Natalia you bear the scars of hard fought battle tribes. There is a spier deep in your side. They raped you then they left you out to die. Still tears welled up in your eyes. The ghosts of wounded soldiers haunt your mind. Who walk these dusty roads bleeding from their toes.
‘NATALIA’ is a remembrance of my beloved Kwazulu Natal, where I have spent most of my life. I am using Natalia as a metaphor of a woman to describe my blessed province. And as history has it, Natalia has had to endure so many hardships, wars, famines, droughts and floods. She has lived through it all, but still has a heart full of joy and looks after her multi-cultural children.
I’m so excited about sharing this music with you – my first studio album in 5 years. This collection of musical stories is so close to my heart, and I knew the process for making it all come to life needed to be special. So this time I did it a little differently and bought on a great producer, Mark Tucker. Mark has a wonderful studio in the heart of the Devon countryside in the south west of the UK. He has worked with the likes of Jethro Tull, Portishead and PJ Harvey. Working with someone in his league was fun, inspirational and different from the way I had done it before. The key for any great producer is making you feel comfortable, bringing the best out of you, while still maintaining your musical integrity. I really felt Mark did this for me, and I am so happy with what we have created as a result.
I have kept the arrangements sparse and simple and brought on board my dear friends, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin to add their magic. They won best Folk duo at the BBC2 Folk awards in 2014, and their brilliant new album, ‘Watershed’, is up again this year for a nominee. Phil is a virtuoso dobro player and Hannah has the voice of an angel and plays the most heartfelt violin. Brother Guy Buttery also adds his acoustic beauty to one of the songs. Eleven of the songs I wrote, and I close the album with a more African, fingerstyle version of Bob Dylan’s, ‘Mozambique’. It is also a real honour to now be working with the dynamic and beautifully creative team at Lab19 Digital, so that I can bring all of this to the online world in the best way possible. I’m beyond excited.
I feel like this album marks the beginning of a new chapter for me. A lot of changes have come upon me in the last year or so, and relocating to Portugal has been one of those big steps. I just needed to be close to my European base, but still keep my connection to South Africa. If all goes to plan, I will be able to live an eternal summer – 6 months in Europe, and 6 months in Africa. I’m looking forward to what the future holds, and I can’t wait to share this new journey with all of you.