Suz is a mindset coach for music industry professionals looking to gain clarity on their goals & find a better work/life balance.





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Nat Jay The Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast Suz Paulinski

#80 | Music-Preneur Spotlight: Nat Jay

The flash of a fighter.

Nat Jay, a singer-songwriter who’s made a career from sync licensing with an ever-evolving sound, shares her process for landing sync deals and how she managed to make a work of art out of a very trying time.

Even though bad thing after bad thing sort of kept happening in my life, there was always a part of me that was fighting to move forward and move beyond it, and had this vision of life beyond what was happening to me at that moment.

You’re listening to Episode 80 of the Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.

Hello! You’re listening to Episode 80: Music-Preneur Spotlight: Nat Jay.

I’m your host, Suz – a mindset coach helping music professionals get clear on their goals and find the time to get it all done while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

It feels weird saying all of that given the times we’re in right now. In case you are listening to this episode sometime in the future, we’re halfway through April and it seems the entire world is under quarantine while we try to “flatten the curve” and spread of the Coronavirus.

Balance has gone completely out the window, as has the line between work and life. The only thing many of us are trying to maintain is our sanity. It’s in times like these that perspective is everything.

You can choose to let the circumstances bring you to your knees, or you can choose to find the kernels of joy, peace of mind, and control over your circumstances where you can.

I felt this was the perfect time to share my conversation with Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Nat Jay. In just a few minutes I have no doubts you’ll fully agree with me that Nat’s story and the lessons she shares with us are just what we need to hear right now.

She shares with us what she’s learned when it comes to building successful relationships within the sync licensing community, with over 30 song placements in film and TV including MTV, the CW, Nickelodeon, and ABC, but her words of wisdom don’t end there.

Sure, if you want to begin building your career inside the world of sync licensing you’re gonna wanna grab a pen and paper, but our conversation covers much more than music placement deals. And be sure to head to the show notes page to uncover links to all of her music and resources

During our time together, Nat takes us inside her process of not only creating music that pushes the confines of genres, but demonstrates for us how the values she’s chosen to live by and the perspective she’s decided to have around the cards life can deal out have continued to keep her not only surviving, but thriving under difficult circumstances.

A brief background before we begin, Nat Jay originally worked with producer Winston Hauschild on two EPs and her full-length album, All I Think When I Wake Up, which received a nomination for Pop Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and was included in the Top 10 Pop Albums of the Year on PopDose, landing at #3 between Taylor Swift & XCX.

She released her Stoke The Fire Christmas EP with electronic production duo Cookie Cartel in 2016, and then partnered with award-winning European pop producer Ovi for her latest album, The Flash of a Fight, which we dig into quite a bit during our talk.

I want to thank you for deciding to take some time to listen to this interview and I ask that you heed her words that she leaves us with at the end for our Actionable of the Week. So stick around til the end because it’s hands down my favorite one a guest has given.

So let’s dig in! I bring you, Nat Jay…

Suz: Okay everyone so I’m here with that Nat Jay. Thank you so much for being with us today.

Nat: Oh I’m happy to be here!

Suz: So I’ve given our listeners a little bit of background about you in our intro, but I always think it’s great to hear straight from the artists themselves. Why don’t you give our audience a little bit of background of how you got into music and why do you do what you do. What’s your why?

Nat: Well I was pretty much born into music. My parents are both musicians, so I think I came out of the womb doing music in some way. I was raised as a classical musician, like my parents, and played the flute. I went to university for that but then I had some chronic pain with my wrists and so had to leave that, but I found that I loved singing even more. My mom bought me a guitar and I started songwriting.

I mean that’s a very condensed version of my story haha but generally that’s how I got into music. I found that I really loved the writing part of it and still really that’s my favorite part – the writing and recording. And the first song that I recorded of my own ended up super randomly getting placed in a big ABC TV show. So that was when I started to sort of realize that maybe I could make a career out of this.

Went on to learn as much as I could about my industry. And since then, I’ve released a bunch of albums – I have a new one that just came out – and they’ve done really well with with sync placements in film and TV.

For me, my why with music has always just been sort of a selfish thing – it’s very cathartic for me to put my life experiences into, maybe a negative life experience put them into something beautiful into some art, and then it makes me feel better. And I mean the bonus is that other people have told me that my music made them feel better too, so I guess that’s my why in the end.

