Nattali Rize- Rebel Frequency Interview
DEBUT ALBUM – REBEL FREQUENCY – OUT MARCH 24
“… Enuff corporate noise in the ears of the youth … Time to spread the Truth.”
The future is now. With a deep Reggae Influence Nattali Rize brings heavy beats & conscious rebel lyrics to a progressive electronic, roots, reggae, dub foundation. But this is more than genre labels; The music, message & intention trancends all that, forget the borders and waters that divide us, the movement is to ignite the great remembrance of who we are, our collective power, what we can be, to break the mental conditioning and find full freedom in this lifetime.
“Nattali is a bright light in the world with a vision that extends beyond the stage.”– Michael Franti (Spearhead)
The term ‘social change’ is not quite enough for Nattali, her thinking is more along the lines of “full systemic overhaul!” with Rebel Frequency Nattali declares “We’re here to deliver a different frequency to what is being transmitted by the current world system and culture of consumerism and mental slavery.”
Nattali Rize is recognized globally for her unwavering commitment to using her voice and music for the global shift toward Full Freedom and the movement of Truth and Justice over the systemic exploitation of the people and our planet. The exciting evolution of the multi-dimensional artist sees the dynamic front woman leading out fresh with a new heavy five-piece international live band from Jamaica and Australia. This is a global mash up of raw energy and vibe that together has been rocking stages since the band first burst onto the scene in 2015.
“One of the nation’s most refreshing voices” – Rolling Stone.
After relocating in 2014 to Kingston, Jamaica, Nattali Rize launched her live project out of Jamaica into the US, EU and beyond with a strong run of captivating festival performances and national club shows. Now with tours alongside the likes of Michael Franti and Spearhead, Katchafire, Third World, J-Boog, Julian Marley, Tribal Seeds and more under her belt, the worldwide movement is ever rizing!
“Conscious and mesmerizing” – Island Stage Magazine
2017 sees the release of her debut album – Rebel Frequency. Modern technology and a tireless world travel schedule, has broken down artistic barriers, allowing the album to be put together between the cultural hubs of Kingston, Jamaica and Australia. Ask her where she comes from, she’ll tell you “All Directions”, with no fixed address, Nattali is now based where the music takes her, Nattali Rize claims not to belong to any nation state, but to the ever-evolving community of awakening consciousness. The global mission – to uplift and unify consciousness & Rize together.
“Our intention with our music is to ignite that memory in ourselves of our individual and collective power to live life to the fullest and recognise our selves and each other as evolving beings of light. A reality of Full Freedom is a possibility on this earth and in these times. We use music to sound frequencies infused with this idea, and to resonate at a higher level than what is currently being permeated across current world culture. People are powerful; we want them to reclaim that power and no longer be servants to a system that has never, and will never, serve them to their fullest potential. As such, our frequency in this system is a rebel … Rebel Music, Rebel Frequencies we deal with!”
“Everything we do, as human beings or musicians, is part of a bigger purpose. We don’t just play music because it sounds nice. It’s not just for fun: it’s about being part of a movement, shifting perception and helping to amplify pathways to higher consciousness.
It’s about breaking down the confines of mental slavery, and reclaiming our power as a People to make our own decisions, think freely, live freely and grow and learn without limitation…
We’re about being a part of a global commUnity that overstands these things and are working toward realizing a change from the illusion of current world culture.
Interview: Kizzy Riske
Kizzy: I’d like to thank you for doing this interview with us and I wanted to mention that I was at the show you recently did in Denver with Raging Fyah and Tribal Seeds. I did not know who Nattali Rize was, and when you came out on stage I was completely blown away. I was in the balcony screaming and cheering and you gained a new fan at that moment. I was so excited and I knew right then that I wanted to share your music and talent with my friends and with all of the people that Island Stage can reach, which is a lot of people. So, I just wanted to say that before we started.
Nattali: Thank you, thank you very much.
Kizzy: I’d like to talk about the tour. Looking back, how was the tour for you?
Nattlai: Incredible! It was such a great tour. Half of me is still on that bus. It’s such a nice group of people. Not only the musicians who are all awesome, but also the crew and the sound guys, everyone on the road, we had a really nice connection. So yeah, it was a really great experience especially for our band because it is the first major, major, tour we’ve done in America that has been so wide reaching around the country and we found that we had such a great response everywhere. I mean, we knew there was a great love for the genre, but also just discovering the real appreciation for the consciousness aspect of the music that was part of that touring show. You know it’s there, but it’s always really heartening to experience and for us, playing live is a massive part of our music and our mission because it is a direct connection to the people and a direct opportunity to create something new and to create memories and,you know, build community and build new ideas of being and living and expressing and enjoying life together. So, yeah man, tours like that are incredible and we’re still floating and coming down from it. We’re about to launch into the next run of shows but feeling very irie at the same time.
