Under the roaring traffic of the Manhattan Bridge, Natalia Kills, dressed in bikini bottoms and a fur bomber jacket, straddles a matte-black Harley Davidson SuperLow. The sun is moments from setting and Dumbo is freezing, but the petite 24-year-old musician looks right at home commandeering a whole lot of horsepower. “I’ve been fascinated by motorbikes for a long time,” she says in her hybridized British-American accent.
Kills, who has been compared to Lady Gaga, makes electro-dance anthems laced with cool English lyricism. But despite her mainstream appeal, she says her music comes from a personal place. “When I write, I don’t think about how a song will sound on the radio,” she says. “I just love making songs—I’ve made hundreds of them.” A sampling of these tracks will be heard when Kills (who also co-directs her music videos, styles her backup dancers, and shoots her own dramatic web series, Love, Kills xx) releases her debut album, Perfectionist, in March.
En route to Terminal 5, where she will soon slay the crowd before headliner Robyn takes the stage, Kills’ thoughts shift back to fast vehicles. “Consider the culture here,” she says, pointing to a passing Range Rover. “Look at that thing! You guys are obsessed with four-by-four, people-carrying cars! I love New York.
Photo by Brooke Nipar. Styling by Shibon Kennedy.