Natasha Antoinette Anastasiades, a promising singer-songwriter on the verge of stardom, was killed on March 6 2005 in a car crash. She left a body of work which her music producer father Mario has spent an astonishing 7 years completing.
‘I made a promise, after she died, that it would be released,’ says Mario Anastasiades. ‘And I have spent 7 years trying to keep this promise. It’s to encourage other parents to do something positive, become a spokesperson.’
The Natasha Tribute album is released June 25 on Rise International Music, and has been produced by Mario and Chaz Dabat for The Natasha Foundation and the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Crossing styles and genres, from R’n’B to ballads, dance tracks to cover versions, it’s an unprecedented combination of original compositions, collaborations, vocal donations and inclusions from a galaxy of stars. Mario coordinated the production of the album with the help of his friend Chaz Dabat who produced it.
Standout tracks include the hook-laden mid-tempo ballad and future single, ‘Yell Cut’ (featuring Marcella Detroit and Antony Costa), the slinky eastern-tinged hip hop of ‘Follow My Lead’ (Marc Nelson), and the sprightly ‘In 2 U’, which features Natasha’s ex band mate Lara Copcutt. Elsewhere, there’s a heartfelt cover of the Cat Stevens classic ‘Can’t Keep It in’, and two tracks produced by the Berman Brothers (‘Who Let The Dogs Out’?) – the ballad ‘Without You’ and smash hit Britney-esque anthem ‘Breaking All The Rules’ . Almost all the tracks contain Natasha’s vocals, but some, such as George Michael’s ‘Edith & The Kingpin’ and the fantastic ‘Natasha’s American Heart’ (Boy George),) were gifts from the artists themselves. The album ends with ‘Heavenly Star,’ a moving paean to his daughter written and performed by Mario himself.
Mario is a former singer-songwriter who scored a hit in the early 90s with the Top 5 EMI-signed dance act Hyper Go Go, as well as going on to be signed to BMG as part of Latin Touch. He managed his daughter Natasha and three times they came close to a deal, before her untimely death.