Natalie La Rose on Her Whitney Houston-Influenced Hit ‘Somebody’ and Why Flo Rida Inspires Her

Natalie La Rose 2015

Natalie La Rose poses for a portrait at Radio Station 97.3 The Hits in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Jan. 10, 2015.

Splash News/Corbis

Billboard caught up with the 24-year-old Dutch singer Natalie La Rose to talk about her hit “Somebody,” which recently cracked the top 40 on the Hot 100.

Somebody” is partly based on Whitney ­Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With ­Somebody.” What attracted you to that song?

I’m a huge fan of ’80s music and grew up listening to that. I heard this beat and told Flo Rida we should write to it. He came up with “I wanna dance with somebody,” and we switched up the lyrics a little to make it more nowadays. But eventually we found out the beat wasn’t available, so we had to create a new one. It took nine different versions — we were so married to the other beat, so it was hard to get used to. Flo Rida has a great ear. I wouldn’t say I take my sound from him, but definitely the work ethic.

Are there any other Houston songs that you wouldn’t have dared to revisit?

“I Will Always Love You.” She just poured her heart into that song, and it sounds ­exactly the way that it should sound. If you touch a song, you should do it ­tastefully. I tried to use Whitney’s song in a subtle way.

Tomorrow’s Hits: Natalie La Rose

How do you plan to follow up “Somebody”?

I’m working on an EP — I’m recording as we speak. As a girl from Amsterdam with the amount of support I’m getting, I’m in a special situation. I can only look forward to what’s to come.

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 28 issue of Billboard.