Stone‘s head in Easy A.

So what’s next for the Londoner — besides her new album Strip Me? Club Skirts’ The Dinah, of course, where the singer will be headlining Saturday night’s Hollywood Party. caught up with Bedingfield to discuss what she has planned for lesbian weekend, why she’d beat Chely Wright in an oil wrestling competition and who she’d like to share the Dinah stage with.

AfterEllen: Are you excited about playing at Dinah?
Natasha Bedingfield:
Yeah. I’ve always wanted to perform there, and it’s not a long drive from where I live. I’m going to take a bunch of my friends through there and have a fun time. It’s going to be awesome. I’ll come up with some cool stuff for my performance to make it unique for the girls.

AE: You’re following some performers in headlining Saturday night’s Hollywood Party: Lady Gaga and Ke$ha both performed there. What does it feel like to follow in their footsteps?
It’s awesome. Lady Gaga opened for me two years ago before everyone knew who she was. I completely love those girls. I got to know Gaga on tour. I think she’s absolutely amazing. So, it will be awesome to sing there as well.

AE: There’s also going to be an acrobatic performance that’s part of the Hollywood Party on Saturday night with Dreya Webber, who choreographed Pink’s aerial show.
I loved Pink’s aerial show!

AE: Any chance that we’ll see Dreya take you up in the air with her?
If she’s up for it, I’d totally be up for something like that. I would love to do that. Pink’s got so much stealth.

AE: Is there anything special that the Dinah Shore ladies can do to make you feel welcome?
They can sing along to the stuff they know. That will make me feel great. My favorite sound in the world is everyone saying the words, singing along. From the sounds of it, you said everyone is pretty relaxed, I mean, having fun. That’s what it’s all about.

AE: It truly is a unique experience to see a hotel completely taken over by the lesbian community.
I have such a respect for this community. I’m just so glad to be there; I feel honored. I feel like there’s a bunch of women who are strong and have fought against the odds and in a way are pushing boundaries so that women all around the world can be free.

AE: Chely Wright is headlining Friday’s famous White Party. Any chance we’ll see you at her show or maybe on stage with her?
Maybe. Let’s just go along and see what happens. I definitely want to bring a bunch of my girlfriends to come and really just enjoy the atmosphere and have fun. I’m just going to go with the flow.

AE: So what exactly does a pocket full of sunshine feel like?
[Laughs] It’s not what those on have! It’s quite naughty!

It’s basically whatever takes you to another place and helps you escape. There are so many images that I had when I was writing the song. It’s for all people of all communities.

AE: Sounds like you’ll be entering a Dinah Shore hotel full of sunshine.
Yeah! That’s definitely going to be a pocket full of sunshine for sure — it’s not going to be staying in a pocket; it’s kind of like busting out.

AE: Absolutely. Speaking of busting out, one of the things that Dinah is known for is debauchery. Last year, sponsored an oil wrestling contest. What would it take to get you to enter the contest?
[Laughs] Oh my God. Well, let’s see: How long does it take to take the oil out of your hair?

AE: I haven’t the slightest idea! Who do you think would win in an oil wrestling match between you and Chely Wright?
Oh my God, definitely me!

AE: Why is that?
I’m pretty strong and I love wrestling. I always wrestled very well when I used to wrestle and always beat the boys. I was really stronger than the boys. I grew up in England and am from New Zealand and we tend to be much more physical.

AE: If you could share the stage with anyone at Dinah Shore, who would you want that to be?
I’d love to sing or do something with Luciana.

Catch Natasha Bedingfield at The Dinah’s Saturday night Hollywood Party, April 2.