Born in Ivory Coast and raised in Guinea, Natu Camara grew up with a love for cinema, poetry and dance. But her real passion was music.
In high school, she and her three best friends formed West Africa’s first ever female R&B/hip-hop band, the Ideal Black Girls. Their first album sold in the millions and made them young stars. It was nominated for Best Album 2002 in Guinea. Titled, “Guinèya mou monèra” (“it’s not a shame to be a woman”)
the music stood for women’s rights. Encouraged and supported by their thousands of fans, the girls toured throughout Africa and managed to finish college which earned them respect in Guinea and they became an inspiration to the young generation. They organized the revolutionary Rhapsody, a festival of live music for female in Hiphop and mentorship programs. It was the first of it's kind in West Africa bringing female hip hop singers from many countries in the region to Guinea. It was a break through moment for these young very popular musical pioneers. Their song ''Didi'' is still played extensively on the radio and is a popular wedding song. Many happy couples dance their first dance together to the sound of IBG.
Natu and the band were also featured in a movie shot by the late Cheick Fantamadi Camara.
IBG performed and Natu got her first experience as an actor. The group followed up the enormously successful “Guinèya mou monèra” with a second album recorded in Senegal. As the album came out and promotion was being prepared Natu went to New York where her husband had recently began to work. Tragically, he passed away not long after she arrived. Suddenly, Natu found herself alone and deeply saddened. This was the beginning of a long and dark period of mourning for her late husband. Many have asked her the reason why she went silent for so long. The answer is found in the music she was preparing through those dark days She was alone in a foreign country and arrived with nothing but her grief and a guitar that her husband bought as a wedding gift.
In 2013, a bird came to Natu’s window. This was a message. As she recalls, “I realized that I was in the wrong place of my existence. So I picked up the pieces and began the next chapter of my life.”
Natu is a natural linguist and quickly picked up English. She began writing and recording new songs,
formed a live band, and began performing locally in New York City. Even though she’d playing hip hop
music all her young life, Natu always wanted to learn instruments and play guitar to perform like
Salif Keita, Mory Kanté, Youssouf N’dour, and Nina Simone.
She bought her first guitar after watching Ali Farka Touré play in Guinea.
In 2017, Natu learned that Salif Keïta, was performing at SOB's in New York.
After the show, she met up with Salif and his wonderful band. Having a couple of days before
returning to Africa, the band were available to record a couple of tracks penned by Natu.
The sessions went deep into the night. Keita himself showed up later and inquired about this powerful
singer from Guinea. From there Natu had a perfect introduction and took up an offer to record an album
in Keita's studio in Bamako, Mali. She courageously booked a ticket,
grabbed her guitar and hopes, and took an unforgettable journey deep into the heart of her music.
In Mali, master guitarist and producer Djessou Mory Kanté introduced her to the best local talent,
world-class musicians who captured the heart and soul of what Natu has to deliver to the world.
The album Dimedi/"Child" has been received with incredible heart and acclaim in her home country. The leading national TV station was so impressed they dedicated more than an hour to Natu with a panel of 6 leading local promoters and journalists. They all knew Natu as a hip-hop performer and were amazed at the metamorphis they witnessed in Natus accomplishment. She performed 3 songs with just guitar and percussion. The entire studio (and the nation) were brought to tears as she performed Dimedi/"Child". Her album release show, later that night was a moving triumph. Ministers and fans mingled and rocked out to a new Natu. Stronger than ever.
Natu’s voice has elements and nuances reminiscent of Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, Tracey Chapman and Tina Turner combined. But her voice is uniquely her own and rooted in a deeply felt philosophy:
“The key to success is positivity and hard work, which will open any door. I sing about truth, love, peace, women and children’s rights. Most of my inspiration comes from my experiences in daily life.”
Natu lives between Conakry (Guinea) and New York.
She is committed to helping her country and in particular the young women who reach out to her in urgent need of strong female role models and mentorship. She believes in using her music to promote these causes and many others. She is busy setting up a foundation with local leaders and the government to make this into a real force for change. All her songs are about real stories that touch on the major issues of our day. Whether it's discussing forced child marriage or the the lack of unity in her country, Natu finds a way to speak to the silent minority through her music.
She is a woman on a mission. To connect and share that music with the world.
A powerful voice for change and women rights. When she performed with Ideal Black Girls people
refered to them as tigers on stage.
As a solo performer Natu owns not just the stage but the hearts and minds of all those who listen.
With music that is impossible to not move to. Full of energy and hypnotic strength that you don't want to stop. Audiences from Montreal to Alberquerche are beginning to experience an evening with Natu and her talented US based band. The songs are performed in 5 languages but the audience needs no translation. It's just fine music sung with a massive conviction. As Natu often remarks on stage.
"this was nothing...I'm just getting started." Lookout world. The tigress is awake.