Music: Natty - Finsbury Park, Yams and the 29 Bus Route

Written by: Violet Myers

Natty is an accomplished musician, an incredible songwriter and a humanitarian. He’s also a N4 local, so he’s all good in our book.

Following a self imposed seven year hiatus, he’s back with a new single ‘Gaia’ a soulful tribute to mother nature and has been touring London.

Being huge fans of his incredibly moreish debut album ‘Man Like I’, which featured stirringly sexy ‘Bedroom Eyes’ (a song solely responsible for the conception of a lot of new babies), we’re really happy to have him back, but why the long break?

Reggae music star Natty from Finsbury Park North London singing and playing guitar. Natty, music, north london, finsbury park, 29 bus route, album, haringey, hackney, islington

“Many reasons, separating from my record label took a while, Johnny Dollar who produced my previous album passed away and finding another one was tough.”

And is this album very different from the last?

“Wow. Different band, different songs, different me. I’d say a little more African influenced. It’s a concept album.”

Are there any London acts you’re really excited about at the moment?

“I like the spoken word artists like George The Poet and Kojey Radical, reggae bands like The Skints and Royal Sounds, lots of good music out there at the moment!”

Reggae music star Natty from Finsbury Park North London singing and playing guitar. Natty, music, north london, finsbury park, 29 bus route, album, haringey, hackney, islington

As well as having a number one in Japan for his single ‘Badman’, performing on Jools Holland, collaborating with Roots Manuva and playing festivals all over Europe, Natty is also committed to his charity work. He’s involved in several different projects both in Africa and at home. He also runs workshops for homeless songwriters, prisoners and gang members.

“I mainly work with Crisis. I’ve done a couple workshops where I talk about song structure, lyrics and melody writing, then we write something together, as well as playing shows for the homeless at Christmas.”

Have these experiences changed how you make music?

“It hasn’t changed the way I write too much, but I would say coming out of my normal lane definitely adds to myself as a person so, indirectly, it has probably given more to the musical pot.”

Now, we know you grew up in Finsbury Park, do you still live there now?

“Yeah I do, it has changed though. Just like a lot of London, gentrification has taken hold. however unlike certain parts of London it still retains a lot of what made it special, there is a bit of community spirit left here, I can still buy plantain and Yam, but there are organic shops which is great.”

What are your favourite memories of the area?

“Playing football in Finsbury park, going to Rowan’s Tenpin Bowl as a youngster for many nights out or birthdays. The old railway line that starts by Finsbury Park is one of the nicest walks in London.”

Do you think North London has influenced your music in anyway?

“I would say indirectly. The cultural and economic melting pot that is North London especially Finsbury Park, Kentish Town, Kilburn  is very inspiring. I did once write a song called ‘Camden Rox’ about a girl who came from far who arrived in Camden town seeking musical success.”

And what would you say was the soul of North London?

“The 29 Bus Route”

‘Gaia’ is out now on iTunes, the new album ‘Out of Fire’ is out 29th February.


Header and 2nd article photo by Fabiana Righi

1st and 3rd article photo by Elliot Jones

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