Lime interview - Music
Natty finding freedom
Semper - Azeez -Harris
Natty talks about getting away from music politricks
The chance to interview Natty was a welcome one for me. Back in 2009 I interviewed Natty after he dropped his debut album Man Like I (2009). Natty was absolutely buzzing with enthusiasm and he spoke keenly of his next album which at the time was near completion. I even remember seeing his album Man Like I in HMV and it was in their top forty chart-not bad for a debut.
It was his UK, reggae tinged music that was infectious in many respects and brought Natty a keen following that seemed to suggest that Natty was soon to be inundating the UK charts but nothing followed-it was like a stick of dynamite had been lit but the expected ‘kaboom’ just never happened.
Seeing Natty in Soho for the interview not much had changed outwardly, apart from those dreads which had evidently growing much thicker and longer but Natty’s four year absence was for a reason and pointed to a change that occurred within him.
“Real talk the industry is full of some real off key little demons” states Natty who was in a forthright and refreshingly honest mood, “even the management and the label were off- I am on the same label that I was on before and all that stuff that happened before has been squashed now. The thing is back then we were doing a lot of touring and what happened on the first album was politricks that went down and I did not like that.” He adds when I check if it is ok to print his views, “nah man this is what happened so if they don’t like what I say then that is cool”.
“I decided to take a bit of time out due to all that was happening and go travelling around Africa and think about family life and my life generally- the funny thing is I had an album all ready to go. I had in fact written another album as well on top of that- even two years ago when the other album would have come I tried to play ball with the label and the manger by writing with other people but it was difficult because I did not know these people.” He adds, “Look” catching my eye straight on, “I tried to work with it and I wrote with people on songs that could have been hits but I was not about to release an album when I did not feel comfortable-essentially in my contract it is down to me whether I want to release something and so I dug my feet in!”
Evidently Natty could be seen as a difficult artist but it is significant to see that there is a passion in his character and a passion for his music. Natty is keen to stress that his music is about “longevity” and despite the fact that a label may see Natty as an irritating thorn in the side his wish to bring quality is something that you cannot help but admire.
“When I release an album I want it to be released right. Man Like I touched people soul because the songs mean something. I think one of the reasons that I can come back after four years and do a tour which sells out is due to my first album which has longevity.” He says with intense passion. His mix-tape which is evidently an album in many respects being filled with all original tracks sonically represents the new found freedom that Natty appears to be enjoying with his label.
“A lot of people do not know that I used to make bass music that was just really bass heavy that is what I did so Man Like I was politricks as well because it did not come out the way I fully wanted because it was a little bass light compared to what I actually made.”
The Out Of Fire mix-tape is definitely a lot of what his first album brought but there is an infinitely edgier, bass happy sound with smidgens of the African influences permeating tracks mixed with the elements of the UK dance element with a collabo from the Ragga Twins (veterans form the jungle drum n bass scene) and of course reggae-Alarm Bells feat Sam Frank is a dub-tastic reggae banger that will light up dance halls and indeed his album promises to follow suit.
Fri 1st June Phoenix Exeter
Sun 3rd June Play Festival HMV Ritz Norwich
Sat 16th June Goldcoast Ocean Festival Croyde (Devon)
Thurs 21st June Scala London
Sat 7th July Summerjam Germany
Sat 11th August Boomtown Festival Winchester
Nigerias Super Sun
99 Problems not Rita Ora
Discover Etta Smith