Natalie Sims

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Natalie Lauren Sims
Lauren at Legacy Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
Born (1984-06-25) June 25, 1984 (age 34)
ResidenceAtlanta, Georgia
NationalityAmerican
Occupation
EmployerNative North, Cobra Music Group, Reach Records
Musical career
Also known asNatalie Lauren, Suzy Rock
Genres
Years active2002–present
Labels
  • Collide
  • High Society
  • Syntax
  • Native North
Associated acts
Websitemsnatalielauren.com

Natalie Lauren Sims (born June 25, 1984), also known by her stage name Natalie Lauren and former stage name Suzy Rock, is a recording artist, songwriter, graphic designer, writer, and music executive from Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a solo artist she performs within the Christian hip hop and r&b genres, having released three EPs and a mixtape as well as being featured on numerous songs by other artists. She also is a member of High Society Collective – along with Sho Baraka, Swoope, and J.R. – which released a studio album, Circa MMXI: The Collective, in 2012.

As a songwriter, Sims has co-written for Iggy Azalea – including the songs "Work", "Change Your Life", and "Bounce" – and Chris Brown. She also has written and performed extensively with her friend KB, with whom she also has partnered as an A&R executive. Other song-writing credits include compositions for Lecrae, Sho Baraka, Christon Gray, and Keke Palmer, among others.

Sims' visual art and graphic design credits include albums by Deitrick Haddon and Juanita Bynum. Sims also runs a blog, Red Eyes and Blue Skies, where she attempts to create awareness for various issues such as breast cancer and the persecution of minority groups.

Biography[edit]

Birth–2009[edit]

Natalie Lauren Sims was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma during 1984, and raised there as the daughter of Charles Sims, Jr.[1][2][3] She started writing hip hop music, when she was 11, while she became a Christian at age 14.[4][5] Sims graduated from high school in 2002, soon thereafter starting her music career.[6] Sims relocated from Tampa to Atlanta, Georgia in 2007. In 2008, she met Iggy Azalea — who was still working under her birth name, Amethyst Kelly — and the two shared studio space with the producers FKi and Jon Jon Traxx.[7] However, Sims and Azalea subsequently lost touch when Azalea moved to Los Angeles in 2010.[7] In 2009, Sims, under the moniker Suzy Rock, released a mixtape entitled So What.[8][9] She also featured on the song "Runaway Train" by Rachel, from the album Nothing W/O You.[10]

2010–11[edit]

In 2010, Sims collaborated on the Lecrae album Rehab, featuring on the song "High", also featuring Sho Baraka, and co-wrote and provided backing vocals to the song "Killa."[11][12] That same year, she designed the cover to Deitrick Haddon's soundtrack album Blessed & Cursed - Voices of Unity, which included her song "So What".[12][13] Sims also provided art direction for Juanita Bynum's album More Passion and creative design for Thankful by Myron Williams.[12] In 2011, Sims wrote for and contributed vocals to Blacklight by Tedashii and The Good Life (2012) by Trip Lee,[12] and featured on the song "Fantasy" from the latter album.[14] She also featured on the single "Hello" from KB's forthcoming album Weight & Glory (2012),[15] an album to which she also contributed some song-writing.[16] She also featured on two songs by Pro, "Get In" from PSA Vol. 2 and "Drink from His Cup" from Dying to Live,[17][18] the song "Survivor" by Da' T.R.U.T.H. from his album The Whole Truth,[19] the "Battle Song" by Lecrae from his album Rehab: The Overdose,[20] and Canon's song "Poppin' Off" from the album Blind World.[21] Additionally, that year Sims co-founded the hip hop group High Society, along with Sho Baraka, J.R., and Swoope.[22] The group released its first single, "One Moment", on June 20,[23] and a second single, "Devil", on October 31, 2011.[24]

2012–13[edit]

