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BA of the Week: Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose

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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit — probably not.

Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.


Known as half of the duo Pomplamoose, whose songs have had nearly 87,000,000 million views on YouTube (yes, you read that right), Nataly Dawn is a pretty awesome poster girl for DIY ethics in the music industry. Nataly and her bandmate/boyfriend Jack Conte make kick-ass music videos in their pad, put them on youtube, and then sit back and enjoy the thousands of hater-ass comments made by youtube trolls. For reals though, they do great stuff like this cover of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (side note: Beyonce is so famous that my computer doesn’t even put a squiggly red line under her name!).

Having just come off a European tour for her first solo record How I Knew Her, the first thing Nataly wanted to do was be Broke-Ass of the Week. I mean, who wouldn’t (please don’t answer that)? Below are her clever and funny answers to my grueling questions:


Name: Nataly Dawn, born Natalie Dawn Knutsen. Adopted the “artist name” in 2006 for pretty dumb reasons actually. I didn’t want to be Natalie Knutsen because that’s just a mouthful, and I didn’t understand the value of an unpronounceable artist name. So I dropped the Knutsen. Then I wanted to own the url for my name, but was originally a porn site, so I changed it to Nataly with a y. Two years later, I forgot to renew my domain name, so now it belongs to some poacher who wants 15k for Pretty damn ironic actually.

Age: 26

Occupation: Musician. Singer/Songwriter. YouTuber. Video-editor. Depends who I’m talking to and whether or not I’m at a Christmas party.

What neighborhood do you live in?: Sonoma

Best money saving tip: I’m quite bad with money, but I’ve heard that the best thing to do is not spend money just because you’ve had a good year. As a musician it’s very difficult to live within your means, because you really have no idea how much you will make from month to month and you’re always going from one big project to the next. So as much as I’d like to give advice on how to save up, I’m afraid that I know very little about it.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Undergarments. I do not invest in sexy, frilly, expensive bras or undies. They look bad under most clothes, and they just aren’t my thing. All other articles of clothing trump undergarments in my book.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: My iMac. It’s what I do all my video editing on. Oddly enough, most of my instruments are old and dirt cheap, but I find myself constantly investing in technology: computers, hard drives, software etc.

How’d that feel?: Great initially. But I regretted the purchase for months. Now I’m happy with it, just because working on a desktop takes way less of a toll on me physically. Eight hours of editing video on a laptop is the pits.

Favorite cheap eat: Mac n cheese.

Favorite dive bar: The Washoe House in Petaluma, California.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: A free car from Hyundai after Pomplamoose did the holiday commercial campaign with them. It wasn’t in the contract. They just threw it in at the last minute because they liked us. That was one of the most exciting phone calls I’ve ever gotten.

Favorite free thing to do: Cooking. Granted, the ingredients aren’t free, but I like a good challenge in the kitchen. If we’re too tired to go to the grocery store, I will happily dig around in the pantry and whip something up.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: First, I’d ask my folks if I could pay off some of the school loans they took on for me. Then, I’d go look at flats in London and Brussels. California is my home now, but I really miss being over there.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Life is a lot easier when you’re not totally broke, and I’m fortunate in that sense. Far more fortunate than the average musician. I’ve been making a living as a full-time musician for the past five years and I don’t see that coming to an end anytime soon. That said, the things that bring me the most joy are my boyfriend, Jack, my close friends and family, my cats, my home and my guitar. So long as I have those, I couldn’t be happier.

Do you own my book?: No. Can I have it?

Best hangover cure: Know your limits: they change with time. Drink more water than you think you need. And worst case scenario, take pro-biotics. My go-to brand is Align. It’s my cure for just about everything, from jet-lag to late-night burritos.

Are you a hipster?: Does anyone know what a hipster is? According to the internet, I am a hipster. According to the internet I’m also a lesbian-Justin-Bieber-look-alike. So sure, why not.

photo by Justin Marini

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.