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 Hip hop 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 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 promotion was going on, Natu went to New York to spend some time with her husband Who tragically passed away from pancreatic cancer 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 Ali Farka Toure , Mory Kanté, Fela Kuti, Baaba Maal and Nina Simone.
She bought her first guitar after watching Ali Farka Touré play in Guinea .
In 2017, When Natu had the opportunity to use her relation with Salif Keita and he's band
to record in New York she did not hesitate. During their couple of days stay in NYC they recorded couple of tracks penned by Natu and her friend Andy. From there Natu took up an offer to record an album in Salif Keita's studio Moffou in Bamako, Mali. She courageously booked a ticket, grabbed her guitar went into the unforgettable journey in 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 music lovers, promotors, journalists, and her fans were supper enthusiastic about her come back. They all knew Natu as a hip-hop performer and were amazed at the metamorphic they witnessed in Natus accomplishment. The Guinean child was celebrated on an hour panel on National TV.
When 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.”
Because of her commitment 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, Natu lives between Conakry (Guinea) and New York . She believes by using her music to promote these causes and passing the right message she can make a huge change in the young people's life. She is a woman on a mission and focused on growing and building her foundation for young girls and kids.
Natu sings about real stories that touch on the major issues of our day. Whether it's discussing forced child marriage or the lack of unity in her country or loneliness in western world Natu finds a way to speak to the silent minority through her music. The songs are performed in 5 languages but the audience needs no translation. Her energy and hypnotic strength keeps anyone on their feet and find her way in their heart.
Once a tiger, always a tiger. A star to see, meet and listing to.