Natalie Gauci

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Natalie Gauci
Natalie Gauci.PNG
Gauci at Westpoint Shopping Centre, Blacktown, January 2008.
Background information
Birth name Natalie Rose Gauci
Born (1981-11-26) 26 November 1981 (age 34)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Pop, Soul, R&B, Electronic
Occupation(s) Singer-Songwriter, Musician, Producer
Instruments Piano, Vocals, Keyboard
Years active 2007–present
Labels Sony, Sorry Shoes, OneLove
Associated acts Tune in Tokyo
Notable instruments
Vocal, Piano

Natalie Rose Gauci (born 26 November 1981) is an Australian singer-songwriter, producer and musician. An extraordinary artist with a powerful voice who blends the fluidity of Pop and the pure emotion of Soul. She has been on an incredible journey. Natalie undertook music tuition at the Victorian College of the Arts. After an appearance on national radio station Triple J's talent contest, Unearthed, she successfully auditioned for the fifth series of Australian Idol in 2007 and went on to win the series.

Natalie subsequently signed a record deal with Sony BMG Australia and in November that year released her debut single, "Here I Am", which reached number two on the ARIA Singles Chart and gained a gold accreditation. The next month her debut album, The Winner's Journey, followed. It peaked at number eleven on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified platinum. In 2010 she formed Tune in Tokyo, an electro-pop band, with producer Paul Brandoli, they released two singles, "Dreamer" (November 2010) and "Ray of Love" (April 2012). In 2012 Natalie released an alternative-electronic EP, Elektrik Field.

Early life[edit]

Natalie Gauci was born on 26 November 1981 and grew up in Melbourne.[1][2] Her father is Maltese and was born in Marsa, Malta and her mother is Italian.[3] Gauci is the eldest child with two siblings.[3] Gauci started secondary school at Emmaus College, Vermont South and completed her scholarship at Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School,[4] before studying music at the Victorian College of the Arts.[5] In August 1996 Gauci acted as 'ORCA Girl' on Australian science fiction TV series, Ocean Girl, Season 3, Episode 3, "Draining the Spaceship".[6][7] From the age of 14, she began writing songs.[5][8] She performed as a session musician, and in 2005 began writing and producing her debut extended play, Take It or Leave It which was released the following year written about her break-up with her ex-boyfriend.[5][2]

Australian Idol[edit]

In 2007 Natalie Gauci auditioned in Melbourne for the fifth series of TV talent competition, Australian Idol.[3] She performed an original song, "Free Falling", co-written by Gauci with James Kempster;[9] and a rendition of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".[3] Judges, Ian Dickson and Mark Holden, were impressed by Gauci's latter performance, with Dickson commenting "I think you can win this competition". Fellow judge, Marcia Hines, warned that such a comment had been "the kiss of death" for contestants in the past.[3] Gauci advanced to the next round, and continued to impress the judges, resulting in her selection in the top 24. Her performance of "Hurt" by Christina Aguilera did not gain enough public votes to proceed to the top 12. However, she was selected by the judges to perform in the wildcard, an episode from which four contestants would be chosen to complete the top 12. Gauci performed "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone. She did not gain enough votes, but was selected by the judges to be the final top 12 member.[10]

Gauci progressed through the top 12 knockout phase; it was not until the eighth week, with five contestants remaining, that she appeared in the bottom three—those with the three lowest number of votes for that week. Her performances have earned acclaim; The Courier-Mail noted her renditions of Rihanna's "Umbrella", Kate Bush's "Running Up that Hill", and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" as highlights.[11] Her performances of "Umbrella", Divinyls' "Boys in Town", and Morgan Lewis's "How High the Moon" earned "touchdowns" from Holden.[3]

Gauci and Matt Corby were the two contestants on the show's grand finale. At the conclusion of each series, a "Winner's Single" is released. The 2007 winner's single, "Here I Am", was written by Lindy Robbins and Tom Leonard,[12] who had previously written for the Backstreet Boys. Both Corby and Gauci were critical of the track, with Gauci professing confusion as the demo version had male vocals – she adapted it to be consistent with her jazz music style.[13][14] While Corby felt it was "not something I'd choose to release ... Yes, I'm being diplomatic. Even though this competition has made me look like I'm into pop, I'm really not".[13][14] On 25 November 2007, Gauci was declared the winner of Australian Idol 2007.[11] She became the first contestant to progress to the top 12 through a judges' lifeline and then win the competition.[8]

