“It’s the dawning of a new era in the world of Blue King Brown.” – The West Australian, Nov 2014
“Informed & Urgent…you have a voice and the right to that voice… And that bears repeating.” – SMH-SPECTRUM /The Age Nov 2014
“Shake those shackles. A truly global effort!” – Xpress Mag, Nov 2014
“Downright militant!” – United Reggae, Dec 2014
“A force of nature onstage” – ABC 774, Nov 2014.
“The voice of the street and the band of the future!” – Santana
These are just some of the powerful media reviews circulating on a nationwide level about the fascinating Australian Reggae/Soul / Funk outfit known eclectically as Blue King Brown. This 9-piece band emulate a hybrid of sound, style, creativity and socially conscience vision taking Australia’s urban music collective to a who new level.
Introducing Blue King Brown to your world and sharing their incredible musical journey is leading songstress Nattali Rize. One listen to the soulful raspy tinged vocals morphed against her stunning beauty, long dreaded locks and powerful presence and know you are in the presence of a daughter of a new music revolution. Blue King Brown are a derivative of a great many cultures and nationalities throughout the band who, forming in Australia, have taken their culturally diverse and united sound of reggae / soul around the world. Perfoming on the stages of festivals like Glastonbury in the UK, The Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada and Reggae on the River in the US, Blue King Brown have struck a major chord with every performance they make.
This Aria nominated group are fast becoming an act on the rise in the live music circuit who are currently on a nationwide tour of Australia with dates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. To see them live is to fully appreciate their flair for creating socially conscience music and delivering their message in a show that is both empowering and inspiring. Coining their style as “urban roots” Blue King Brown ensure fans and new followers alike get all of the audio visual they need with their engaging album Born Free, searing singles “Rize” and “One Nation” and an online presence that includes music videos, photos of travel and live shows and of course music, Blue King Brown ensure their message is heard.
Talking to Natali Rize about her role in the group shines a light on this front woman with an immense talent and love for creating and spreading music from the soul, speaking her mind on global issues that far outweigh the superficiality of todays’ secular sound and she does so with the pride of an Earth Mother whose impact is surely felt within this amazing music collective. Read on to discover just who Blue King Brown are, where they are going and the passions that drive their power!
Hi Nattali – thanks so much for your time. Happy New Year blessings to you – how are you and your band doing so far in 2015?
Thankyou for the blessings! Yes we are doing great, happy and focused, excited and ready to be bringing our Born Free Album launch tour on the road. We’ve been rehearsing and gearing up to get back on the stage with the full line up. Performing live is something we love and is a huge focus of what we do as musicians and artists.
First up – big congratulations to you all on all the incredible traction Blue King Brown is making on a global scale. You guys seem like you are always on the road doing what you do best live. You are back in Australia just briefly for some concert dates before you head overseas again. What is it about Blue King Brown that has people so enthralled by you and how would you best describe the sound and style that is so uniquely yours?
We describe our sound as Urban Roots. As far as what makes people connect to our music, they would be able to answer best, but from my perspective I feel that it’s the intention and energy of the music and the lyrics. When we first started out we were putting together a band that could pull off a kick ass live show with music that people could dance to, we never set out to be a band that sings about social justice issues or global justice issues, that’s just what came out when I put pen to paper…so it was very organic and we’ve grown organically within the lyrics and music as has our fan base. Some people connect with our music first then realise we’re actually saying something real, others will connect with the lyrics first then become more interested in the music…so it works both ways, for us we just create what is true to our hearts, what we feel and think in the moment, we are all evolving consciousness, the more we learn and experience, the more our consciousness shifts and/or expands, the more we evolve as humans, musicians and songwriters. One thing is for sure, ART is powerful, Creativity is Livity and all that lives and breathes is connected and inspired by the other … MUSIC is the Healer, a Revealer, a Messenger and a Rebel!
Love the name Blue King Brown – original and soulful. What was the reason behind the name?
Initially we were searching for a name that didn’t exist as anything else on the planet… we took 3 words that we liked individually, and this is what came: BLUE – represents the Blues and Roots which we see as the root of so much music we play, listen to and like. KING – represents power but more strength through music and BROWN – is the soul and the groove. The 3 words represent a colour each which is our flag, BLUE-YELLOW-BROWN.