Suz: Yeah that’s beautiful. It’s really powerful to have that sort of impact on somebody and as a songwriter that’s a really great tool to have. You know I love that you said the songwriting is really what what motivates you most because I had shared with our listeners just a few of your accolades, you’re a very well awarded songwriter and you have so many credits to your name – I’m sure it’s hard to pick, but what was one of the most exciting accolades to receive as a songwriter so far?

Nat: I feel like every time that I get chosen to be in a in someone else’s like TV or film production, every single time it never gets old, and I am honored to be a part of someone else’s art. I think that’s really exciting.

I think the one that also sticks out to me is that for my last full length album, I was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for Pop Album of the Year, and it’s something that I just was not expecting. It’s voted on by your peers, so for me that felt really rewarding to be nominated for that. I think I was the happiest – they always say it’s just an honor to be nominated but it literally was – I was the happiest loser ever. I just couldn’t believe that I’d been nominated for it, so that was that was really special.

A lot of those songs had been years in the making, and we’d really put a lot of I thought and heart into that album, so it really felt great to be to be recognized by others for that, so I think that’s one that really sticks out to me.

Suz: I’m curious as to, you know you’ve gotten so many placements and and licensing has definitely been a large focus for you as a music professional, I know you mentioned that it kind of started with that ABC placement, but can you go into more detail about how that really grew?

I know a lot of our listeners feel so in the dark about sync licensing and getting their music placed – what are some of the things that you’ve learned that you might be able to shine a light on for our listeners?

Nat: For sure! I mean my very first placement on the ABC show was kind of a fluke, and it’s not the traditional way that songs get placed. And I think that can happen to anybody, but I think the reason that I continue to be successful in that area is because after I got that placement I did everything that I could to learn about that part of the industry and all the different aspects of it.

So I was really lucky with that placement that I had a very knowledgeable friend who sat down with me and went through every part of the license with me and explained it to me so I really understood all of the legal wording and everything like that that is important in a license for artists to understand.

And I always tell us it’s really important to understand the rights behind your music and understanding who owns them – what they are and who owns them. In the sync world, the two sets of rights that are very important are the Master Rights, who owns the Master, it’s usually whoever paid for the recording, so with a lot of indie artist that’s them or if they’re on a label a lot of the times it’s the label. And the other is the Publishing Rights and that’s usually the songwriter, so whether it’s split between two songwriters or whatever it is, or if there’s a publishing deal in place then it would be the publisher that splits it with you.

But whatever those splits are to understand what they are, understand what those rights are and what they mean and who owns them and have written agreements in place that show these things. Because until you understand those rights, it would be difficult to be successful in the sync world. So those are a couple of the sort of very basic things.

And then knowing sort how to set up your music for music supervisors who are the people that that select the music to go in productions and knowing how to approach them and what they need and just being as knowledgeable as possible and as easy to work with as possible so that you can continue to be successful.

Suz: Thank you for sharing that. What I love what you brought up about that is the relationship component to licensing music because I hear a lot of people talk about understanding the legalities and understanding the admin portion of it which, as you said, is very crucial and very important to wrap your brain around and also maybe know somebody who knows even more of the ins and outs of it so you know you’re protecting yourself, but also that last bit that you mention that it is about relationships and it is about knowing, as you said, what they need.

And do you find it frustrating or do you have some sort of structure to keep track of like – from what I know about licensing, you know, everybody kind of operates differently – music supervisors and editors and sync libraries – everybody kind of wants things in a different way or will find music differently. How do you kind of keep track of of your relationships in this world?

Nat: I mean everyone’s an individual so they have their preferences, but I would say there’s just certain basics that are common to all of those people. They all have the same job to do and that they have to clear certain rights, so they have to get permission from the rights holders to use a certain piece of music, so the more information that you can get them on that, the easier you’ll be to work with. So that’s again understanding those rights.

Also things like having the right metadata embedded in your tracks. So that’s all that all the copyright splits, having contact info including email and phone number, having lyrics embedded in there, you know sometimes they use those for closed captioning, and just having all that information readily available will make that relationship with them very smooth and interacting very quickly with them.

Our music supervisors are often on very short timelines, the quicker you can get back to them the better. And sometimes they need something like an instrumental from you because they need to sort of edit it around dialogue or something like that, so having instrumentals or .WAV files ready is really important – just getting back to them as quickly as possible with those things and having them ready and not having them have to wait for it.