Kizzy: That’s great! I’m glad it was such a great experience for you because it sure was for us as well. I was wondering what it was like having a Jamaican Reggae band, your band coming from Australia, and an American reggae band all together. Was that part of that consciousness you were speaking of?
Nattali: Yeah, you know it really worked because Tribal Seeds, they brought a pretty unique lineup together, I mean just having Raging Fyah, and Nattali Rize who is from Australia, but based in Jamaica, my band is Jamaican and the Nattali Rize project grew out of Jamaica so it was kind of a cross project with Raging Fyah, and then a US based reggae band and I think it really worked you know. I feel that the lineup, just when I stood back, aside of being a part of it, when I stepped back and looked in from the outside, you know, and looking at other tours and stuff that’s happening and I thought yeah man, it’s fresh and it’s nice. Like I said, the particular reggae and styles that each of those bands play have a good strong element of conscious music involved and that really made the tour, I think it gave it a strength and a depth that I am personally really happy to have been a part of.
Kizzy: You’re absolutely right, and from our point of view, watching it was definitely amazing! It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a really long time.
Nattali: Wicked, wicked.
Kizzy: Tell us a little bit about your album Rebel Frequency. It releases this Friday, March 24th and is your debut. Tell us about the message you want to portray through the album.
Nattali: Sure, well, Rebel Frequency is the name of the album and it’s come together over the past couple of years. Most of it was recorded in Jamaica and in Australia as well. You know it’s a very conscious album and when you put together an album like this finally see it sort of finished it’s such an epic feeling of WOW because so many hours and hours and hours that you have spent and all of the incredible memories created while making the album. It’s got some amazing features you know, Julian Marley, Jah9, Dre Island, NOTIS Heavyweight Rockaz, and Raging Fyah are on there as well so, um, yeah, a really good family vibe in there. You know, we say Rebel Frequency because we’re looking to the current world culture and the paradigm that we live in, we see the systemic oppression and the injustice built into the foundation of the systems that we live under and anything outside of that is a rebel, and for us music is the rebel, music is the messenger and that sound is the frequency sort of goes against the status quo of what the current grain and flow of what this world culture perpetuates, is a rebel and that frequency is the Rebel Frequency, and there are themes and ideas and philosophies within the album but I guess the underlying message is that the real revolution is the evolution of our consciousness and our minds. That’s our ability to go inside ourselves. The work we do inside will create the new reality outside and it is being created and crafted daily, like every word we speak, every conversation we have, every encounter and meeting is an opportunity to bring a new reality into existence. So, we are very conscious and aware of the words and the lyrics that we use and we put all of that intention into every beat and every strum and it comes out so you know it’s very much an intended record to be a part of this global movement and this global awakening of consciousness and the reclamation of power, individual power, community power, and to be a reminder to those who feel like they are alone on the front line fighting every day, that they are not alone. A reminder to ourselves as to why we incarnated this time and why we’re here in the first place, why we have these gifts, this music to share, and a reminder to the broader community that we are one people and we are connected and the more of us that can free our minds and you know, elevate our own consciousness, inevitably we carry the nest generations up with us so you know that connection is there, and so music is our way of fulfilling our energetic input and we strive to give our global family , and that’s not just humans, the beings that we share this planet with. We’re conscious that we’re part of a bigger solar system too and that there are other beings out there, but, yeah, earthlings need and feel this music more than ever and so that’s why we’re here.
Kizzy: We do feel it too. I went through and read your lyrics and I just really gravitate to strong powerful female artists, like for instance Ani Difranco and Jah9, very activist sort of females and I recognized that in you immediately and I think it’s beautiful the way that you are so powerful on stage that you really can capture people and give that message in just a 30 minute set, it’s just great and thank you for sharing that with the world, well…the solar system…Thank you!
Nattali: You’re welcome, thanks.
Kizzy: It’s just so needed.
Kizzy: When you were on stage playing the Djembe, drumming…WOW! So, I know that you were once a street performer, percussionist. Could you tell me a little about that?