You have received some major industry love and local and global attention from the likes of musician legends Carlos Santana & Michael Franti ( Spearhead ) to sharing the stage with everyone from Damien Marley, John Butler and Lauryn Hill to name a few. Starting out as Blue King Brown and of course as a celebrated songstress yourself Nattali, what has the journey been like for this Australian funk/soul/reggae hybrid movement of yours, when and how did it begin and with whom and how has the experience of Blue King Brown changed the path of your life?
The roots of the band started in Byron Bay Australia where I met the bass player, Carlo. We both played percussion and street performed in Byron’s busy summer streets as well as at international street performance festivals. We made the move to Melbourne to start a band with a more typical line of instruments but still wanting to keep the rawness of our street style percussion in the mix. Melbourne was a happening city with live music every night and a thriving musical and arts community, we scouted out the hottest young players we could find and asked them to have a jam…that was the beginnings of BKB. From there we got our live show going right away and started touring up the east coast, we recorded our first EP and single WATER, which got picked up by Triple J radio as well as numerous other community radio stations… from there it just kept rolling, we kept up the momentum and music and followed our intuition.. we worked and still work hard, we are independent, coming from playing on the streets, we’re not afraid to work hard and were under no illusion that it wouldn’t be hard work but it’s an honour and a pleasure to serve the musical gifts we have as well as the words and thoughts we have to share with our local and global family.
Your thoughts on the progression of Australian soul / funk / hip hop on the global stage and where you and Blue King Brown fits in that blueprint?
It’s interesting you know, we are a band that definitely crosses genres which is in part due to our love of world music but also due to the multicultural make up of our group, we have nationalities from all over the world represented in our 9-11 piece band, we’ve sometimes been called the united nations of Blue King Brown J. Calling on our collective inspirations and forming a live show based on all that we love and create musically, has led us to performing at some amazing and diverse festivals. We’ve played the spectrum of them from World Music Festivals to Blues, Jazz, Reggae, and Pop festivals…and for that we are stoked, our music is for all people and age groups. So although I don’t see a lot of Australian soul, funk, hip hop or reggae bands on the international circuit, we still manage to get invited to perform alongside some amazing artists of all those genres from around the world. For us we’ve steered down more of a reggae path on our new album Born Free, we’d love to see more Australians connect with reggae music and sounds from around the world, it seems like we weigh in far behind the rest of the planet when it comes to reggae music and culture. We also love the similarities in Reggae and Hip Hop, and love to see it when those collaborations really change the game, like the Nas and Damian Jr Gong album Distant Relatives… that’s dope.
What would you say are you biggest musical inspirations and influences and why?
There are many but here are some of the main ones, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Santana, Janis Joplin, Fela Kuti, Miles Davis, Peter Tosh, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Ali Farka Toure… all of these artists are rebels in their own way, musically pushing boundaries and genres into new sonic landscapes. All artists who help break the perception of what is into what can be, are hugely important parts of our global family and culture….all forms of art are powerful in this aspect and have the ability to shift a person’s way of thinking and feeling about numerous issues, events or experiences.
Can you share with us what you are currently working on and where people can catch your performances or buy your music?
We are currently on tour bringing our new album BORN FREE to life on stage, the next shows you can catch us at are Melbourne HiFi Bar Thurs Jan 15th, Sydney the Metro Theatre Friday 16th Jan, Adelaide 17th The Gov Sat 18th Jan… We then head overseas but will be returning to the mighty BluesFestival in Byron Bay this April with a side show in Brisbane on the 4th April and a show with Michael Franti and Spearhead in Perth on the 18th April. We then take the BORN FREE show to the U.S for some festival appearances….lots to do, lots happening, and we give thanks every time for the opportunities to connect and reconnect with our fans and fans to be wherever we are in the world. Hope to see you out there somewhere soon!
The Blue King Brown and Nattali Rize ethos if life would be?
You are evolving consciousness, a limitless being more powerful and connected to the universe then you’ve ever been led to believe. See with your own eyes, think with your own mind…We then start to create holes in the elaborate blanket of lies that cover our daily life, and thread by thread we start to unravel this system’s illusion of reality and reclaim Our Identity…Our Future….Our Power….Our Freedom!
For more on Blue King Brown visit: www.bluekingbrown.com
#bornfree National Tour Dates:
BLUE KING BROWN – BORN FREE ALBUM LAUNCH
FRI 16 Jan, 2015
The Metro, Sydney NSW
624 George Street, Sydney
All ages welcome
THU 15 Jan, 2015
Hi-Fi, Melbourne VIC
125 Swanston St, Melbourne
SAT 17 Jan, 2015
The Gov, Adelaide SA
59 Port Road, Hindmarsh