Australian Idol performances[edit]

Week Theme Song choice Original artist Result
Top 24 Contestant's Choice "Hurt" Christina Aguilera Wildcard
Wildcard Contestant's Choice "Feeling Good" Cy Grant Judge's choice
Top 12 Contestant's Choice "(Baby I've Got You) On My Mind" Powderfinger Safe
Top 11 Rock "Sweet Child o' Mine" Guns N' Roses Safe
Top 10 Disco "I Will Survive" Gloria Gaynor Safe
Top 9 Acoustic "Man in the Mirror" Michael Jackson Safe
Top 8 Brit pop "Rehab" Amy Winehouse Safe
Top 7 Year you were born "Endless Love" Lionel Richie/Diana Ross Safe
Top 6 Judge's Choice – Hines
Contestant's Choice
"Nothing Compares 2 U"
The Family
Safe, Touchdown
Top 5 Australian Made "Boys in Town" Divinyls Bottom 2, Touchdown
Top 4 Big Band
Big Band
"Orange Colored Sky"
"How High the Moon"
Janet Brace
Alfred Drake and Frances Comstock
Safe, Touchdown
Top 3 Audience Choice
Contestant's Choice
"Ray of Light"
"Nobody Knows"
Finale Contestant's Choice
Contestant's Choice
Winner's Single
Grand Final performance
"Running Up that Hill"
"Here I Am"
"Man in the Mirror"
Kate Bush
Natalie Gauci
Michael Jackson

Recording career[edit]

2007–2008: The Winner's Journey[edit]

Gauci on her Winner's Journey Tour, January 2008.

On 25 November 2007 Natalie Gauci released her winner's single, "Here I Am", as a digital download. It was then issued as a CD single on 28 November 2007,[15] which included as a B-side, her original track, "All in My Mind".[16][17] "Here I Am" debuted on the ARIA Singles Chart at number two.[18] It was the first debut single by an Australian Idol winner that did not reach number one. "Here I Am" sold 7,463 copies in its first week, lower than all previous winners' debut singles.[19]

Her debut album, The Winner's Journey, was released on 8 December 2007.[20] Unlike Damien Leith's Winners Journey of the previous year, Gauci's CD/DVD did not include Australian Idol stage performances. Instead it had an interview with John Foreman and recorded versions of the songs performed during her time on the show.[21] This drew criticism with Fremantle Media, producers of Australian Idol, suggesting Gauci's record label, Sony BMG, had deliberately excluded the material.[21] The album debuted on the ARIA Albums Chart at number twelve, before reaching its peak of number eleven in its second week on the chart.[22] The album sold 11,489 copies in its first week, compared to Leith's 89,257 copies the previous year.[23][24] Paul Cashmere of the Undercover website criticised the show for its commercialism, accusing it of using Gauci as a "victim to feed the corporations and their shareholders".[23]

Sony BMG then released a second DVD titled, The Final Two, on 17 December 2007.[25] It had separate performances on the show by Gauci and Corby.[21] In January 2008 Gauci commenced her Winner's Journey Tour across Australia. She took three musicians from the Natalie Gauci Band, as well as a long time keyboard collaborator and music director, while she sang and played the piano.[24]

2009–present: Music Releases and Music Development[edit]

In August 2009 Natalie Gauci chose to leave Sony Music.[26] In January 2010 Gauci travelled in search for her sound and for true love after her marriage break up. She wrote a song called "Without You" which expressed her deep and honest feelings about the reality of taking a risk, leaving everything behind to find her truth and then collaborated with a European record label, Sorry Shoes,[27] and issued a new single, "Without You".[28]

In 2010 Gauci formed Tune in Tokyo, an electro-pop and dance music band, with producer Paul Brandoli.[29] As the group's lead singer and songwriter, Natalie's fight to separate herself from the stigma of being an Australian Idol winner wrote Dreamer, a song which explains her desire to travel and experiment with her look and sound. Gauci explained, "That's where I came out of my shell. I didn't have anyone telling me what to do. Tune in Tokyo is just one part of what I want to do. We got a lot of feedback straight away, which was great because it gave me confidence about the project".[30] On 4 November 2010 they released their debut single, "Dreamer",[31] which peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA Clubs Chart.[32] It was co-written by Brandoli and Gauci.[33] She revealed that she was working on the group's debut album and that she had made a cameo for a 2011 film, Big Mamma's Boy, which stars actress, Holly Valance.[29] Tune in Tokyo's second single, "Ray of Love", appeared in April 2012.[34]

