Nathalie Natiembé
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Nathalie Natiembé


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- Margoz - 2001
- Sankèr - 2005
- Karma - 2009



Lying in warm waters 500 miles east of Madagascar, Réunion Island boasts a population not only diverse in origin (European, African, Indian, Chinese…) but one that’s continually cross-breeding. So it’s no surprise that the isle’s music claims similar genetic complexity.

Take the sound of Nathalie Natiembé, for instance. With the homegrown Creole musical style maloya very much her base (the local equivalent of the blues), Nathalie has stirred in outside influences, seasoning her homeland’s traditional music with elements of jazz and rock. The result is a very personal sound shot through with emotion rawness and sonic intensity. But don’t read too much in that - it’s by no means difficult listening. On her quieter songs, she recalls a French-singing Cesária Évora; on the faster, heavily percussive numbers, her band sound not unlike the musical treasures from neighbouring Madagascar. Sounds like a win-win to us.

Nathalie Natiembé is a phenomenon. A character whose calibre shapes the stories later told from generation to generation. She doesn’t need any tricks to fascinate. She just uses her voice like no one else. Natiembé lives on multiple influences, crossbred sounds. She is immersed in jazz, reggae and a lot of rock too. She mingles the latter with her maloya, this local blues, long time banned by the authorities until recently. Her debut album «Margoz» came out in 2001. The same year, she was labelled "Discovery” at Printemps de Bourges. «Sanker» is her critically-acclaimed second album, recorded with the most influential musicians in the Indian Ocean.

Produced by Sakifo Records, her third full-length «Karma» (2009) was recorded with Cyril Atef and Vincent Segal from Bumcello. On tour, Nathalie has teamed up with Meï Teï Shô/Susheela Raman rhythm section, as well as Zong's keyboard player Yann Costa, who also engineered «Karma». Those talented and experienced musicians bring Nathalie a wonderful basis to put her unique voice on. The result is properly astounding and has seduced a constantly growing following.