Nando Griffiths & Pure Fyah

Whether hyping the party crowd with a high energy hybrid dancehall and urban-pop set or serenading the ladies with his brand of soulful lovers rock and sultry R&B, Nando Griffiths, or simply “Nando” to friends and fans, exudes a quiet confidence that suggests that he is not just dabbling in multiple genres but that he has truly devoted himself to excelling as both a reggae singer and an urban-pop singer. His versatility is the type not typically seen from reggae recording artistes, but then again Nando is not your typical reggae singer.
Given Nando’s Jamaican roots and that his first Jamaican number one song, Get Better, is a traditional one-drop reggae song, one may naturally assume that he is a one-dimensional reggae singer; however, a good listen to his debut album, Yaad and Abroad, will quickly dispel that notion. That Nando is among the leading voices in the emerging wave of contemporary reggae singers such as Chris Martin and Romaine Virgo is not in doubt, especially after one listens to his lovers rock songs such as My Everything and Some Other Guy; however, what one may find surprising is that Nando is equally at home on urban beats - whether such beats have more dancehall and soca elements or more R&B and urban-pop ingredients. Indeed, his performance on R&B-flavored songs such as Feel Like and Talk to Me has elicited comparisons to Trey Songz and NeYo. Closer to home, his delivery of dancehall and soca-influenced tracks such as Ride All Night and Rude has had listeners likening him to Wayne Wonder and Kevin Lyttle. It is precisely Nando’s ability to cross genres without missing a beat that prompted popular dancehall diva and media personality Tifa to tag him with the label “international artiste,” even though at the time of writing he is not yet a household name in the local market. The “international” tag may lead one to believe that Nando is trying to be everything to everybody; but nothing is further from the truth. Nando is just embracing his two worlds.
Nando spent the formative years of his youth in Jamaica, the land of his birth, where he got grounded in classic foundation reggae listening to artistes such as Bob Marley and Beres Hammond. During that time, he also developed a love for an eclectic array of music, including R&B, pop, and jazz. After graduating from Jamaica College, he journeyed to New York City, the global melting pot, to attend Baruch College of the City University of New York. While earning his undergraduate degree in Economics with a minor in Music Theory, he found time to sing in the school choir and in a band of extremely talented urban-pop musicians, some of whom went on to tour with renowned artistes such as John Legend and Beyonce, which enabled him to gain a deeper appreciation for the urban music scene.
It is this migrant journey that allows Nando to serve up Yaad and Abroad, a pioneering double-disc set, which is groundbreaking in the sense that, unlike early commercial albums from Shaggy and Sean Kingston that veered strongly towards the urban-pop side, Yaad and Abroad is the first album we know of that devotes equal attention to both traditional Jamaican lovers rock and urban-pop genres and excels at both. In this context, Yaad and Abroad represents the voice of a migrant Jamaican youth who remains true to his roots while embracing the cultures of his home away from home.
Nando recognizes that he is in the early phases of his musical journey as a performer and that over time he may well find a singular niche; however, for now he is comfortable just making great music in the reggae and urban-pop genres. So while it has been argued that no man can serve two masters without loving one and hating the other, Yaad and Abroad, with its blend of potential lovers rock classics such as My Everything and urban-pop hits such as Look at All These Girls, provides evidence that Nando is arguably well on his way to doing just that.

Simone G

Simone G. has a harmonious sound which can be heard on the background tracks of many local and international artists including the 2006 GRAMMY nominated album by Burning Spear "Our Music".

Simone spent five years on the road touring with Stephen Marley from 2007 and she also continues to work with reggae artist Bushman. She has also performed with Antigua's Reggae Ambassador, Causion as well as the former lead singer for the Wailers, Gary "Nesta" Pine. Simone has been fortunate to grace the stage with several luminaries, among them Stephen 'Cat" Coore, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Glenn Washington, The Meditations, Big Youth, Ernie Smith, and many more. Currently she is on the road with Junior Marvin (formerly of Bob Marley's Wailers). She is working on her solo project which includes production from Maurice Gregory, keyboardist for Third World; Laury Webb of Laury Webb and the Tigerbone Band and Earth who produced Nasio Fontaine's "Living in the Positive". Simone says she wants to create music that reflects her eclectic, diverse background and influences. She says she "wants to bring back story telling into the music reminiscent of Paul Simon and Billy Joel." For this songbird, "it's all about reaching people of all walks of life so that they can relate and feel what I sing." She says, "When they hear me sing, they hear their own lives and know that they are not alone in what they're feeling. I want to share that with the world one song at a time."

Justin Henry

"Big beats, innovative raw music, and just pushing the envelope musically....that's what I'm about."

Justin Henry, born in Mount Vernon, NY & raised in Baltimore, grew up as a kid who was born to do it. With no help he left Baltimore for New York on a scholarship as his way to gain more exposure and knowledge of the music industry while honing his craft. This eventually lead to him being a professional audio engineer working with some of the biggest music artist in the world while writing and producing for other artist. False starts and inconsistency with other artist caused him to hone in and become one himself.

Thus the Rebel One was Born!!!!

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Nando Griffiths & Pure Fyah with Simone G, