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#sxsw #Natty


“Change won’t come in a day,” sings Natty on his song “Change.” The singer from North London has long since swapped his hoodie for dreadlocks, and possesses a thoughtful take on what it is to be young in the inner city today. Using sounds from around the world he sums up modern Britain with soulful accuracy.

His first single from his upcoming EP of the same name, Change, is built on a classic Reggae groove. It paints a positive picture of a young man’s reflections faced with a world consumed by individual and global changes. “There’s a new breeze, I can feel a change coming in the air,” sings Natty, yet he brings perspective and depth to his concerns when he writes that “seasons change, so today I plant my seed away / make it rain, so tomorrow my seed will see a brighter

With a mother from Lesotho, the tiny kingdom that sits within the borders of South Africa, and an English father of Italian descent, Natty’s intelligent music break the mould: he moves effortlessly from Reggae on “Change” to West African horns on the hypnotic “JJ (Don’t Go),” a devastating and timely account of a young boy affected by gun violence. Other songs on the EP include a beautiful ambient cover of Armand van Helden’s “U Don’t Know Me” and “SS I Love You,” a spacey ballad recorded with The Rebel Ship, Natty’s band comprised of a core group of musicians and friends including Bear, his longtime collaborator and guitar player, and Jahmel, a bass and percussion player with Reggae roots. Of course vocal duties are handled by Natty!

Describing his music in a tongue-in-cheek manner as “Damian Marley meets Neil Young,” Natty is no newcomer in the music world. Ditching the guitar he learned to play at 10, he spent his teenage years creating hip-hop beats for rapping mates. His bedroom mastery of music production landed him a job at premier recording studio Sphere, in Battersea, London. “Everyone passed through that place over four years, from Duran Duran to Mos Def,” he says. Natty only picked up his guitar again as he turned 18, beginning to write his own songs during the studio’s downtime. After leaving Sphere, Natty started gigging around London attracting a buzz that
resulted in his starting the Vibes & Pressure Nights, a recurring monthly live event which became (and still remains today) a magnet for the underground London music scene. Things quickly picked up for Natty with a recording contract with Atlantic Records, the release of “Man Like I”,
his debut album co-produced by Craig Dodds and Jonny Dollar, and spurring two top 20 singles, “July” and “Bedroom Eyes”, and a #1 hit in Japan with “Badman.” Natty embarked on his first European tour including gigs with Baaba Maal, Lee Perry, and Adele.

After several years of touring, Natty took some time “off” to travel, explore new cultures and sounds, spending a lot of time in Africa, inspiring him to return with, Change, his new EP
scheduled to be released on September 20, 2011, the same day that kicks off his first US tour (supporting Ziggy Marley). A UK and European tour will follow. A new album is in the works
(Natty has already recorded half of the album) and will be released in the summer of 2012.

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