Amongst the new breed of artists there is one who stands out. He is the voice of wailing and warning and one appealing for wrongs to be righted and for justice to be applied in the case of the oppressed. That voice is Natural Black.
With two of the most popular singles in Jamaica, "Songs With Feelings" and "Bad Mind" and also a slew of new releases the artist is rapidly moving to cement his credentials by dropping his much anticipated debut cd this summer "Spiritual Food".
Natural Black, a Guyanese by birth was christened Mortimer Duke Softley in the capital city of Georgetown. After graduating from his alma mater Buxton High School in order to stave off certain hardship he went into the army where he acquired the skill of welding with which he used to earn a living even after leaving the military. He later left welding to become a higgler selling clothes in downtown Georgetown. In the midst of all this he would be discovering his musical talents which he would exercice by performing at yard parties taking his repretoire
from Jamaican stars such as Buju Banton and Beres Hammond. With a raging fire burning inside the artist quest to succeed led him to the conclusion that staying in Guyana would not be best thing
so he came to reggaes mecca in 1995.
Facing all odds wheathering the early storms, of hunger, homelessness and culture shock the artist with his new found faith of Rastafarianism moved around with the help of brethren
in the Twelves Tribes of Israel and met producer Phillip Hudson who gave him his first break with the single "Early This Morning". Moving from strength to strength he recorded on labels such as Big Ship, Harmony House and Black Scorpio. Labouring in obscurity for over five years
he met his current manager/producer Roger Grant of Organic Records who recorded and released his most successful single to date "Songs With Feeling" which made the Jamaican top 40 charts.
Natural Black not anymore an unknown is presently impacting at radio with over six songs
and is top 20 with a new single "Never Leave U Lonely" (in the streets). The energetic and wild performer has pleased audiences at major shows such as Rebel Salute, Reggae Sumfest, Sting and in the summer of 2001 toured Switzerland. With an ever expanding fan base in Europe, Africa and Japan the artist recorded two international songs with ACOA of Switzerland and native American Reggae stars Big Mountain which is included on his debut album "Spiritual Food".
In Natural Black's own words he describes his music as "positive and straight" and declares
"all who want spiritual food can listen to me".
Photo & Text provided courtesy of Organic Records.