Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Natalie Saint-Martin invites her listeners to prioritize themselves above what others have to say in her emotional wrecking new single titled ,”2ND PLACE”.

The approachable story takes us on a introspective journey, revisiting key life moments where life seems to lead to an inhabited dead end in a darkened road leaving the listener feeling like they are second best. For Saint-Martin, the lyrics are extremely personal for her as it looks back to her past memories living in LA where things weren’t aligning the way they she expected.

We had an intriguing chat with Saint-Martin as she was preparing for the song and video release of “2ND PLACE” where we spoke about the meaning behind the new track, how to stay in a positive space after a hard day and how Murphy’s Law inspired the concept for the music video for “2ND PLACE”.

Saint-Martin’s new single is an unearthly, quirky music spectacle. Her theatrical soulful voice shines as the song ascends to it’s brilliant first verse, the rich textures of her voice emits a fiery confidence that makes it clear she will not be settling for second place in her life any longer. Saint-Martin explains what the song means to her; “2nd Place means reminding to put yourself first. It stands as a reminder to keep yourself in 1st place in your heart and in your mind, despite what anyone else thinks.” When emotionally draining difficult days occur, Saint-Martin examines her feelings on paper. “I love to write. Usually, I don’t know how to lift myself back up until I can read what I’m feeling on paper. Typically, this all gets written in a span of 10 or 20 minutes, but with no regard to the clock.  The words start transforming into the complexities and most often, the trivial hang ups I’ve had that week. I’ll sit and stare at what I have written until I want to write about the good. Because it’s always there, waiting for you to acknowledge it. Life creates a ceiling of rainclouds until you remind yourself that you are in fact the only sunshine that is meant to clear it.”

The recording sessions for “2ND PLACE” were a unique process where Saint-Martin sat at the piano singing out her ideas with her cowriter until the song was completed. She describes the memorable sessions: “When we started production with 2nd Place, every idea we had was so new. This was the second song that I had ever recorded with David. The recording process that we do is a little different, I will sit at the piano and sing the song straight through over and over again until we get a solid take. Whenever we do, there is this magic feeling when everything starts coming to life. The ideas start blooming and there are so many that you’re trying to catch up to them. After we finished the song, it felt like we had grown a mossy, jungle garden of ideas. And it was finally time to see if the rest of the world wanted to swing from its vines.”

Songs are moments captured in time, depending on the song’s story it can encapsulate a reminder or epiphany about life. In the case of “2ND PLACE” it’s a reminder after all the dark moments where life made you feel you were not good enough, there is hope around the corner and things will get better. Saint-Martin reflects on whether reliving those past moments is a challenging process and if it helps her cope with the emotions from the past; “I love this question because there are hundreds of answers. Some days it feels distant, like a smell you recognize but can’t place where it’s from. Then there’s are days where it becomes very apparent that our emotions are fleeting. And that’s one of the most wonderful and complicated parts of life. 2nd Place reminds me how humans are always feeling great one moment and feeling like shit the next. Keep your glass half-full of hopeful stardust, the universe is never ending.”

The track serves as a life reminder for Saint-Martin, learning how to champion yourself regardless the adversity you are faced with. “I learned that I am allowed to be 1st Place. I learned to happily welcome and experience the hard times in paradise until they become good. I want 2nd Place to be a reminder to myself and hopefully to others, that even though you may feel runner up in every aspect your life; you are always allowed to be 1st place in your heart and in your mind.”

The eye popping music visual for “2ND PLACE” is an ingenious movie like film. Saint-Martin is in a mysterious place at nightfall with commanding close up scenes conveying the doubts that have crossed her mind as she is unable to break free from a toxic mindset pattern of insecurities embedded by life. As the video begins to unravel the story, we find Saint-Martin unable to break from the push and pull of self doubts. Saint-Martin reveals how Murphy’s law played a fundamental role in the creative process of the music video. “The concept for the video was to be “floating” from a bridge, to convey the feeling of trying to stay afloat in the ocean with house sized waves above you. To capture the way Murphys Law swings at us when we think we have nothing left. It really was a struggle though. I was hanging under that bridge with a gargantuan, cartoon like, wedgie from the harness holding me up. So ridiculous and hilarious all you can do is laugh that the DIY process of it all was the most rewarding part, now looking back. I chose this song because we all feel this way at some point in our lives, and it felt like it was the most appropriate way to begin the release of all the music we’ve made the last two years.”

The music video was created with a small group of people who wanted to create something DYI and break new ground with the same shared passion, Saint-Martin shares the moments that stick out to her during the making of the video; “I think the most memorable part of the video shoot was that it was all filmed with two people. Three people including myself. My incredibly talented and PATIENT videographer Zak had to climb 20 feet in the air and attach the lights to the top of the bridges train tracks with tow straps and duct tape. That was the most slap-stick, last minute resort option available. Like the rest of the shoot, we just used what we had and put as much heart into it as we could. I hope our love for this project is showcased in the visual creativity and oddity of resource.

Saint-Martin hopes her fans take away the message of always giving yourself the starring role in your life after they listen and watch the music video for “2ND PLACE”, she explains she “wants people to take away that no matter how much pain and trauma we have gone through, we are always the beacon of light that shows there is more for us. We are meant to be on this earth. Through the hurdling and unpredictable odds of ending up on this planet; we are lucky enough to get to go through the human experience and make the best of it that we can.I want 2nd Place to stand as a reminder for this. And again, despite what anyone says; you are always allowed to be 1st Place in your heart and in your min” As we conclude our interview with Saint-Martin, she teases what is coming up in the immediate future for her: “Shows in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York. And a lot more music. I hope you stick around to hear what’s next. All my love.”

Watch the music video for “2ND PLACE” below.

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Photo Credit: ARTEM NADYOZHIN