I think that I’ve been successful with just a sort of small strong network of music supervisors over the years, so I’ve gotten to know them well and what they kind of like. I try not to bug them too much because I know they’re really busy. So I contact when I have new music. I make sure that I’m educated on what they’re doing without having to ask them, “What are you working on?” That information is often readily available on their website or on IMDB. And not following up too often because I know that they get inundated with emails.

So it’s just sort of understanding how they work and what the sort of our work flow is that they go through when they’re trying to do their job and helping them to do it as much as possible.

Suz: Yeah, that’s incredibly valuable information to share with us and a real kind of peek behind the curtain so thank you for sharing that with our audience. I really always tried to tell all of our listeners that, you know, it is about relationships and about showing up and serving the people that you want to connect with and it sounds like you’ve got that down to a tee and it sounds like something that comes very naturally to you in terms of like a “givers gain” mentality and just showing up and being professional and doing the work, so that’s a great example for everyone tuning in, so thank you for that!

Nat: Yeah I actually I think that songwriters are actually like ahead of the game with that because I mean we’re all observers and I mean all you have to sort of do to make a connection with someone is to is sort of observe them and try to figure them out. And that’s what we’re trying to do with our songs is sort of observe the world and trying to figure it out and make some sense to it. So I think that’s something that can be applied to relationship building too is sort of figuring out what makes a person tick and how can I sort of best serve them, you know?

Suz: For sure! That’s a really great observation because I do think that some people, especially when they get started, overthink it and they forget, just as you said, it’s like you’re using your skillsets. These are your natural abilities and strengths that you’re leveraging to your advantage in using them.

You know, you’ve used them in songwriting and now you’ve used them on the industry side. I think musicians and songwriters in particular don’t give themselves enough credit, but there’s so many skillsets that you bring to the table in that realm that you can apply to other situations such as that.

So I think it’s a really great point to make that everyone out there listening who wants to do this and and feels like licensing is this big scary world, you have a lot of the skillsets that you need and you just need to have the confidence to tap into them and tap into them in a different way… Or maybe not even in a different way but just use them for a different goal then when you sit down and write a song, and I think that’s a really important point to bring up.

Nat: Yeah absolutely. I mean I think that a lot of artists are scared of the business side of things, but they really do have a lot of the same skills that are required for the other side. They have the creativity, they have the dedication, whether it’s to their instrument or to their art or whatever it is, and if they put that same kind of mentality into the the business side of things then they can be just as successful and they can understand it and it can be just as creatively rewarding and fun as the music side of it, too!

Suz: Absolutely and one of the last things I’ll ask you on the licensing front is, as a songwriter, and I’m sure it’s a very personal journey to sit and write a song, and it comes from somewhere inside of you, but when you are licensing music, do you find that you ever sit down and write for a particular project in mind or for particular show that you might want to get placement on?

Or do you just write, see what comes out, and then see where this might be a good fit for one of the supervisors that you know? Or is it always changing? Like what’s that process as a songwriter like?

Nat: Well this is a question I get a lot from artists – whether I sit down and write specifically with licensing in mind – and it’s definitely something that I’ve thought about thinking about if that makes sense! And it’s always something that I tend to dismiss, that thought.

I mean when I was first starting out with songwriting I really didn’t know what I was doing and I just wrote what I thought sounded cool and that first album has been the most successful as far as licensing goes and sales goes – it’s just like off the charts compared to my other albums. And I think it was because I just was like writing you know what felt good to me, and as a result of that it really connected with other people who felt similar things or who related to it or whatever that was.

So I’ve sort of made it a sort of mantra of mine to focus on just what feels good to me and what is meaningful to me because I think that that’s the reason that I’ve been successful in licensing is because it does fit with other narratives and to connect with other people and it does tend to resonate on a larger scale. But I think if I had a different focus then I feel like it wouldn’t connect because it wasn’t as genuine.

Suz: Yeah, I think that’s a really great way to explain it. It kind of basically flows into my next question which was you know I know throughout the EP’s you’ve done in the past, you’ve even done a Christmas EP, you definitely haven’t been afraid to change genres a little bit and explore different sounds going from say more of a singer-songwriter to more electro pop. I know I remember reading on your website, your latest album The Flash of A Fight, and this you
mentioned being more of a collaborative approach where your producer, Ovi – how has that been as an artist?

