In harmony with Natty Baldhead

In harmony with Natty Baldhead

Observer senior writer

Monday, November 23, 2020

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On Pressure, their latest song, Natty Baldhead maintains an objective to expand the boundaries of the vocal group. It not only features the quartet's range of vocals, but a robust dub poetry interlude.

Pressure is from an EP called Pound Power which was released in March by Sas Greber Prod, an independent French record company. With COVID-19 putting the music industry on hold, the quartet are belatedly promoting the single.

“Having researched many vocal groups of varying genres…R&B, jazz, gospel, acapella, rock steady, even classical, the sound of Natty Baldhead has diversity in its roots,” said Natty Baldhead member Tavrick London. “The group wants to bring a new and unique sound to what it calls musicdom. Harmonies that are voiced using a mixture of jazz-oriented chords. The group's lead vocal includes two different sounding vocal sounds.”

Jermaine Cunningham, Mario Morris and Conroy Jarrett are London's colleagues in Natty Baldhead, which formed six years ago. They have released a handful of singles, starting in 2017 with Deh Pon A High.

Pressure is co-produced by John Alexander, Ervin “Alla” Lloyd and Douglas Flanagan. The group's vocals are complemented by dub poet Steppa who brings a different dimension to the uptempo ballad.

Steppa is the latest artiste Natty Baldhead has collaborated with to make their sound more appealing to a diverse audience.

“In many of our recordings we try to feature artistes that are involved with other music genres. Our recordings feature American hip hop artistes, Jamaican dancehall legends like Big Youth and word-famous poets like Mutabaruka,” said London.

Vocal groups, once the rage in Jamaica, quickly became obsolete during the 1980s digital revolution. The exception has been the all-star LUST, who have quietly established themselves amid a wave of dancehall deejays and singjays.

Morris says Natty Baldhead's influences vary.

“There are no particular vocal groups that we can really say influenced us. In our growth, we have researched the vocals of many singers and vocal groups including Ruby and The Romantics, The Temptations, Little Anthony and The Imperials, The Whispers, The Dells and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles,” he explained. “Acapella groups like Take 6, Acapella, Pentatonix, M-Pact and Naturally 7. We have also listened intensively to Jamaican groups like The Paragons, The Techniques, The Melodians, The Abyssinians, Desmond Dekker and The Aces, The Gaylads, Prince Lincoln and The Royal Rasses and of course The Congos with the unique lead voice of Cedric Myton.”

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