Mr.T at Reggae Vibes | Jul 12, 2018 | 0
Junior Natural and Sly & Robbie = MILITANT
JUNIOR NATURAL and SLY & ROBBIE = MILITANT.
At only 22, Junior Natural is already a Reggae Dancehall veteran. Like his glorious predecessor Dennis Brown, Junior started at the age of 8.
Mesmerized by his warm voice and his cool looks, audiences have applauded him for over a decade in the West. He then took the ultimate challenge in Jamaica. After a few incredulous seconds, Kingston’s notoriously merciless crowds were raving and adopted Junior, who became a staple of the local scene.
There, he met the legendary producer Robbie Shakespeare, who auditioned him the old-school way: in a parking lot, giving him one chance and one minute. Junior blew Robbie away: “come back with 12 songs and we’ll take care of you” was all he told Junior.
Recognizing huge potential, the Riddim Twins did what they’ve done in their 4 decade-career when they find a truly great artist: they crafted a brand new, yet unmistakably TAXI, sound.
Along with Chinna Smith (guitar) and Robbie Lyn (keyboards), they created a fresh, “post apocalypse” Reggae sound for the year 3000, applying King Tubby’s old-school Dub techniques but also the latest modern tricks with Steven Stanley, Jamaica’s finest sound wizard (Black Uhuru, Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club).
The result, “Militant”, is the best Reggae album in years. It picks up where Sly & Robbie arrived at with Black Uhuru and Ini Kamoze in the 80’s. Turbo charged with attitude, it is super hard and heavy as lead, yet melodic, letting Junior speak with clarity to hearts and minds in times of trouble and confusion.
Says Sly: “Robbie and I have always looked for new talent, individuals with something to say and a vibe that goes straight to the people’s hearts. It doesn’t matter if the singer black, yellow or pink, we look for attitude, poise and positivity. We did for Junior what we did when we picked up Michael Rose in the 70’s and polished his craft. Junior has that kind of vibe, like he’s been around for decades.”
Robbie goes on: “He’s young like a baby but wise and experienced like an old man. We barely had to coach him when he voiced: it was like a sacred channel opened up and he was tuned to some spiritual vibe from above. Impressive. And it made our job more enjoyable and easier too: the riddims came to us like magic, everything clicked. We want to perform onstage with him, he can do wonders onstage with the TAXI Gang war machine.”