During early 2012 Natalie travelled Europe, after her marriage break up and off the back of her song Without You reaching #29 on the German Dance Charts which remained in the charts for 10 weeks and gave Natalie an opportunity to perform in Spain, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany and Sweden.[35] Natalie explored the option of becoming a dance-pop artist and after recording and writing with RedOne production and other producers in Stockholm. Natalie came to a big self realisation that her desire and biggest dream was to be a singer-songwriter and musician not just a short lived pop-dance act. She continued to travel and spent her 30th birthday in Italy because her favourite food is pizza and gelato. While in Italy she collaborated with an Italian duo of DJ-producers, Jack & Joy (aka Max Bondino and Luca Loi) who kindly remixed her music and issued their single, "We Are the Stars", on Adaptor Recordings.[36] "We Are the Stars" was written as a positive affirmation in her hope to rise above her despair. Natalie spent 8 months of her spiritual soul search in Berlin where she became addicted to Ketamine and became lost. Natalie, in her solitude, started to learn production skills and while in Berlin for the first time took the initiative to create music that was deeply honest and real. On 3 September she released an alternative-electronic EP, Elektrik Field.[37] For reasons unclear, both of these releases were removed from the iTunes Store, but are still available for purchase on numerous other websites.

In 2013 Natalie moved to the UK after being forced to face her darkest fears. She decided the drugs, the smoking and her addictions were no longer serving a purpose in her life and instantly turned her life around. Her very first job in the UK was lecturing young students at Cannons High School sharing her story and her experiences which lead her to become a teacher and a motivational speaker.[38] Natalie went in search for a deeper meaning. Natalie started a new life and changed her name to Nellie Bell by deed poll. Natalie began writing more and more music, building up her catalogue of autobiographies which are yet to be released. Natalie created Nellie Bell to give herself an opportunity to detach from everything she had ever known. She became a child again in a new city. Through this growth, Nellie Bell's purpose had been served, Natalie admits to being a chameleon as her music takes on so many twists and turns. This inspired her to get a tattoo of a dragonfly on her chest, which represents transformation and reminds her of her eternal spiritual growth.

In 2015 Natalie faced more of her fears and decided she was ready to be Natalie Gauci again and realised the creation of Nellie Bell will remain as her private identity which allows her to separate from being a person as well as an artist.

Personal life[edit]

On 28 March 2009 Gauci married Hamish Cowan, the lead singer of art rock band, Cordrazine.[39][40] The couple separated in March 2011.

Before leaving Australia Natalie worked as a personal trainer for Australian Idol judge, Ian "Dicko" Dickson.[41]


Natalie Gauci discography
Studio albums 2
EPs 3
Singles 3

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart
The Winner's Journey 11
Ha Ha Ha
  • Released: 1 July 2012
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: The Gaunch
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Extended plays[edit]

List of EPs, with selected details
Title Album details
Take It or Leave It[2]
  • Released: 2006
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • Label: Independent
I'm Ready
  • Released: 25 June 2010
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: Rubber Music
Elektrik Field
  • Released: 3 September 2012
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: The Gaunch


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart
Certifications Album
"Here I Am" 2007 2 The Winner's Journey
"Without You" 2010 Non-album Singles
"C U Later" 2011
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

As featured artist[edit]

List of featured singles
Title Year
"We Are the Stars"
(Jack & Joy featuring Natalie Gauci)
"Part Time Lover"
(Voltaxx & Mike Kelly featuring Natalie Gauci)
"Kandy Kandy"
(Alexander Fog featuring Natalie Gauci)


