It's been more than eight years since Natasha Bedingfield released her last album, Strip Me, and she's about to drop a new one with Linda Perry
The singer, 37, explains that although she wasn’t sure she was ready to have a baby at first, when she started singing songs like "Soulmate," something dawned on her: “I could tell I was searching for this real love, and a different kind of love than I’ve known before,” she tells PEOPLE.
“I like that it gives me a different kind of authority. I feel like I’m a bit more ballsy and I can just be kind of ‘mothery,’ which I think is a part of my personality I wasn’t really connected with. Before, I was always thinking, ‘Oh, I’m just a little girl.’ “
The “Pocketful of Sunshine” hitmaker adds that this confidence especially shows itself in the studio, “but it’s really weird, because having a baby also made me much more relaxed and more feminine.”
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The biggest change in Bedingfield, though, is a newfound feeling of playfulness. She laughs that ever since having Solomon, she feels “like a kid again.”
The pop star has even taken up rollerblading, which she explains to PEOPLE that she used to do with her brother, Daniel Bedingfield, when they were growing up in London.
“It was a freeing thing for us because our family didn’t have much money, so it was our way of getting out and doing stuff,” she says. “Me and Daniel would just roller skate everywhere, and I was always trying to catch up with him.”
“So I recently started roller skating again here in Los Angeles because it makes me feel in touch with my childhood,” says Bedingfield. “I feel like having a baby just makes me want to play more – it gives me permission to play again!”
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She thinks this sense of fun and playfulness is reflected in the upcoming album she has made with songwriter and producer Linda Perry — just look at one of the song titles, “Roller Skates.”
And baby Solomon wasn’t just influencing Bedingfield in the background — he was right in the studio with her to record her first album since 2010’s Strip Me.
“I had the baby four months in,” she says with a shrug, “so I just brought him with me to the studio, had a little cot in the corner and everybody loved him. He just thinks that’s normal, and we made an album that’s going to make people move.”
Bedingfield sang at the 18th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball on Saturday, to support the organization which works to help individuals out of poverty and homelessness by providing the tools necessary to gain employment.