BioAudioPicturesChatCD & DVD Releases
Most music fans are familiar with Notch as the lead singer of Born Jamericans, the popular duo that seamlessly fused reggae, R&B and hip hop. The Jamericans’ classic 1994 debut album “Kids From Foreign” and their sophomore effort “Yardcore”, featuring Notch’s silky smooth vocals complemented by partner Edley Shine’s rough edged reggae raps, brought Caribbean musical influences to American sensibilities, which reflected their backgrounds as second generation Jamaicans raised in the United States.

When the duo disbanded in 1998, Notch delved further into his multiethnic heritage and began highlighting his Latin roots within his music. Born Norman Howell to a Jamaican father who is part Cuban and a Black American-Puerto Rican mother, Notch learned Jamaican patois from his father and Spanish from his Cuban grandfather while on his mother’s side of the family, he was exposed to “the Puerto Rican way of speaking Spanish” as well as the latest African American slang.

Notch’s multicultural background contributes to the diversity that characterizes his first solo album “Raised by the People”, a joint venture between Notch’s label, Cinqo Por Cinqo, and Universal’s Machete Music, the home of several successful Latin and reggaeton artists including Don Omar, Hector El Bambino and hit making production duo Luney Tunes. “Musically, I am trying to connect the people of the African Diaspora who have been colonized by different languages,” explains Notch. “Latin music sounds similar to the music from neighboring (English speaking) Caribbean islands: poco drumming from Jamaica is the same as the timbale sound that comes from the African influence in Latin culture. So here am I, an African American, fusing influences from the (Latin) Fania label of the 60s-70s with Jamaica’s Studio One label (which launched the careers of many reggae artists including Bob Marley) showing that they were simultaneously creating similar sounds without knowing each other. What I am doing may get looked upon as watered down reggae or watered down Latin music but I am exposing what they took from one another and showing the beauty of it.”

Notch’s interest in emphasizing his Spanish roots was sparked by a mixtape by premier Latin deejays/emcees Tony Touch and Doo Wop whose raps alternated between Spanish and English; Notch took their bilingual approach a step further by intersecting Spanish, English and Jamaican patois lyrics. His trilingual hybrid, which he has labeled “Spatoinglish”, furthers the achievements of some of his favorite artists including Jamaican singer Pinchers (who became a dancehall sensation with his Spanish flavored hit “Bandolero”), Jamaican producers Sly and Robbie who fused reggae with Latin rhythms for their sizzling La Trenggae sound and especially Harry Belafonte, the American born crooner whose 1956 album “Calypso” sold one million copies and helped pave the way for the crossover success currently enjoyed by many Caribbean artists. “Belafonte sang Jamaican folk songs along with R&B, calypso, gospel, Jewish and Hispanic songs and he could sound like any genre he was performing,” says Notch. “Some Jamaicans thought he diluted their music yet he created some of the most popular Caribbean songs played on mainstream radio at a time when white America wasn’t too tolerant of different musical styles.”

As a solo artist, Notch has earned several hits that reflect his wide-ranging musical tastes. He has remained a force in reggae with the dancehall boom shots “Nuttin Nuh Go So” on Jamaican producer Tony Kelly’s Buy Out Riddim and “V.I.P. (Get Back)” on the popular Kopa riddim, produced by Supa Dups of Miami’s Black Chiney collective; he sang lead on acid jazz group Thievery Corporation’s “Richest Man in Babylon” (which debuted at number 111 on the Billboard Top 200 chart) has collaborated with The Brand New Heavies on their Brazilian-Portuguese flavored tune “Carnival”, sang with alternative-ska rockers Sublime on their hit “Open Roa
About  |  Rap Web Directory 


Copyright 2000-2022. Rap News Network.

Privacy Policy