Nattali: Yeah, for sure, you know I love, I love drums and percussion from all over the world so I guess drumming was just something that happened like, I never really planned to play djembe and percussion but where we were living in Byron Bay, where I was growing up, you know guitar is my favorite instrument, I fell in love with guitar, I was a musician from the moment I picked it up but the drumming came along because we used to street perform, and there was drummers and we were like ‘we could do that too you know, we could drum’ and I ended up picking up the instrument and just being really natural on it and we’d just jam and jam, and me and Carlo, who is the manager and also the guitarist in Nattali Rize ,we would play and perform on the street together and we got to a point where the show on the street was really tight, you know we used to earn money that way and it was the first time in my life that I as earning money and going Wow, people just appreciate this rhythm right on the streets. You know you have to be so fierce to be a street performer because you have to create your own stage, you have to entice people to come and then be entertaining enough to make them stay and then be entertaining enough for them to want to give you money or buy your CD or whatever so that while time where I played on the streets in Byron, or when I did street festivals in Europe, people would see me on the street and pull me up on the stage. That’s how I met Michael Franti, that’s how I met the John Butler Trio, that’s how I met Ozomatli, it’s how I met a whole bag of artists that came through Byron Bay for the Blues Festival and they’d be like, ‘Holy Shit, let’s get these kids up on the stage’. And so, it really did open up a lot of doors for me, just like drumming and it’s always been and had become such a strong foundation of whatever project I do. Like, we have this other band called Blue King Brown in Australia, and a lot of really great work and the percussion section is a lot of that.
Rhythm is that thing you know, I’ve got so much appreciation for that while playing on the streets, just how it connects with people, you know, even more so than melody, just a beat, because that’s what’s in our chest every day, it’s a constant beat and it’s like wow you know, and people are just drawn to drums. You know me, I just like to play fast and hard!
Kizzy: Yeah you do!
Nattali: I kind of freak people out. People see me and they go ‘what the heck?’ ha ha
Kizzy: That’s exactly how I was. I was like whoa, how is she doing that so fast?
Nattali: ha ha…I know.
Kizzy: So do you have a musical family?
Nattali: Well, I’m the only like, musician as such, but my father played music and my mum was my first guitar teacher. My sister played music for a while but I’m the only one that is really, really in it and consumed my whole life with it, but at the same time my mum brought me up on the best music out there. She gave me that deep appreciation for artists like Santana and Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff and Judy Mowett and Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, all of the greats, she really gave me that and that’s what I resonated with as a young, young kid. You know, that is the music that I had in my headphones when everyone else was listening to New Kids on The Block, and I have to thank my mum, I constantly thank her for that.
Kizzy: So who are you currently listening to? Who is your favorite person to listen to right now?
Nattali: Right now, I’ve been listening to a whole heap of Burning Spear. I guess he’s on my playlist quite a lot, but there’s a great recording of him from Montreal Jazz Fest. and it’s just epic. I’ve been to one concert if his, years and years ago, before I was a huge fan, and it’s just a meditation. It’s just something else, something about that man and that music, and the way it’s played and his phrasing, his tone, it’s just kinda magic, so yeah, I’m in the Burning Spear magic zone quite a lot these days.
Kizzy: That’s a good zone to be in.
Nattali: Yeah, haha.
Kizzy: Tell me about the evolution of your name.
Nattali: I was known as Natalie Pa’apa’ a, which is my mothers name, it’s a Samoan name. For a long time we wanted to change the name. It’s a feeling, and intuitive thing. The name’s we are born with aren’t always the ones that we need to carry us to the next part of our evolution as a being you know so it was only a matter of time, for me, and of course I still resonate with that name, it’s me, it’s there, but for me I wanted to have something that represented me and to help launch me into this next evolution as an artist and a human, so I changed the spelling of Nattali to more represent the word ‘natta’ which is the Native American word which means ‘speaker’ as in someone who speaks, to and for the people. So that really resonated with me as well as my father is Native American as well, and then Rize was with a ‘z’ because we like to reclaim the language as much as we can and put in a ‘z’, and Rize is about forever being just conscious and aware, always forward movement. You know they say “backwards never, forward ever” and that’s just really the pathway on so many levels, it’s upwards and onwards and you know, that is, to me, strongly represented in the word ‘Rize’ and that’s something that all of us can latch onto and that’s why for me right now everything is about rize together because that to me says a lot. It’s not just physical ‘Rize Up’ it’s consciousness rizing, it’s the whole picture. So, yeah, we put Rize there.
Kizzy: We look forward to the album coming out and we look forward to seeing what’s coming next for you. Thank you so much for fitting us in. I’m excited to share this, and you with everyone.
Nattali: Thank you so much. Yeah, Awesome. Keep the link, definitely, for sure.