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Natalie Inga: Keep Showing Up


Calgary artist Natalie Inga describes herself as “raised on folk music.” She says her earliest and most powerful influence was her dad. “We listened to Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell. And when I was eight, my parents suggested I sing ‘Both Sides Now’ for the school talent show.”

Her father learned the guitar part and played while she sang. It’s remarkable to her now, she says, “because he’s so shy! He won’t come on stage anymore, but that was a formative experience.”

Fast forward to today and Inga has learned some valuable lessons about taking chances and trying new things. “I never really got one-on-one music lessons. That felt like a limitation early in my adult life, but I have put so much time into learning things on my own. I no longer feel like this is a problem.”

Inga says her new album, Nothing Less Than Me, is about stepping in and pushing forward. “I make mistakes, but I have come to trust my ability to learn and put in the work. I play a lot of different instruments now. I taught myself to play guitar and stumbled into alternate tunings.”

Nothing Less Than Me was recorded at Wheelhouse Sound recording studio in High River, with producer/engineer Paul Zacharias. Some of the tracks were created during gathering restrictions, so musicians submitted tracks that they recorded remotely. Other songs were recorded live in the studio.

“The album is a blend of remote work and collaborative work, where we could be in the studio together,” says Inga. “So many incredible players contributed.”

Inga once heard fellow Calgary musician Lisa Jacobs say, “Show up, keep showing up, and get better.” She took that to heart. “I challenge myself, and I love to work hard on my music.”

When asked what it means to her to see her career growing in reach and scope, Inga reflects on her musical beginnings. “I graduated from theatre school in Rosebud, in 2013. I landed in Calgary because the arts are about community in Alberta. Artists support each other, and that helps us expand beyond the province. Some of my goals have been achieved because of the support I have had.”

Natalie Inga will play in Lethbridge, Edmonton, and Calgary in May. Find details at