Even if you’ve never heard of Teddy Sinclair before, chances are you’ve heard her work somewhere. The English singer and actress who used to go by Natalia Kills has stayed busy in recent months, working with Madonna on 2015’s Rebel Heart and co-writing “Kiss It Better” off Rihanna’s latest album, Anti. Both of those experiences put Sinclair in the headspace she needed to work on her own music, and the result is Cruel Youth, the band she formed with her husband and collaborator Willy Moon.
Sinclair has written a letter explaining in detail how Cruel Youth came to be, and you can read the full text below. Along with this letter, the band has shared new single “Mr. Watson”, a smoky, soulful ballad that recalls Amy Winehouse in all the best ways. Listen in below.
Below, read the message from Teddy Sinclair.
Cruel Youth is the musical love child created during a 3-month lock-in at my studio with my husband Willy Moon. It’s The Ronettes on Oxy, it’s a narcotic lullaby, a psychedelic jingle you might hear waiting in line at a Western Union or a laptop symphony soundtracking a car crash in slow motion. Willy and I met whilst both signed to Universal Records, and married only a few months later. Cruel Youth is an intravenous hit of our love and everything I find beautiful.
For a brief moment in 2015 I felt like it was the death of me, but somehow the part that survived was a pure uncensored passion that quickly became the ace in my hand. While evolving my solo project into my new band I was approached to be a personality on X Factor New Zealand, which lead to a publicity stunt resulting in a viral media storm. I was subjected to a global witch hunt I couldn’t defend myself against due to a wide-reaching legal gagging order. It was a truly regrettable situation for everyone involved, and Willy and I flew back to our home in New York where I threw myself headfirst into songwriting. Days later, I was collaborating with Madonna on her #1 album Rebel Heart, co-writing the song “Holy Water”. I was drafted onto Rihanna’s writing team, spending months traveling the world with her, and ultimately co-writing ‘Kiss It Better’ on her worldwide #1 album Anti.
While working with such tenacious and outspoken artists, I found a sanctuary where I was allowed to sing the unspeakable … no frills, no fakery. All fun, games, whiskey and a microphone, with the occasional drop in from friends, writers and producers who added their own take on our world.
To my friends, followers and everyone that has supported me during this transitional time — I’m excited to share this new music with you. This is our song ‘Mr. Watson’, this is Cruel Youth.
Love, Teddy Sinclair”