Sinclair performing at The Bootleg Theater in February 2014.
|Birth name||Teddy Natalia Noemi Cappuccini|
|Also known as|
|Born||15 August 1986|
Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
Teddy Natalia Noemi Sinclair (née Cappuccini; born 15 August 1986), previously known by the stage names Verbalicious, Candy Rapper, and Natalia Kills, is an English singer, songwriter and actress.
As Natalia Kills, Sinclair released the studio albums Perfectionist (2011) and Trouble (2013). In 2014, she married fellow singer Willy Moon. The following year, the couple served as judges on the second season of the New Zealand version of The X Factor, but after the season's first live show, they were fired after their scathing remarks towards a contestant were deemed unacceptable by broadcaster TV3. As of July 2015, she now goes by and performs under her legal name Teddy Sinclair. In 2016, she started a three piece girl band, Cruel Youth.
Life and career
1986–2010: Early life and career beginnings
Sinclair was born Natalia Noemi Cappuccini in Bradford, West Yorkshire, to a British father of Afro-Jamaican heritage and a Uruguayan mother, and attended Bradford Girls' Grammar School. Her family left Bradford when she was a child and she spent her early years traveling between England, Jamaica and Spain.
She ran away from home when she was 14 and shifted her focus away from acting. She has described her teenage years as "degenerate," stating that she tried to set her ex-boyfriend's house on fire while both were in it. She had frequent legal trouble and periodically experienced suicidal depression. She was also briefly involved with a religious cult.
She began pursuing a music career and had a significant breakthrough as "Candy Rapper" in 2003, when she won a BBC Radio 1 MC Battle in Leeds. She signed to the UK record company Adventures in Music and released her first single "Don't Play Nice" under the name Verbalicious in February 2005. Sinclair told W that her childhood nickname from her mother was "Verbal" because she talked and sang a lot. She adopted the name and variations of it as her stage name at some points during her career.
In 2007, while writing music for films, she posted Womannequin, a demo she produced and wrote under the name Natalia Cappuccini, to MySpace. The EP received 2 million plays on the website, and she reached the top of the unsigned artists chart. During this time, using the name Verse, she also co-wrote and appeared on "They Talk Shit About Me" by French recording artist M. Pokora and met Guillaume Doubet, who would go on to direct many of her videos, in Paris. Sinclair moved to Los Angeles in 2008. Arriving without money or a place to live, Sinclair "lived out of these motels, bumming around, trying to work with or make songs with anyone who would have me for a couple of hours in the studio". At the time she says she did awful things adding "I was just trying to survive and I was too young to know better." While in L.A., a DJ introduced her to will.i.am after hearing her demo and learning that she did not have a record deal. In January 2009, will.i.am signed her to his record label, will.i.am Music Group. "We had a really good creative chemistry," she said in a 2011 Billboard interview.
2010–2014: Perfectionist, Trouble and marriage
Sinclair adopted the stage name Natalia Kills from the interjection "you killed it!", after her record company advised her that her legal name, "Natalia Cappuccini", was "indescribable." Kills released her debut album Perfectionist in Germany in April 2011 following the release of her first single, "Mirrors", which hit the German Top 10. The album was described as a concept album by Sinclair, claiming that everybody is a perfectionist. The album was accompanied by four singles, "Mirrors", "Wonderland", "Free" and "Kill My Boyfriend". Through 2010 and 2011 Sinclair opened for Kelis, Robyn, Kesha, Katy Perry and the Black Eyed Peas over various tours. Sinclair was featured in LMFAO's single, "Champagne Showers," and in Junior Caldera's single "Lights Out (Go Crazy)".
On 14 September 2012, Sinclair unveiled the video for "Controversy" to start promotion of her second studio album, Trouble. The album was centered on her troubled childhood. Sinclair attended an after-party for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, held on 25 August 2013 in Brooklyn, New York City, where she performed various songs from Trouble. Two days later, "Outta Time" was released as the album's second promotional recording free of charge in a Polydor Records newsletter, coinciding with the US release of Trouble. Trouble was officially released on 3 September 2013 as a digital download in the United States and Canada.
