Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Natural Onyx hosts unity concert in Kingston

Published:Friday | July 26, 2019 | 12:44 AMSade Gardner /Gleaner Writer
American singer Natural Onyx.
American singer Natural Onyx.

When American singer Natural Onyx stepped into The Gleaner offices yesterday evening, an aura of peace enveloped her. Her message was clear. Her mission in Jamaica is to promote oneness and “good vibrations”, all of which will be unleashed tonight at her Natural Onyx and Frenz concert in Kingston.

“I’m here to bring good vibes to the community and children and to showcase my talents and music to Jamaica,” she said. “People should come down and just enjoy the vibes. It’s going to be music that is uplifting and healing. You can bring your family and enjoy the event.”

The show unfolds at 11 p.m. at 8 Northend Place, off Constant Spring Road, and will see surprise performances, along with giveaways for patrons.

Onyx’s presence in the island has been a long time coming. She recalled that her last trip to Jamaica was when she was three years old, and she is hoping to be embraced by a culture that she has long revered.

‘Reggae Music Welcomes Natural Onyx’

“I’m working on a campaign called ‘Reggae Music Welcomes Natural Onyx’. Ever since my childhood, reggae has been a part of my life, and so it was important for me to return to the birthplace of reggae. This campaign is, basically, asking the field of reggae music to welcome me. Since I’ve been here, I’ve performed at a couple places and it has been good vibes, and I’ll continue to visit open mics and spread my message until I leave at the end of the month,” she said.

Onyx’s appreciation for reggae can be heard on a recent remix of Faded, a hip hop single which has taken on new life with an old-school sample of reggae singer Alton Ellis’ Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

“I love roots-rock reggae. It’s what I grew up on. It has been a part of my history and family,” she said. “ Faded speaks about why we are fading as a people and the things we can do to stop this generation and the future from fading away, so I thought the lyrics were perfect for this Alton Ellis beat.”

Reggae aside, her style encompasses various genres, including neo-soul, jazz, and hip hop. Though she possesses an Erykah Badu style, she cites her mother as her biggest musical influence.

“When Erykah Badu started singing, everyone said my mom sounded like her, so when I started to really do my music independently, then naturally it’s the same vibrations. Badu has been an inspiration as far as her powerful message, but I was doing music before she came out. She was still a great influence to tell me don’t be afraid of myself, my image and my voice.”

She is currently working on another album, Shades of Onyx, which will show the scope of that voice, for a release date later this year.

“It’ll be a compilation of all aspects of myself and why and how I do music. I like many different genres of music, and this album will represent my versatile flavour and taste in performing and writing, so it’s gonna be a really good album with really good energy that’s gonna be broadcasting some healing among the people.”