Living In the Positive
- ROOTS RHYTHM, GLOBAL INFLUENCES AND SOCIO-POLITICAL LYRICS DOMINATE NEW ALBUM
The island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a miniature paradise nestled in the midst of the Caribbean sea, home to a young farmer who left school at the age of fourteen and now elicits whispers from wizened Caribbean musicians claiming he is to be their next great island-bred songwriter. On September 28th, Nasio will live up to their presage, when Living In The Positive is released, his first album to be made available in the United States.
|Lyrically closer to Ben Harper than Sean Paul, Nasio is primarily a songwriter, dwelling in roots music and tackling socially conscious subjects about Black Pride, the poverty, despair and hope of his island nation, and a call to end war. The first song he ever wrote and recorded was "Born To Be Free," and world music magazine The Beat called his song "Rise Up" " ... a no-holds-barred rock-out jam .... a great anthem in the tradition of 'Stand' by Sly and the Family Stone ... "
Upon cursory listen, his music may evoke the reggae of the Caribbean, but the members that make up his band paint a more accurate picture of the musical depths his songs actually go to. A Japanese American keyboardist, his Pittsburgh-bred guitarist who wears a Yankees jersey as proudly as his blonde ponytail, a drummer on loan from Paul Simon and the Talking Heads who wears clean cut golf shirts and creased jeans that belie his groove-laden rhythms, and background vocalists from the UK and the US reflect the vast and global inspiration that dominate his writing. He even counts Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Caye, The Beatles, Burning Spear, and - yes - Bob Marley among his influences. Perhaps that's why Nasio's fans aren't necessarily all reggae lovers - most consider the music merely a backdrop to his lyrical narratives.
And then there's Nasio himself. With a commanding yet somehow humble presence that makes him appear impossibly tall onstage, the singer / songwriter performs with a heartfelt sincerity that can convert even the greatest cynic. His startling cheekbones (inherited from his native Carib Indian mother), waist-length dreadlocks, and sweet accent - a mix of Caribbean patois and Dominican Creole - transfix audiences.
You may also be interested in one of Nasio's previous releases: