Interview: Natasha Hamilton on performing at Dubai Opera
Christmas has come early in 2020. Across the globe people are putting up their trees with joyous abandon in November and here in Dubai turkeys are already being roasted, decorations hung and presents bought.
And if you’re staying in town this Christmas there’s a festive show you don’t want to miss, that’s sure to get you in the festive mood. Natasha Hamilton, of girl group Atomic Kitten, and Gareth Gates – of Pop Idol fame – are making their way to Dubai next month for a one-off Christmas show at Dubai Opera.
The pair will be taking to the stage for Christmas Cracker on Thursday December 10, and we’re promised a “Christmas extravaganza”. We catch up with Hamilton ahead of the show.
What can we expect at the Dubai Opera show?
It’s going to be an uplifting concert, with loads of festive spirit. It’s been a stressful year for everyone, so we want to welcome in December with some special Christmas cheer. There will be some Christmas classics in there – we’ll be doing solo festive songs, duets, and also our own stuff, too. I’ve met Gareth before but we’ve never performed together so I’m really excited. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year – the choirs, the bells, the orchestra, the epitome of Christmas – that’s what we’re bringing.
What’s on your tick list when you come to Dubai?
Aside from the show, I’m looking forward to getting some winter sun. I’ve been to Dubai before, been to lots of brunches and relaxed on the beach and all that. Last time I went up the Burj Khalifa but that was pretty frightening when you get out the lift and those huge windows are right there in front of you.
What have you been up to over the past few months?
When you’re performing there’s such a buzz, to see people immersed in it with smiles on their faces – nothing else matters, they’re in that moment away from it all. I’ve only had three gigs this year and I’m missing it hugely – I can’t wait to get back on stage. It’s been a stressful year all round, especially for performers, so I’ve diversified a bit and set up a wellness business. Back in March I had gigs cancelled, then the European tour was called off – I didn’t really know what to do next so I ploughed all my energy into wellness. I thought that if I was feeling overwhelmed, then others must be as well. So I launched Live Better With Natasha. I’ve grown a podcast and I’m launching a wellness retreat next year. I just want to share that it’s okay not to feel okay right now, it’s only temporary. It’s important for me to help people, to help them find the right tools by talking candidly and honestly about what I’ve been going through. For me the most important thing is eating and sleeping well and getting exercise, I can’t give 100 percent otherwise. We break so many promises to ourselves that we would never do to our friends, it’s about filling your cup first sometimes.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve ever performed?
I’m lucky to have played at so many amazing places – we had a gig at the top of the Alps once, but a high-octane gig at a high altitude was pretty challenging. It’s a lot of effort up there. We also played on a boat off a beach in Berlin and everyone was partying in the sand while we were offshore.
How do you celebrate Christmas?
Our Christmas tree is up already, we are never normally this early, but after the year we’ve had, we all need some Christmas cheer. We have a big family, and my six- and ten-year-old are totally into Christmas. Everyone needs a mince pie in their lives right now. We’re pretty traditional at home, my favourite thing is my mum’s prawn cocktail, but we only have it at Christmas, which, come to think of it is weird, if we love it why don’t we have it all year?
What’s coming in 2021?
I’m writing and recording my first solo album so I’ll be in the studio full time from the end of January. 2021 is going to be big. I’ve also just recorded a Christmas duet – but I can’t say any more yet. It has a big band feel. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some amazing people – Kool & The Gang, Phil Collins, Brian Wilson. At the moment I’d love to do something with SG Lewis, house music with a throwback side, that would be fun.
From Dhs225 (house beverage included). Thu Dec 10, 8pm onwards. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com/events/christmas-cracker.
Brussels sprouts – yes or no?
I can eat them – but not soggy. They need to have a bit of crunch.
Best-ever Christmas film?
Santa Claus: The Movie. It takes me back to my childhood.
Favourite Christmas tradition?
Going to a panto, but it will be a different story this year – so probably silly board games with the kids.
Source : Time Out Dubai | Photocredit : Google