In Key Magazine Chats To… Natty Campbell!

Source: Natty Campbell MC Facebook Page 2018 | Credit: Samalandra

Early this week, the ‘Reggae Roast feat Natty Campbell MC‘ released a track entitled ‘Pam Pam‘, I was lucky enough to catch up with Natty  after the track went live.

You used to be a regular face in the Canterbury scene, both at open mics and as a busker. What prompted your move to London and is there anything that you miss about Canterbury? 

I moved to London to take my music to the next level, Canterbury is a great place to musicians to start and to hone skills, as you mentioned I would often busk around the City and it definitely helps you in so many ways. Unfortunately Canterbury doesn’t have much of Reggae scene and moving to London definitely gave me a better platform, I do miss the scenery of Canterbury though, its a beautiful place almost like stepping back in time.

What inspired you to write “Pam Pam” and what was the creative process behind writing it? 

Pam Pam basically started just as a hook that I’d used for years before recording and had always freestyled around at live gigs and when I was asked to come and record with Reggae Roast I was sent a bunch of Riddims (instrumental tracks) and it just fit and when the musics good the lyrics just flow, I feel the track gives you the vibe and the lyrics are there to express that vibe, when I heard that Riddim I felt that 80’s Dancehall vibe come through and I based the lyrics and vocal performance on that kind of vibe.

What has so far been your favourite thing about being in “Reggae Roast”? 

Where do I start! Reggae Roast is like a family too me, like any family we can have our arguments but theres a lot of love there too, Reggae Roast came and picked me up when no one knew my name and gave me a chance. They’ve allowed me to perform at gigs that still don’t seem real today, I’ve also learned a lot from working with some real veterans in the game like Brother Culture, Colourman, Donovan Kingjay and Clapper Priest, its like an MC University! Not to mention the new generation MC´s like Shumba Youth and Kiko Bun its great to see have such a positive and talented crew to work with! 

I’ve got a lot of love for the Reggae Roast crew and if you haven’t heard of us, make sure to come to one of our regular sound system events in London.

What do you find is more important in music, creating music that moves people either emotionally or physically, intricate music that expresses you as a person/musician, or being the voice of a community? 

To me, music is so important to so many different people for so many different reasons that in all honesty we have to cover all the bases, for example ‘Pam Pam‘ is a party track now lyrically its not emotionally moving so to speak, but sometimes you need a party tune just to put a smile on your face, however in upcoming releases such as a tune called ‘Reminisce‘ we’ve written with Sleepy Time Ghost, Shumba Youth, Hannah Beaton and Rivah Jordan we cover issues such as police targeting of minorities and bring a much more political vibe. That being said I do think that it should always move you physically too its gotta be a whole package. 

And I feel with sound system music we will always be the voice of a community, sound system has so much important history in the Caribbean community, its been a voice for us and with the scandals that have come to light regarding Windrush generation citizens being deported or denied health care its important to carry on representing and spreading positivity and love and that has spread to a whole heap of people coming together regardless of race or religion and uniting and breaking down the barriers that so many are desperate to build.

What is your favourite thing to do when chilling in your down time? 

If I’m not working on songs or gigging then I’ll be listening to music or finding new songs. I like to read a good book or watch a documentary or film, we’ve got lots of good venues in London so its always easy to find a good gig to go to as well! 

I’ve also been lucky enough to play some great international gigs this year too so relaxing in a beautiful nature reserve in Mexico was a definite favourite! Big up Carnival De Bahidora for that one!  

If you could switch to another genre, what would it be? 

Well funnily enough I also play guitar in a Punk band called The Rebel Pebbles, so I guess Punk! That said though, Reggae and Punk have always gone hand in hand so I guess it makes sense? I’ve always been a fan of rebellious music that goes against the norm and I’m a big fan of the looseness that comes with Punk.

How was shooting the video for ‘Pam Pam’? 

It was pretty stress free as far as shooting videos goes, although in London you get quite a few planes flying over so recording live audio can be tricky but Jordan Grant is a great videographer to work with so definitely check out Jordan Grant Films on all your channels as he does some great work! Shout out to Decks Ray Spex on the sound work and Interrupt for editing the sound!

Is there anyone you want to give a shout out to or pay homage to? 

All the people who have supported my music and given me love, advice and guidance. Big up to AC Selecta who booked me for my first ever gig as an MC, Decks Ray Spex who I still gig with today and who introduced me to Reggae Roast, Horseman and MC Spee for the continued guidance and support and my lovely family and friends who keep me grounded, humble and continue to make this journey a wicked, amazing experience. 

This is your space, anything you want to add? 

If you have a dream, and really want to do something then follow that dream and do it, never get give up and settle for less, never put that dream on the back burner or treat it as a hobby, nurture it, work hard and manifest what you want to happen. 

There is so much you can do if you just believe in yourself and it took me a while to find that out, but have confidence in yourself and do what you want to do and you’ll be fine!

Live with love in your heart and enjoy life to the fullest.

Natty and myself go back a few years, and to see where he was to where is now, is nothing short of amazing, through hard work, dedication, and a desire to succeed, he has worked his way through the live circuit and now has a slice of fame across his face in the form of his smile, easily recognisable and instantly remembered.

Natty Campbell MC is a force to be reckoned with and nothing will stop him from taking the reggae world by the horns and guiding it where he wants to go.

About Alex Vellis 15 Articles
Alex Vellis is an award winning poet, published author, and playwright from Canterbury, Kent. He is the poet in residence for Wise Words Festival (Kent), the Eleto Chocolate Café, and Canterbury Connected (BID). Alex's writing draws on the ideas of love, loss, and feeling lost; of family matters, sex, gender identity and hope. He was the 2015 Wise Words Grand Slam champion, and has since gone on to set up his own slams across the city, in addition to running the ‘poet in residence’ scheme with the “Rough Cut Collective” in Canterbury. He has been support for Shane Koyczan, Kate Tempest, Anthony Anaxagorou, Joelle Taylor, Vanessa Kisuule, and Dan Simpson, among others, and has performed at various festivals across the country, spoken at conferences in Paris, performed in Europe, and runs regular workshops on creative writing and performance. Alex launched his debut show, ‘Everything Is Terrible’, at a sold-out show at Wise Words Festival in 2017, and looks to tour in in 2018. Alex is a prominent member of the ‘Rough Cut Collective’ a Kent based group of artists led by Workers-Of-Art, and a main player in the artistic scene in the Canterbury community. He also mentors a group of young poets (aged 17 to 25) helping them achieve what they want from a literary career. As well as running a page for artists of different mediums that want to collaborate on new and existing work called “Vertex” Alex has been commissioned by the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury to write a play for their “Return Of The Unknown” project, celebrating the centenary of the end of the First Word War. The play debuted on November 10th 2017. In 2017, Alex was an assistant producer for the Wise Words festival in Canterbury. His first poetry collection ‘Everything Is Terrible’ was published by Whisky and Beards in 2016 and can be purchased on Amazon. Other collections of his work include ‘Journal Entries’ (self-published, 2015), ‘Talking With Impossible Gods’ (Whisky and Beards E-Book, 2016), and ‘Unmarked Graves’ (a pamphlet, Whisky and Beards E-Book, 2016). His next collection ‘Ships In The Night’ is set to be published late 2018. "Alexander Vellis makes the epic sound intimate, and searches for beauty in the ugly corners. His work is free verse, hip hop inspired, nuanced spoken word that works as easily on the page as it does in the mouth. A gifted poet." Joelle Taylor "I enjoy Alex's honest, accessible, and well-written poetry, which is delivered with an authentically friendly stage presence." Dan Simpson

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