Do you find excitement and like a thrill to kind of switch up the genre and change things or do you do it to more so challenge yourself? Or is it just, “This is what I’m feeling and this is what I’m gonna do,” because I’ve seen some musicians get worried like, “Ooh I want to try a different sound, but how will that affect my brand?” Or, ”Will my audience resonate with it? Do I have to find a new audience?” and again this overthinking that happens – did you go through any of that? Or did you just let whatever music was coming from you come from you? Like what has that journey been to kind of switch it up between EP’s?

Nat: It felt like a big decision and not a big decision all the same time. Because I knew that I was making quite a big change up for this recent album, but at the same time it felt easy because it felt like it was just the right thing for me to do. It felt like that was what was coming out of me.

I’d been thinking about doing this kind of album for a long time, even when I did the last album, but I just didn’t have the right tools then. As a songwriter, I was working with a different producer and that more electronic thing it’s not really his forté and so we approach the previous album differently where we could both use our strengths at the time.

But I went through a lot of changes in my personal life between those two albums and so I was feeling a bit like a different person. I’ve always been sort of in the poppy realm, and what was it that first you know got me into pop music? And I remembered when I was a teenager and I was in a hip-hop dance group and I loved a lot of that more sort of mainstream, commercial sounding pop. And it’s always been something that I love to listen to and that I’ve always wanted to try and I just happen to have the right collaborator come into my life.

I was writing with a few different people and trying out a few different producers and I really just connected with Ovi and his style. And he brought the best out of me and I really just got a feeling for it through his work. It felt like it was time to sort of reconnect with that part of myself and I think that it does sound different from my previous albums, but I think that there’s still that element of me in there because I’m still connecting with, you know, my life experience.

It is still in the pop realm. I always have sort of hooky songs and so this was no different. So I think it was just sort of a natural progression. You mentioned that Christmas album that we did a few years back, and that was actually sort of a precursor because I was working with this electronic production duo Cookie Cartel and that sort of opened my mind to like, “Oh I can still sound like me in this more electronic sort of area,” and so that kind of opened my eyes to the fact that I could sort of be successful by transitioning into this new genre and still maintain some consistency in what the Nat Jay brand is.

And so far I’ve had really great response from people. All my previous fans have been like, “Wow that sounds great! I’m really liking this new side of you!” And it’s brought in a whole bunch of new fans as well, so it’s been really exciting to explore that. And Ovi and I are planning to do a lot more together in the coming years as well.

Suz: That’s wonderful! A lot of the things that I love about your approach to sharing your music with your fans is not only celebrating the milestones, like when you hit a certain milestone in streams or in video views or things like that, but also getting creative with how to celebrate a singles release or celebrate a certain milestone.

You know I remember seeing on your Instagram, I’m actually looking at it right now. I know you’re single ‘Sleep’ that was released earlier this year – the giveaway that you did. You ran a little contest to celebrate the fact that it was getting so many streams and so much love that you that you ended up collaborating with a wellness store and I love this creative, outside-ofthe-box thinking to take the theme of the song and link it with a lifestyle brand and say, “Hey let’s do something for the fans.”

So can you share a little bit about how that came about because I’d really like to see more musicians thinking in this way and expanding their music beyond their march t-shirt or their CD. Seeing that you’re expanding this with other brands, how did that come about?

Nat: Yeah well I mean it was always sort of a part of the marketing plan to have contesting as a part of the the whole release campaign and we sort of thought we would want to have it related to sleep, and we thought about, you know, making a sort of package on Amazon or something – you know like a sleep mask and this and that. And then eventually I don’t know somehow I always come back to what’s meaningful to me and Saje is just one of those products that I really like and I use all the time.

I just really wanted to share that with my fans and I thought something that’s personal to me, again just sort of like in my songs, would be meaningful to someone else too. I will say Saje is not paying me to say any of this and we found out that they actually don’t do partnerships like that, so it was my own decision to sort of promote them.

I just wanted something that I would know the quality of, that would be beneficial to my fans, that they can get excited about, and that was tied into the music just to keep it I guess on a personal level. One of my really long time fans won the contest. I was like, “Oh she’s gonna love this!” And she tweeted about it and she did and it really was meaningful to her.

