Words by Jason “J-Rockaz” Orford
The nickname Natty is usually assigned to a Rasta man, or a dude with dreads. Sometimes, the name is a substitute for brethren, or bredren. For example: “Yes Natty, pass me de fire.” So when we came across a young, UK artist with that moniker, wearing locks but mashing up the world and outdoor festival grounds with grassroots-y folk and Dave Matthews/Citizen Cope/Spearhead-type vibes, our curiosity was sparked. An inexperienced ear may mistake his music for reggae, or his voice as that of a son of Jamaica. But no, and no. Though he’s a raggamuffin and soul rebel at heart, Natty is one part Southern African, and one part Italian. Already a seasoned, polished recording artist who’s spread his positive messages about life to festival heads in all four corners of the globe, Natty appears well on his way to a great musical career. His 2008 debut album, Man Like I, was a testament to the power of the reggae-inspired rhythms that anchor much of his music. A sophomore album is scheduled for release on Atlantic in September, and plans for a tour with Ziggy Marley are also in the works. In the meantime, meet Natty.