This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Singer songwriter Natty from out of North London is just about to drop his second album, Release the Fear, a future-roots concept album. With his debut album Man Like I hitting the Top 20, this reggae man has something to live up to already. Born in San Francisco and growing up in London with an African , English and Italian heritage, he’s been surrounded by a wide variety of musical influences all his life. I spoke to Natty about his career so far as a sound engineer and a musician, & about the gift that music gives him.

our parents are from differing backgrounds – how did their musical

heritage affect the development of your tastes growing up? I’ve always had a strong sense of my African heritage but growing up my home was filled with eclectic music from reggae to rock to jazz, and of course the homegrown sounds of London. Do you feel you were always destined to have a career in music? Absolutely! Music has been my constant companion and since I was young I was obsessed with music. I cut my teeth in recording studios and envisioned myself as a producer/ engineer in the early days, then discovered the passion for writing and performing my own material. You started in a very traditional way in the industry as a tea boy, moving on to be a sound engineer. Tese days this route is less popular than it used to be but do you feel these experiences helped to inform you on how the industry works and helped you to make useful contacts? I worked with a lot of great producers and artists, but was always shy when it came to making contacts. I ended up being spotted at open mic’s, but the experience of how other musical minds work and the processes of making music was infinitely useful. It also taught me the merits of hard work, and how elements of the industry slot together. You’ve spent some time in Africa. What did you learn from your time there? So much! Africa grounds you and uplifts at the same time. It’s got flavours of home, an unreachable nostalgia and eye-opening characters. Most people think of Africa as a place you go to seek gratitude for your first world life, but, for me, it gave me sense of belonging and I was grateful to Africa for

14 / March 2016/

showing me a depth to people and myself. My soul feels easy in Africa; it wasn't so much lessons I learnt but a general awareness that life, happiness and spirituality transcends geographical pin points. What was it like putting together your debut album, Man Like I? Did you do most of the work on it yourself? It was hard work but a lot of fun. I had some great producers, Craig Dodds and Johnny Dollar, and I had record label support so it was a very different dynamic to this new album. You’re currently running a competition to find local support acts for your upcoming tour. How have you found the standard of people who have applied? Te reaction to the competitions has been great. At the end of a day of meetings, interviews and recordings I take time to listen and find such inspiration in the young talent that is out there. Te winners we have announced so far are of a really high standard and I look forward to sharing a stage with them. Regarding your songwriting, do you write everything yourself and then work on the songs with your band Te Rebelship? Te process can vary. Sometimes we’ll be jamming at my night- also called Vibes and Pressure- or a rehearsal, and the jam will turn into a track. Sometimes I have a track in mind and will write the melody and guitar parts and collaborate with the band on their parts. It’s pretty organic. What or who inspires you as a songwriter? Wow. Life, people, journeys, marijuana! I get a lot of inspiration from people I meet, stories I hear and sometimes I create pictures and stories in my head. It’s the small details in life that give off such huge feelings and that is

the source of a lot of inspiration; a smile, a wave, body language, habits, everyday life moments. But anything that carries beauty or depth can inspire. Your second album Release Te Fear recently came out; how do you feel it’s different to Man Like I? With Man Like I, I was with a record label and there was a lot of time pressure, so the freedom I have when releasing on my own label has meant it’s a stronger, more refined expression of the songs- content and sonically. It also sounds a bit more like a mature Natty, a Natty who's seen a bit more and learnt a bit more. Your music feels happy and sunny with good vibes. What does making music mean to you..what does it give you? Tanks, positive vibes are always paramount. Honestly, it means and gives me everything. It’s not just the way I make a living, it’s really my connection and communication with Gaia, mother earth, and people. It’s a passion, a healing, maybe even an obsession. When the world is changing around us, music remains, so it’s a constant that’s always evolving and in that sense it gives me lessons in life. Do you feel that music should have a message or be used as a conduit to help people? I don’t think it should have, I think music should represent its creator, otherwise it’s fake. But my personal taste does bend more towards more thought provoking, positive and well put together songs. What can we expect from your show at Norwich Arts Centre? A night of sweet jams and good vibes.

Lizz Page

INFORMATION Natty plays Norwich Arts Centre on 12th March. Tickets available from

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48