2015–present: The X Factor, collaborations and Cruel Youth
Sinclair and husband Willy Moon were featured as judges and mentors on season 2 of the New Zealand version of The X Factor. They were the mentors of the Boys and Groups categories respectively. During the first live show, in a highly publicized scandal, the two made scathing remarks towards contestant Joe Irvine. Sinclair described Irvine as a doppelganger over his alleged copying of Moon's hairstyle and dress sense, deeming him a "laughing stock", overtly "cheesy" and "disgusting", while Moon compared Irvine to the fictional killer Norman Bates. The comments led to widespread condemnation on social media, including a petition to have Sinclair fired from the show, which reportedly received over 70,000 signatures within 24 hours. The show's sponsors, franchise owner and judges Melanie Blatt and Stan Walker also voiced disapproval of the incident, and Moon and Sinclair were both fired from the show the next day. Sinclair was replaced by Natalie Bassingthwaighte, a former judge on the Australian version of the show, while Moon was replaced by Shelton Woolright.
After departing The X Factor, it was revealed in the media that Sinclair had been dropped by her record label, Cherrytree Records, shortly before appearing on the show. Sinclair confirmed to Billboard that while she was no longer signed to Cherrytree, she was still with Interscope Records at the time, though was later released by them as well.
In early 2016, Sinclair started a band, Cruel Youth, with (her husband) Moon. Their first song, "Mr. Watson", was released on Soundcloud in February, followed by "Diamond Days" in April, which was also released on iTunes. Their third single, "Hatefuck", was released in early September, along with the release of their debut EP, +30mg, on 16 September 2016.
Style and influences
Sinclair has mentioned Kate Bush and Alanis Morissette as her most important musical influences, describing them as emotional artists "who write honestly about their opinions and experiences." The singer also stated she considered Gwen Stefani, who is a musical and stylistic inspiration, as her "hero", adding that Prince, Vanity 6, and Freddie Mercury have already inspired her during live performances. Sinclair explores music that is both confessional and bold when looking for inspiration, she reveals: "I don't listen to music to let go, I listen to dive in", listing Hole, Marilyn Manson, and Eminem among her favorite artists and bands with whom she grew up. According to Jon O'Brien of AllMusic, Sinclair gradually composed a musical tone incorporating "the theatrical dance-pop of Lady Gaga, 1940s film noir, and the electro-gloom of Depeche Mode." She also reported that she has always been a pop music fan, especially in evoking contemporary "new age" artists as Adele, Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, Ivy Levan and Lorde.
Sinclair claims to be influenced by her own experiences. She is also inspired by cinema when composing songs. In this regard, she said during an interview for MKR Magazine:
I'm a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick, Tarantino, Gaspar Noé. I love anything that's beautiful and disturbing and horrifying and gorgeous at the same time. I do get inspired, definitely. I don't listen to a lot of music except my own, but I definitely like music a lot.
- a This 58 dates promotional tour started on 24 June 2011 in Paris, France and ended on 22 November 2011 in Vancouver, Canada.
- b This promotional tour took place in Russia.
- c This promotional tour took place in the United States.
- d This tour was performed with other artists from the same record label.
|1995||New Voices||Pearl||Episode: "The Treasure of Zavimbi"|
|2002–2004||All About Me||Sima||Main cast|
|2003||Casualty||Samina Khan||Episode: "Stuck in the Middle with You"|
|2003||Coronation Street||Laura Mangen||2 episodes|
|2004||Doctors||Hazel Perry||Episode: "A Decisive Moment"|
|2004||Blue Murder||Anisa Khan||Episode: "Fragile Relations"|
|2005||No Angels||Sujata||Series 2, episode 7|
|2006||Silent Witness||Kelly Wetherby||Episode: "Supernova: Part 1"|
|2006||Tripping Over||Julie||2 episodes|
|2007||Cape Wrath||Kerry||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2015||The X Factor||Judge||Series 2; auditions - live shows 1|
|2003||One Thousand Days, One Thousand Nights||Jyoti||Afternoon Play|
|2003||Tarnished Wings||Jen||Afternoon Play|
|2003||The Archers||Amy Franks||Main cast|
|2010||Love, Kills XX||Herself||Web series; 10 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2005||Popjustice £20 Music Prize||"Don't Play Nice"||Best British Pop Single||Nominated|
|2011||Eska Music Awards||Herself||International New Face||Won|
|2013||MP3 Music Awards||"Saturday Night"||The BFV Award||Won|
|2014||"Trouble"||The MIC Award||Nominated|
|2017||Grammy Awards||"Kiss It Better"||Best R&B Song (as songwriter)||Nominated|
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- "EXCLUSIVE: Natalia Kills Announces Marriage to Willy Moon + Exclusive Photos". bbook.com. 13 May 2014.
- "Pressure on TV3 after X Factor judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills humiliate contestant on live TV". New Zealand Herald. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
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- BBC Press Office (1 August 2003). "New vicar in The Archers". Retrieved 15 January 2017.