Suz: And I think that’s beautiful about all of that is that, as you said, yes there’s a strategy and yes there’s marketing involved and all those things, but when you’re able to have it come from an authentic place where this is something that’s meaningful for you and that this speaks to your truth and what you’re writing about and what your music is saying, it’s going to resonate with your fan base as it clearly did, and those are the times that it really pays off.

And I think throughout all of your journey that you shared with us here today, a common theme that I’m seeing is that you’ve always stayed true to you. If you want to explore different types of music, you do that, and your core fans will stay with you and it will resonate because it’s still you. It’s okay to change from you know folk/singer-songwriter to more pop to more electronic to collaboration to Christmas EPs, you know, all these things though are still you and making sure that comes out in it is really important, and you’ve also always maintain relationships.

How can you be there for the music supervisors and make their jobs easier? How can you be there for your fans and thank them for the support that they’ve shown you? And I think that’s a really beautiful way to to build your career and make it sustainable and I’m not surprised at all by the accolades and the responses you’ve been getting from your music because that’s really where it starts.

Nat: Yeah, thanks! I mean ever since I was little, my parents tell me that I wanted to do things my own way and on my own schedule, and I guess I just can’t – like part of me always things like oh I’ve made great decisions but part of me is just like but I can’t help it. Like I can’t help just doing what I want to do. I never wanted to be sort of controlled by the world or having to do something. As soon as you tell me I have to do something, I automatically don’t want to do
it, so I feel like I just have to be me – it would be too much work to be somebody else.

Suz: I love that! It’s too much work to be somebody else – I like that a lot! That’s really great. You know, speaking of being controlled by the world, as we’re speaking we’re at a time right now where we’re all sort of being told what to do. We’ve got to stay inside and we’ve got to live in a very uncertain times for a lot of people and this can be very stressful really for everyone, whether they’re stressing out about health issues, whether they’re stressing out about, “I’ve never worked from home before,” or stressing out that, “I had a plan and now my plan needs to be adjusted,” whether it’s in a smaller or major way, this all has kind of been throwing people for a loop and everyone seems to be trying to define their “new normal” and find their balance again, if we ever have balance.

We’re certainly trying to find it, but what I like about how you’ve approach it and how you’ve shown up for your audience – you shared recently about one of the songs from your album, The Flash of a Fight, is “Work of Art” – can you tell us a little bit more about “Work of Art” and how it resonates with what a lot of us are going through right now?

Nat: Yeah. I mean, “Work of Art” I feel like even its conception is kind of like indicative of the song itself. I remember I had taken a day off work specifically to go into the studio and write this last song for the album, and my producer had said he was sick and he couldn’t come in. And I remember being so frustrated that I was losing money and now couldn’t go into the studio so I sat there thinking, “Well, I can either sit here and pout all day, or I can try and start something.” So I went onto Splice and I found this amazingly beautiful piano sample. This one was like a full like piano sort of phrase that was sort of very developed, and I started writing something over top of it and it was the chorus to “Work of Art.”

I just found like it just came out of me quite easily. It was the last song that was finished for the album. And that song is kind of about sort of whatever life throws at you, sort of making the best of it and turning it into your own work of art.

Getting through whatever it is that life throws at you, and knowing that you can start again and you can build something new and something great from wherever you’re starting. When I brought it into the studio it kind of further developed into these verses that were very inspired by these amazing lyricists, The Bergman’s, they were a husband and wife duo from many years ago who wrote many beautiful songs like the Barbra Streisand song and stuff.

It felt very meaningful when I looked at it the other day about everything that we’re going through right now and how it feels like we have all just been thrown for a loop then are trying to catch up and don’t know when this is going to end – there’s a lot of uncertainty.

But just knowing that in that an uncertainty that there’s always an end to everything – nothing is permanent and that we can start again and we can turn this into a positive.

Suz: Yeah, thank you! That is just such a beautiful sentiment to share, and I’m sure brings a lot of support and help to our listeners. I know it’s brought me support just listening to, so thank you for sharing that.

And as a reminder to all of our listeners in today’s show notes you’ll find all the links to Nat Jay’s music including her most recent album. I highly recommend streaming it and taking a listen. It’s a really beautiful work of art – see what I did? I made a pun there.

Before we get to our rapid fire questions I’d like to it to dig in a little bit more to Flash of a Fight – what the journey was like with that album and Ovi and what you’re most excited about for the future of this album and what’s to come.

