The title of my album is: My Journey. It’s basically my portrait in progress; I sing about all the different phases of my life that have brought me to this point. It is my hope that by expressing my experience through music, I'll continue to heal, and others will find hope and comfort as well -Natalie Cadét
This song is basically a “Dear John” letter to Depression, something I’ve struggled with for years. Like a bad boyfriend, it has enslaved me, crippled me, and brought me to a place where I was completely dysfunctional and even suicidal. I had no choice but to face the problem and deal with it. Writing this song last summer helped me to do just that, and it has given me the strength to move on. I hope it can help someone else who is battling this disease. Lyrics
Along My Journey, I had the pleasure of working with Reggie Hamilton and we became fast friends. His funky style and cool vibe gave me a new perspective on music and life. This song deals with an issue that has plagued so many women and girls, including me. Beauty is a wonderful gift, but some play up the beauty card to compensate for things they don’t have - love, acceptance, or someone who values them for who they really are, flaws and all. Others don’t think much of themselves and only feel beautiful when they belong, when they matter to someone or when they are enough. This song is basically saying that beauty comes from the inside, and only you can determine what kind of person you want to be. Discovering this inner beauty is a journey, and it’s all about finding and being who you really are. YOU define Beauty. Beauty IS being you! Lyrics
I was in between relationships when the lyrics of this song first came to me. Somehow, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was just another girl in someone’s “hall of shame;” just another one who didn’t work out, a disappointment, or a passing fancy. This took its toll on my self esteem. I felt like damaged goods, of no value, a failure. But like all journeys, it took time to realize how bad it really was. It wasn't until a year later, wasted from another bad relationship, that I finally was able to finish writing this song with the brilliant Raul Ferrando. Lyrics
I got off the phone one morning, mentally exhausted from life, and emotionally drained from a situation I had been dealing with. The last thing I wanted to do that day was to think, or worry, or work. I shared these sentiments with Tony, who incidentally, felt like taking a mental health day himself, telling him that all I wanted to do was smile for a living. We laughed about it, but then realized it was a great idea for a song. For the next twenty-four hours, the lyrics and melody poured out of me, making my day much brighter. I realized that life was all about taking in the beauty of every moment, and I had nothing to lose if I just learned to smile and enjoy it. My thanks to Tony for his advice with adjusting the lyrics and helping with the finishing touches. Lyrics
Working on this song was no coincidence. Over the course of working on this album, I had an experience that made the lyrics very real to me. As I got to know him, it was as if he knew me better than I knew myself, and would sometimes express things that I could never dare say, because I was too afraid. In spite of knowing my story, he never abandoned me, but helped me to heal through music. Though he will remain nameless, at his request, I dedicate this song to him. He broke me down with his gentle words, in a way that left a lasting impression on my heart. My thanks to Alvin Chea for graciously singing the bass for the bridge interlude. Lyrics
Writing with Tony Shepperd was an experience I will never forget; it was like instant chemistry, like we had been writing for years! At his suggestion, we wrote a song about the feelings associated with unrequited love, and what it was like to love and adore someone without these affections being reciprocated. It could be that the other person may not know, or there is a fear of being rejected by that special someone. In either case, I feel like it's something many lovers could relate to. Writing this song could not have been more timely, as I was experiencing these feelings with someone I couldn’t stop thinking about. Lyrics
Sometimes things are pure and simple, this song is about enjoying the ride of life. Lyrics
This is the oldest tune on the record, written while I was still a student at Oakwood University. I was struggling, and trying to make sense of all the boundaries and rules that seemed to control my life. Like walls, they surrounded me, and I felt trapped. I talked with God, asking Him to help me accept and stay within the ones He put there to keep me from falling. Years later, I believe God has helped me to understand that the walls I was trapped in, were caused by a misperception of Him and the world around me. He loves me, and made me to walk a journey with him through music, in a path that leads beyond walls. Lyrics
“One night of passion with a man I do not love anymore.” I lived this nightmare because I wasn't with the man I truly loved. Many people have asked whom this song was about, all I can tell you is the thought of him made me feel safe. It made me free. It allowed me to love again. Lyrics
Tony really wanted me to do a cover of a classic jazz tune for this project. I had become obsessed with Nat King Cole’s Pick Yourself Up, and for over three months tried my damnedest to come up with an arrangement that worked. Tony suggested that I should consider the song, Take Five. Within a week I'd completed this arrangement. Working on this song taught me not to over-think things, to relax, and focus on what I enjoy most about the tune. My many thanks to Katisse for bringing the vibe on the alto sax.
Last, but not least, my journey would not be what it is without holding the hand of God. He is the Giver of life, and has given me the gift of music. My Journey has allowed me to know Him in a way that I've never known Him before. I wrote this song as a prayer to God following the example of David, my favorite musician in the Bible. I remember reading the Psalms, one day, and chapter 41:10 jumped out at me: “Lord, have mercy on me. Make me well again, so I can pay them back!” In my darkest days, this became the prayer I breathed for the sake of both my friends…and enemies. For every person who rejected me, and for those who believed in me, heal me, so I can repay them. They say the best revenge is by living well, and I wanted nothing more than to be healed, happy, and complete. I believe God is answering this prayer through the grace and mercy that follows me, and the music I make everyday of my life. Lyrics
Hope (Moving Train) Written by Natalie Cadét and Tony Shepperd TinyTot Music ASCAP, FatherOfFour ASCAP
It was one of those times when events were unfolding quickly in our lives, and we weren’t sure if it was a good or a bad thing. I remember Tony asking every once in awhile, “Ever feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel... but it’s coming from a moving train?!? 😊” It inspired the lyrics to this song. Oddly enough, hope never seems to come as you expect it to. It may arise out of bad news, and crazy circumstances that are far beyond your control. But if you trust that God has put you on the right path, then you must trust the journey that you are on. This is My Journey. I hope what I’ve shared through my music will inspire you along your journey.