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Natasha Khan (born 25 October 1979), better known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, is an English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She has released three studio albums, Fur and Gold (2006), Two Suns (2009) and The Haunted Man (2012), and received Mercury Prize nominations for Fur and Gold and Two Suns. Khan is also the vocalist for Sexwitch, a collaboration with the rock band Toy and producer Dan Carey.
Music Genre (Text)
Indie pop, folktronica, dream pop, baroque pop, synthpop
She Bear, Echo, Parlophone, Manimal Vinyl, Caroline, Astralwerks, Capitol
New Young Pony Club
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Claim to Fame
Bat For Lashes
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Natasha Khan (born 25 October 1979), also known by her stage name "Bat for Lashes", is a British musician. As a musician she sings and plays the piano, guitar, harpsichord and the autoharp.
Khan was born in London on 25 October 1979. Until the age of five she was raised in Wembley where her parents had met and married several years before. However her father, Rehmat Khan, a former professional squash player, decided to relocate the family to the commuter town of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire to help with his coaching of future squash world open winner Jahangir Khan, Natasha`s uncle.
As children Khan, along with her sister Suraya and brother Tariq would attend her Uncle’s squash matches, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Khan reflected that seeing her Uncle helped inspire her. "The roar of the crowd is intense; it is ceremonial, ritualistic, I feel like the banner got passed to me but I carried it on in a creative way. It is a similar thing, the need to thrive on heightened communal experience." With her father’s abandonment of the family Khan turned to the piano. Deciding to play improvised pieces instead of attending lessons Khan herself felt the piano became an outlet for her emotions. “You need to find a channel to express things, to get them out", she said.
During her teens Khan was also a victim of racism. Speaking about her time in after-school clubs she claimed “the kids there totally ripped me to shreds.” This rejection led Khan to rebel, making the decision to “bunk off” school and stay at home listening to music. “My mum would take me to the train station and I pretended to get the train; she`d drive to work and I would go home and play a tape of Nirvana all day”. With the completion of her GCSEs and A-Levels she decided to embark on a road trip through America with her boyfriend at the time, using the money earned from her part time job at a local card-making factory.
After spending three months touring through the US and Mexico Khan returned to Britain and settled down in Brighton to study a degree in music and visual arts at the University of Brighton.
atasha graduated in music and visual arts; while at university her experimental work was influenced by artists such as Steve Reich and Susan Hiller, and she produced multi-media work centred on sound installations, animations and performance. She went on to work as a nursery school teacher, and it was during this period that she began writing the material for her first album. "Whenever I`m writing music it`s a very visual place in my mind," she said. "It has a location full of characters and colours and landscapes, so those two things really complement each other, and they help the other one to blossom and support the other. They are like brother and sister."
Khan`s debut single, "The Wizard", was released digitally through Drowned in Sound records and on seven-inch vinyl through Khan`s own imprint, She Bear Records. She then signed to the record label Echo, alongside Feeder and former Moloko singer Róisín Murphy, and released her debut album, Fur and Gold, on 11 September 2006. In 2007, Bat for Lashes parted company with Echo and signed to Parlophone records. Fur and Gold was re-released with the addition of bonus material. A limited vinyl version was released by Los Angeles indie label, Manimal Vinyl in May 2007.
Khan`s music has been likened to the work of Siouxsie Sioux, Björk, Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Annie Lennox, Tori Amos and Fiona Apple.
On 17 July, Fur and Gold was announced as one of the albums nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, losing out to Klaxons` Myths of the Near Future despite being a favourite of British media to win the award. Bat for Lashes version of the The Cure`s "A Forest" appeared on a charity album called Perfect As Cats on Manimal Vinyl in late 2008. After the success of Khan`s second album Two Suns, sales of Fur and Gold in the UK increased and it was certified Silver by the BPI on 29 May 2009 for sales of 60,000.
Khan’s second album, Two Suns, was released 7 April 2009 and produced by Natasha Khan and David Kosten. In preparation for the album Khan journeyed to the Joshua Tree Desert in California in order to gain inspiration before returning to New York and London to write and record the finished material for release.
A concept album, Two Suns focuses on Khan’s desert born alter ego Pearl, whose personality she adopted while staying in New York in order to gain a better understanding of the character. She revealed to the BBC`s Newsbeat, "I really just did it as an experiment of dressing up myself with quite garish extreme feminine make-up. I wanted to photograph myself in that situation and just see what it made me feel.” Khan believed that living in Brooklyn while bands like TV on the Radio, MGMT and Gang Gang Dance were emerging on the music scene had an infl
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University of Brighton
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Vocals, piano, guitar, bass, harmonium, drums, autoharp, synthesiser, vibraphone, keyboards
David Kosten, Yeasayer, Beck, Jon Hopkins, Toy, Damon Albarn
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