By Katyayani Krishnan
Natalia Nastaskin moved to the USA from the Soviet Union with her family at the age of 8. Her family was extremely poor, but every Friday, her parents would give her and her brother a treat: a dollar for pizza slices. Her brother spent his 50 cents on slices and soda, and she’d save hers to buy records. She’d play each record on repeat, and with her English-To-Russian dictionary, learn the translation and pronunciation of every word on the record – teaching herself how to speak English; albeit at first, her vocabulary was somewhat limited to love and heartbreak.
Nastaskin was this year’s featured guest at the 25th Zafris Lecture series, sponsored by the Music Business/Management Department, and it was an absolute honor to get to hear her story firsthand. As she spoke of her life and professional journey, all I could notice was how resolute and unswerving she was, whether it was about her struggles or her successes.