  1. ^ "'When I Left You' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c True, Chris. "Natalie Gauci > Overview". Allmusic. (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mifsud, Jennifer (10 December 2007). "Down-to-earth Singer Living Life of the Stars". The Times. Malta: Allied Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "Melbourne's Natalie Gauci Ready for Australian Idol Final". Herald Sun (News Corporation). 16 November 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c "Natalie Gauci". Music Theatre Australia. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Zuk, Tony. "Ocean Girl: Episode Guide: Series 3: 'Episode 3:03 (29)'". Australian Television Information Archive (Tony Zuk). Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Natalie Gauci". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Adams, Cameron (13 December 2007). "Australian Idol Natalie Gauci Tuned in for Success". Herald Sun (News Corporation). Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  9. ^ "'Free Falling' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Staff Writers (4 September 2007). "Wildcard Entrants Complete Australian Idol Top 12". (News Corporation). Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Best Birthday Gift for Idol Winner". The Courier-Mail (Queensland Newspapers (News Corporation)). 26 November 2007. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "'Here I Am' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Adamson, Kate (18 November 2007). "Idol Single a Dud". The Daily Telegraph (News Corporation). Retrieved 30 September 2008. 
  14. ^ a b Savage, Jay (18 November 2007). "Idol Finalists Pan Winner's Single". ninemsn. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Crowd Gathering at Opera House for Idol Final". (News Corporation). Australian Associated Press (AAP). 25 November 2007. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Natalie Gauci's Idol Search for Lost Love". The Courier-Mail (News Corporation). 9 December 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "'All in My Mind' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "Discography Natalie Gauci". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  19. ^ Cashmere, Paul (3 December 2007). "Australia Has Spoken, Idol Sales a Disaster". Undercover (Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman). Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Winner's Journey – Natalie Gauci – Album". iTunes Store. (Apple Inc). Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  21. ^ a b c "Australian Idol winner Natalie Gauci's Poor Sales". Herald Sun. News Limited (News Corporation). Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  22. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Natalie Gauci – The Winner's Journey". Australian Charts Portal (Hung Medien). Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Cashmere, Paul (17 December 2007). "Idol Album Fizzes". Undercover (Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Turner, Tonya (29 December 2007). "Natalie Gauci is a Realistic Australian Idol". The Courier Mail. News Corporation. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  25. ^ "Australian Idol - The Final Two: Natalie Gauci/ Matt Corby @ EzyDVD". EzyDVD. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  26. ^ "Australian Idol Natalie Gauci Goes Her Own Way, Parts with Sony". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times (News Corporation). Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  27. ^ Reines, Ros; Christie, Joel; Harris, Amy; Moran, Jonathon; Halliwell, Elle; Sharp, Annette (29 January 2010). "Natalie Gauci's Single About to Drop, Two Years After Australian Idol". Sydney Confidential. The Daily Telegraph. News Limited (News Corporation). Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  28. ^ "'Without You' – Single – Natalie Gauci". iTunes Store. (Apple Inc). Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  29. ^ a b "Idol Natalie doing it her way". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times (News Corporation)). 27 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  30. ^ Davies, Rebecca (12 December 2010). "Ex Idol winner launces new dance act". Digital Spy. Digital Spy Limited. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  31. ^ "'Dreamer' (Radio Edits) – Single – Tune in Tokyo". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  32. ^ McCabe, Kathy (12 December 2010). "Former Idol winner Natalie Gauci relaunches career in Tune in Tokyo". News Limited. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  33. ^ "'Dreamer' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  34. ^ "'Ray of Love' (Remixes): Tune in Tokyo". 13 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  35. ^ Bayliss, Marc Calleja (4 May 2012). "Natalie Gauci Releasing New Single in Malta". Esc Flash Malta (Marc Calleja Bayliss). Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  36. ^ "'We Are the Stars' (Original Album) – Single – Jack & Joy ft Natalie Gauci". iTunes Store (Apple Inc). Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  37. ^ "Elektrik Field – Natalie Gauci – Album". iTunes Store. (Apple Inc). Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  38. ^ Chin, Talitha (5 October 2012). "More Bang for Your Buck: Australian Idol Natalie Gauci Offers Music Lessons in London". Cultural Economist (Talitha Chin). Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  39. ^ "Natalie Gauci's single about to drop, two years after Australian Idol". News Limited. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  40. ^ "Natalie Gauci, Hamish Cowan Don't Sing at Their Wedding". The Daily Telegraph (News Corporation). 30 March 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  41. ^ Moran, Jonathon (6 February 2010). "Ian "Dicko" Dickson drops 16kg in six months with Jen4Men". Courier Mail. Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  42. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2007 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2007 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 16 December 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Damien Leith
Australian Idol

Season 5 (2007)
Succeeded by
Wes Carr