In 2012, Sims released a music and teaching series called Dirty Little Secrets,[25][26] and featured on Lecrae's mixtape Church Clothes and contributed song-writing to his album Gravity,[12][27] and provided graphic design for the Deitrick Haddon soundtrack from A Beautiful Soul.[28] High Society released its debut album, Circa MMXI – The Collective, on January 17,[29][30][31] and a third, non-album single, "Young Again", on February 14.[32]

While scheduled to tour with Tedashii and KB, Sims was contacted by Shawna Peezy, the manager for Iggy Azalea, requesting that she fly to Wales in order to help Azalea write The New Classic (2014). Sims was initially hesitant to take the offer, as she would have to cut her tour short, and felt uncomfortable with the risqué content put out by Azalea.[7] However, she then received a call from Sarah Stennett from the London-based management team Turn First Artists. Stennett explained that her company was trying to commercialize Azalea's image. Sims understood this to mean a less provocative and explicit approach, and, hoping to be a more positive influence on Azalea's content, abandoned the last four stops on her tour and flew over to Wales in December.[7]

After a short break in the United States for Christmas, Sims flew to London for a second session. She later wrote of her experience that "Fresh out of a breakup and depressed I spent a month in London in a small 10X10 studio somedays writing and writing and writing… Eating cottage pie. The first song we finished was Work. Regardless of whether or not u like the content the song told Iggy’s true story of struggle sacrifice and hard work as an artist."[33][34] Sims contributed to five songs that appeared on the album: "Work", "Bounce", "Change Your Life", "Just Askin'", and "New Bitch" – which had the working title "New Chick".[7] "Work" sold over one million copies in the US and was certified platinum,[7][33] while "Change Your Life" sold over 500,000 copies and was certified gold.[35] Sims later expressed regret at the final product of her writing sessions with Azalea, stating that "I wasted an opportunity to make music that matters. Not on every song, but a few. I squandered three minutes and 45 seconds contributing to the over-saturation of materialism, image obsession and a whole bunch of random, pointless stuff."[7]

In 2013, Sims dropped her stage name Suzy Rock, choosing instead to perform as Natalie Lauren.[36] She appeared under the name Suzy Rock on "Chapter 7: Denzel" on Talented 10th by Sho Baraka,[37] and as Natalie Lauren on a compilation album, Gurl Code, specifically as a featured artist on the song "Made for This" by Butta P.[38] Gurl Code was released on October 22, 2013 through Full Ride Music, a record label run by the rapper Thi'sl, and consisted of performances by various female Christian hip hop artists.[39][40][41] In 2013, Natalie Lauren also began working with KB and the production team Cobra, which consists of Joseph Prielozny and Dirty Rice, on the EP 100.[42] The four had previously worked together on the song "Open Letter (Battlefield)" from KB's album Weight & Glory.[42]

2014–present[edit]

Sims' work with KB and Cobra continued through 2014, when the four traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to record KB's second studio album, Tomorrow We Live (2015).[42][43] She also signed a deal with Kobalt Music Group as a songwriter and partnered with Reach Records as a creative director of A&R.[44][45] During the month of April in 2014, Sims launched a project called Red Eyes and Blue Skies, designed primarily as a cancer awareness project.[44] A website was debuted, and an EP, Red Eyes & Blue Skies, was released in two parts during Cancer Awareness Week, a national event in the United States.[46][47][48] On October 23, 2014, Sims released her third EP, entitled Cliff Notes, as a free download.[49][50][51] It features a collection of love stories, some based on Sims' own life experiences.[52][53] She also created webcast series Mic Mondays, in which she discusses various aspects of the music industry, for the website and art community Forth District.[54][55] She also featured on and provided song-writing to Tedashii's Below Paradise,[12] Trip Lee's Rise,[12] Swoope's Sinema,[56] and Jackie Hill-Perry's The Art of Joy,[57] and co-wrote "SuperDave" for Christon Gray's School of Roses album.[58] In 2015, Sims contributed to Chris Brown's Royalty album, co-writing the song "Blow It in the Wind",[12][59] and co-wrote the Keke Palmer single "I Don't Belong to You".[12] She and KB also announced that they are working as an A&R team, and that they are advising and producing for Joseph Solomon.[60] In the fall of 2015, Sims appeared as a guest artist on the Queens United Tour, an all-female tour by V. Rose, HillaryJane, Jasmine Le'Shea and DJ KB.[61] On October 30, 2015, Sims featured with Jackie Hill-Perry on the DJ KB song "Queens".[62] On May 20, 2016, she featured on the album It's Complicated by Da' T.R.U.T.H., specifically on the songs "Mixed Signals" and "Perfectly Human".[63][64]