Nat: Yeah I mean I’ve been thinking about the album a lot just these past couple of weeks and how the songs are kind of taking on another meaning for me right now. I wrote that album coming out of a pretty dark place of having had some health issues and having been in a car accident, and I was just sort of in a really dark place and wasn’t sure how to get out of it.

I think writing a lot of these songs, a lot of of what I was writing about came from those events, and with everything that’s going on right now I feel like a lot of the songs are sort of taking on a different meaning for me and what we’re gonna all going through right now collectively. I find it really amazing how songs can sort of transition from one event to another and mean something completely different.

My producer, Ovi, had never done an album like that before. He usually works on his own, and he’s in the pop world and he’s always sort of going for that hit. And this was a very different approach for him where we were just literally serving the song and the idea and where he didn’t have to sort of play to what a label’s needs were – he would just come up with the track and then I would write the top-line, which is the melody and lyrics on top of that.

We were just the right partnership in that we collaborated well together. I sort of let him do what he was doing in the track which I would normally have more input in, but I really liked everything he was doing so I kind of left him alone and he said he would normally be like giving more input into the top-line, but he just liked everything I was doing so he just left me alone.

So we kind of worked alone together really well. And I hope they go and listen to it right now, too, because I think a lot of the songs are really meaningful for the time that we’re all having right now, and I really appreciate anyone who checks it out.

Suz: What made you name it The Flash of a Fight?

Nat: Well, The Flash of a Fight is a lyric in one of the sort of less-commercial songs in there, a song called “No Bright Light.” That song is probably one of the darkest songs on there because it was written sort of about my car accident and also several months later when I had surgery and then had some complications and suffered several pulmonary embolisms.

So basically I could have died a couple of times within a few months, and it sort of really made me question my own mortality and how close we are to, you know, the edge of that and I found that in those moments that I guess I thought they would be sort of more momentous or glorious, but all there sort of kind of was this little me there just trying to fight through it.

And it struck me of one because I thought it would be like a sort of bigger more momentous occasion, but it also struck me because even though I was going through this horrible thing that there was still a little part of me that was fighting.

And I felt like that really encompassed a lot of what I’ve been going through that even though bad thing after bad thing sort of kept happening in my life there was always a part of me that was that was fighting to move forward and move beyond it and had this vision of life beyond what was happening to me at that moment. So I guess that’s where the flash of a fight came from. Also I’ll admit I thought it sounded cool and had cool alliteration.

Suz: I am such an alliteration nerd, so I hear you on that one! Thank you for sharing that and I’m truly sorry for the struggle you’ve been through, but I’m happy and grateful that you’re here today with us to share that inspiration with us because it is definitely something that’s very timely for all of us to hear.

This can be a very dark and confusing and troubling time for a lot of people and what I keep hearing from your story and what I think is the main takeaway is that we always have a choice. And as you had said earlier you could sit there when plans don’t go as planned and just say, “boo hoo is me,” or you could make the most of it and do as much as you can to get closer to what you ultimately want.

And so I thank you for sharing that and it’s such an important lesson for us to all keep in mind that we have more control than we think we do. We might not have control over being able to go where we want to go right now, but we can certainly control how we spend our time and what we choose to focus on, thank you for sharing that.

Nat: Yeah, you’re welcome.

Suz: And rapid-fire question time!

Nat: Alright, here we go!

Suz: Here it is! If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Nat: Time travel. I definitely think time travel as long as we got to like try things again – get ‘em right.

Suz: Nice, I like that. And if you could go back in time, speaking of time travel, and tell your younger self any lesson – what would it be?

Nat: I think it would probably be it turn off the TV.

Suz: What were some of the things in the past that kept you glued to the television?

Nat: I don’t know I just – I love TV! And now it’s turned into an obsession which I mean I think I’m not the only one, thanks to Netflix.

Suz: Oh for sure.

Nat: The issue is like that you can get in on all of your devices, so like I bring it me into the bathroom when I’m getting ready. You know it’s in bed with me – it’s everywhere! It’s at work – it’s everywhere! So I feel like it’s sort of ever-present, so that’s one of the things I’m trying to do during this weird stay-at-home time is to try and find other ways to spend my time other than watching TV.

Suz: But for you, you know, it’s always good for, you know, research! It’s always good research.

Nat: This is true.

Suz: Now I’ve just said it and made it worse.

