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Singer Natalia Kills has been writing some of the best pop music for herself and others for the past six years, but unfortunately made the biggest headline of her career in 2015 when she and husband Willy Moon were fired as judges on The X Factor New Zealand after they bullied a contestant on live TV.
The two singers apologized following the event, but still haven’t fully shaken the incident from the public’s memory. Now, they’re teaming up to create a new duo called Cruel Youth and have just dropped their first video.
“Mr. Watson” features a solo Kills—who now goes by Teddy Sinclair—both on vocals and in the video as she pouts her way through an amusement park and lounges in a hotel room and bathtub.
Sinclair’s vocals on “Mr. Watson” evoke Lana Del Rey and the late Amy Winehouse, showing off the British singer’s deep and raspy range. The new single picks up where Sinclair’s highly underrated sophomore album, Perfectionist, dropped off. Produced by Sinclair and Jeff Bhasker, the 2013 record features the not-to-be-missed tracks “Saturday Night,” “Problem,” “Trouble” and “Outta Time.”
“Mr. Watson” was written in response to Moon’s feeling that his wife was more in love with drugs than him, with Sinclair telling Fader Magazine, “Mr. Watson is a narcotic lullaby I wrote with my husband Willy after he suspected that Oxy was my one true love instead of him.”
The video was inspired by Sinclair’s childhood in England, says the singer. “I wanted to fly back to England and shoot the video at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (where I went to escape the boredom of my childhood), but since we live in New York, we shot the video at Coney Island, where we used to get high on the rides.”
After leaving The X Factor, Sinclair penned Madonna’s Rebel Heart track, “Holy Water,” as well as Rihanna’s “Kiss It Better,” off 2015’s Anti.
It may be too early to tell if fans are ready to forgive the couple’s past transgressions, but if Cruel Youth fails to take off, it’s definitely not due to a lack of talent.