Natasja Saad also known as Lil T, Little T and Natasja, was a Danish rapper and reggae singer whose vocals on a popular U.S. and European remix of “Calabria” gained her fame and a number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart six months after her death in a car accident.
Saad, the daughter of a Danish photographer, Kirstine Saad, and a Sudanese father, started singing and DJ’ing at the age of 13 in Copenhagen, where she performed live with Miss Mukupa and McEmzee in the band, No Name Requested. During that period, she also performed along with Queen Latifah and gained popularity in Jamaica. In 1998, while in training to become a professional jockey, she fell off her horse. This seriously slowed down her career.
In the summer of 2004, she published the 12″ single “Cover Me” and later the 7″ “Summercute” and in 2005, the CD “Release”. In the same year, she appeared at Bikstok Røgsystem’s biggest hit, Cigar covered as ‘Lille T’.
In 2006 she won the reggae competition, Irie FM Big Break Contest in Jamaica with the song “45 Questions” as the first non-Jamaican ever. First prize was a record label, a music video, a photo session and a job at the Reggae Sumfest-festival, where 50 Cent and Rihanna, amongst others, also performed.
Natasja’s first major hit, “Mon De Reggae,” was inspired by the single “Pon de Replay” by Rihanna. Natasja was the first non-Jamaican reggae/dancehall artist ever to win the Jamaican “Irie FM Big Break Contest”. Natasja entered the competition in May 2006: 700 contestants, 12 finalists, and one winner.
Natasja debuted on film (but only as a singer) in the Danish comedy Fidibus directed by Hella Joof with the track “Op med ho’det”. Around this time her song “Calabria” with DJ Enur was recognized and became a huge summer hit on Dance/Electronica and Pop charts across the world. It is her most popular song to date and it would give Saad her first US number one single on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart in 2008 and in the process gave Saad the chart’s first number one single by a posthumous artist. The song has also peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard’s Pop 100 chart.
A few months after her death, in September 2007, her first album in Danish was released to critical praise. Natasja’s vocals were recorded before her death, but the production was completed after her death. The CD, “I Danmark er jeg født”, sold more than 80,000 copies making it double platinium.
A year later her second album in English, “Shooting Star”, was released. Among others it featured Dancehall superstar Beenie Man and long time friend Karen Mukupa.
“Calabria” was used in a Target Corporation television commercial that began airing in the summer of 2008.
Natasja died on June 25, 2007 in a car accident in Spanish Town, Saint Catherine, Jamaica. Two other passengers were critically injured, but Saad’s friend, Danish singer Karen Mukupa, was relatively unhurt. She and the other injured were rushed to the Spanish Town Hospital where the singer was pronounced dead.
The accident was perceived as particularly acute for Denmark’s music and entertainment world, not only because of Natasja’s sincere and exceptionally engaging personality, but also because she still stood before a career that, after some earlier setbacks and, in the preceding years, impressive successes, appeared more than ever on the rise.
Natasja is buried at Assistens Kirkegård, Copenhagen’s cemetery for artistic and pioneering personalities, which, aside from hosting H.C. Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard and physicist Niels Bohr, is also gradually becoming a resting place for more recent stars of the 21st century.