Nat: You can only use that as an excuse for one episode though, but beyond that I don’t know if it still is.

Suz: That’s fair. So if you could invite three musicians, living or dead, over for your house to dinner, you know, granted we’re not in time that we’re in, who would they be?

Nat: Provided that I got to write with them after dinner I think it would be it Chris Martin from Coldplay – I would really love to write with him! It might be it Alanis because she was one of my greatest influences since high school, and she would probably a great conversationalist. And maybe Ryan Tedder from One Republic because I think he would be super fun to write with as well!

Suz: Yeah I love him! Those are excellent choices. I’m all down for that one.

Nat: And they’re all alive, so it’s possible!

Suz: Exactly! I mean hey, I don’t know if we’ve had that happen yet on this show, so here’s to making a more realistic and very possible at night happen! So that’s wonderful! And as everyone who has listened to this show before knows we like to stay action focused in each episode. So if you could give our audience any actionable, any one thing to do this week, what would it be?

Nat: I think that it’s a time for community and coming together and helping each other out, so this was a great piece of advice that I learned about – I take a lot of my mindset lessons from sports. I’m a huge sports fan, probably bigger than I am a music fan, and I watch a lot of tennis and I was watching Roger Federer, everyone probably knows who Roger Federer is, he’s the G.O.A.T.

He was playing a match where he was just blowing it – he was playing so poorly and then somehow he came out of it and he won the match, and the interviewer asked him afterwards, “How did you accomplish that?”

And he said that he focused on the little things. When he was struggling, he focused on little things, so instead of focusing on the end result of, “I have to win this match,” which felt like the biggest mountain to climb – it was, you know, “I need to move my feet more. I’m gonna try and hit this shot down the line. I’m just gonna try and run for this shot more.” It was just very little things and in the end the result spoke for itself and he turned it around and won, so I always think that’s a really valuable lesson especially when things are tough – to just focus on the small things and let the result take care of itself.

Suz: Couldn’t have said it any better, so I won’t try. Nat Jay, thank you so much for spending some time with us today and speaking with us. I really found a lot of inspiration from your story and I’m sure our listeners have as well.

And I just want to remind our listeners to make sure you go to the show notes and check out all things Nat Jay. All of her social media links and links to her music, including her latest – The Flash of a Fight. And also you can check her out at Thank you so much for spending time with us.

Nat: Yeah, thanks so much for having me! And for sure, I’d love to connect with people on social media and stuff. I’m @officialnatjay if anyone wants to find me on Instagram or Facebook or any of those and drop me a line and say, “Hey” – I’d love to connect.

Suz: Wonderful well thanks again, and best of luck in these new times. I have no doubt you’ll make the most of it.

Nat: Thanks! You too, Suz.

Suz: Bye.

Nat: Bye.

So could you tell why her Actionable of the Week was my favorite that’s ever been given?

Anytime in life, but especially in these times, it can be so easy to get overwhelmed by the full picture of it all. When you find yourself stuck in panicked paralysis think about the importance of microtasking and remind yourself that small steps lead to big progress.

Be easy with yourself this week and in the weeks to come. If you work on anything, work on your perspective and realize that while we can’t control much these days, we CAN control how we decide to view our current circumstances. You don’t need to save the world or have it all figured out, but you can decide to flex your power where you have it.

If you’d like to connect with Nat Jay and check out her music, something I HIGHLY suggest you do, all of the links and things we mentioned can be found at And if you need additional support email me at any time

Until next time, Rock/Star! Stay healthy, stay connected, and stay home, and I hope to see you back here next time so we can get grounded to get rising! Take care.

Key Highlights

  • How she broke into the sync license world and her tips for getting placements
  • Why she’s chosen to experiment with her sound
  • How she made a “Work of Art” after her plans got turned upside down
  • The reason her fans have resonated with her new sound
  • Her recording process for her latest album The Flash of a Fight
  • The lesson she’d go back and tell her younger self
  • The super power she’d like to have
  • 3 musicians Nat Jay would invite to dinner
  • Her actionable for YOU this week:
    • Focus on the small things that you can control and let the result take care of itself


  • Theme music brought to you by DC-based Indie/Pop band Sub-Radio
  • More podcast episodes can be found here
  • You can download a copy of the episode’s transcript here
  • Stream The Flash of a Fight on Spotify – here
  • Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

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