Discography[edit]

Mixtapes and EPs[edit]

Year Details
2009 So What[8]
  • Mixtape
  • Label: None (independent)
2012 Dirty Little Secrets[25]
  • EP
  • Label: None (independent)
2014 Redeyes & Blue Skies[44]
  • Double-EP
  • Label: None (independent)
Cliff Notes[49]
  • EP
  • Label: None (independent)

Cover songs[edit]

Singles[edit]

List of singles, showing year released and album name
Year Song Details
2013 "Bad" (Remake of "Bad" by Wale)[65] Non-album single
2014 "Pills N Potions" (Remake of "Pills N Potions" by Nicki Minaj)[66]

As featured performer

List of singles, showing year released and album name
Year Song Other performers Album
2010 "High"[11] Lecrae, Sho Baraka Rehab
2011 "Battle Song"[20] Lecrae Rehab: The Overdose''
"Hello"[67] KB Weight & Glory
2012 "Hello (Hip Hop Remix)"[68] Alex Medina, D-Flow Non-album single
2015 "Queens"[62] DJ KB, Jackie Hill-Perry
"Reign"[69] Duce Banner, Sho Baraka His2ry in Progress: Return of a King

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Year Song Other performers Album
2009 "Runaway Train"[10] Rachel Nothing W/O You
2011 "Get In"[17] PRo, D-Maub PSA Vol. 2
"Survivor"[19] Da' T.R.U.T.H., Sean Simmonds The Whole Truth
"Drink from His Cup"[18] PRo Dying to Live
"Poppin' Off"[21] Canon Blind World
2012 "Ni**as In Paris (AllStar Remix)"[70] Flo, Canon, Young Chozen, Tedashii, Eshon Burgundy Remixed, non-album track
"Runaways"[71] Alex Faith Honest 2 God
"No Regrets"[27] Lecrae Church Clothes
"Fuego"[12] Lecrae, KB Gravity (iTunes edition)
2013 "Fantasy (Karac Drum & Bass Remix)"[72] Trip Lee, Karac Remix, non-album track
"Made for This"[73] Butta P Gurl Code
2014 "Love Never Leaves"[74] Tedashii Below Paradise
"Best of Me"[56] Swoope Sinema
"All My Love"[75] Trip Lee Rise
"Better"[57] Jackie Hill-Perry, JGivens The Art of Joy
2015 "Calling You"[12] KB Tomorrow We Live
2016 "Mixed Signals"[64] Da' T.R.U.T.H., Ravi Zacharias It's Complicated
"Perfectly Human"[64] Da' T.R.U.T.H.

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director
"Get Up"[76] 2014 Amisho Baraka

References[edit]

  1. ^ Natalie Lauren (@msnatalielauren) (June 25, 2011). "Happy Birthday to me". Twitter. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Natalie Lauren (@msnatalielauren) (June 21, 2014). "4 days to 30 & life has no Chill.... Jeju for the night". Twitter. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  3. ^ Natalie Lauren (@msnatalielauren) (June 17, 2012). "The very fact that I woke up 2day, called my daddy who is alive & clean is evidence of God's redemptive Power! Love me some Charles Sims Jr!". Twitter. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Marshall, Christopher (January 15, 2013). "DFW116KB's NYE2013 Interview: Suzy Rock". YouTube. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Sketchthej (March 26, 2013). "Suzy Rock – My 1st experience with Christian hip hop..." YouTube. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
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External links[edit]