Natti Natasha Was Told Her Career Would Be Over After Becoming Pregnant, Here's How She's Proving Them Wrong
By Liz Calvario
There is a new confidence and glow to Natti Natasha and it's not because she became a mother this year. The Dominican singer in a sense welcomed two babies into her life this year; daughter Vida in May and new album NattiVidad (released on Friday).
"It's very important for me to keep being myself, because that's something that I actually fought at one certain moment when I was in the middle of the album and I found out I was pregnant," Natti, 34, tells ET ahead of the album's release. "I don't want to ask for permission to keep [working and being me]. I couldn't leave Natti Natasha on the side, who I have worked for for so many years. It's my project. But now I have two huge projects in my life and I had to give love to both of them."
Singing from a young age, Natti broke out on the scene in the late 2010s, getting recognition as she collaborated with Ozuna on "Criminal," Becky G on "Sin Pijama," and "No Lo Trates" with Pitbull and Daddy Yankee. She cemented herself as one to watch when she dropped her debut album, ilumiNATTI, in 2019.
Where ilumiNATTI was a fun and fresh introduction to the artist, NattiVidad is a bold and strong message to the industry that she is here to stay. There's also a maturity and growth in NattiVidad that comes from the confidence in Natti's powerful vocals that perfectly translates to the empowering and dynamic lyrics.
"To tell you the truth, I grew more professionally now than at any other point in my life and it's crazy. You wouldn't think that," she expresses. "People were saying my career was going to end [after I announced my pregnancy]. I thought that was really mean. And I'm like, I'm going to show everyone out there that that is not true and that a Latina girl representing the urban genre can do whatever she wants and she can succeed."
Natti announced she was pregnant in February 2021 while performing at Premio Lo Nuestro. The singer was previously told she wouldn't be able to have a child after having a fallopian tube removed. Dreaming of becoming a mother one day, she underwent in vitro fertilization to get pregnant.
She began working on her sophomore album when she found out she was expecting her first child with now-fiancé and manager Raphy Pina.
"I had a lot of songs already, created the ideas. Because of the pandemic and everything that was going on, I wanted happy songs. So that's what I did. Well, once I found out I was pregnant, then there were other songs that I just dared to do that I wanted to do for such a long time," she recalls. "Like 'No Quiero Saber,' which is a remake of the Fugees' 'Ready or Not.' I did the girl version of 'P.I.M.P.' I gave it a little bachata twist. I collaborated with some other girls, with Farina, Cazzu, La Duraca for "Las Nenas," with Becky [G] again. I feel like I gave way more energy once I found out I was pregnant."
The 16-track LP also includes a collaboration with Maluma called "Imposible Amor." The duo dropped the sizzling music video on Thursday. She also has tracks with Prince Royce, Justin Quiles, Nio Garcia and more. NattiVidad's cover art features a rose gold stroller, a nod to her baby girl.
The album's description notes that it signifies her rebirth and is meant to empower women to pursue anything they want. While it's only been a couple of months as a new mom, she's finding a balance between being a mama and a Latina urban queen.
"It's a challenge. It's a reality of real life. And like every woman out there, every mom out there, even if you're not a mom, you're juggling and you're trying to keep everything together with schedules and everything. But you find a way because now you're not working only for yourself, but you're working for your family," she explains, adding that what keeps her motivated is the need to grow. "It's very important to have a motive and a drive, and I feel like she did that to me. I already worked a lot, but now I feel complete. I feel happy. And it's very important to feel good with yourself while you're doing what you love."
That happiness and feeling of being complete also translated to her relationship with her partner, Pina. The Pina Records founder is already father to three children from a previous relationship, but Natti says that seeing him with a newborn gave her a newfound respect and admiration for her fiancé.
"We work together, so we admired each other, what we did for each other and how we succeed in things. But now it's all a whole different type of support," she reflects, noting that he's a "beautiful dad" with his children. "Seeing him with a newborn and how he gets excited, he was a part of the birth, a part of everything, he was supporting me like a best friend."
"And there is nothing that I can admire more of a person than the love that they have for their family, so we balance each other out," she adds. "It's like getting to know a whole new person and I didn't think that was going to happen. So it's great and really cool."
With a famous mom and dad, Natti says her daughter will get used to the stage and being on the road "because that's what Mommy and Daddy does. That's what they do." The new mom says she now counts on her mother, Sarah, to help her take care of Vida when she's working, and couldn't be more grateful for her family's support. She's also hoping that when the time comes her mother will join her on tour to help with Vida.
"Who better than her grandma? But she's definitely going with baby Vida and me to the tours," she shares, adding that her daughter is already used to music and her job. "She had already listened to the songs and she's calm about it. She doesn't get scared. She goes back to sleep, actually. She's very used to the environment. She's definitely used to it from the belly."
Fans have been enamored with Natti, her pregnancy journey and how she's sharing more about her life than ever before. Her personal life blended into her music, creating a "beautiful song" for her daughter while pregnant. However, listeners will have to wait a while to hear the track.
"She definitely inspired me to keep working a lot on every song and all the videos, because I recorded all the videos when I was pregnant," she shares. "I have a beautiful song that is not in this album but that special song that is for her, it's definitely coming up soon."
As for getting support from her industry friends, Natti notes that Becky G is "a great friend" and a "tia" to baby Vida. "She's so sweet and she was always asking like, 'How do you feel?' And during the video for 'Ram Pam Pam' she didn't know I was pregnant yet, but I was pregnant," she recalls with a laugh. "So she was like, 'I knew it! You had a glow, you had something different!' But she always asked me about different things. And she's like, 'Whenever I have a baby, I'm definitely coming to you and asking [for advice]. You're definitely an example.'"
Natti is a fantastic example that a female can have the family she dreams of and a successful career. "You don't have to wait. I actually was nervous at a point, I was like, is it true what people say? It cannot be true. Obviously I could with a great team. We made it happen," she states, before sending a powerful message to women.
"I actually have to say to all the girls, if I was able to do it, they can do it. And to me, NattiVidad, this album, represents that. You don't have to stop being who you are. You can actually keep working on your project. And I feel like I have so much more to prove. But I am here, strong and I'm happy and you can do anything you want."
NattiVidad is out now and streaming on all platforms.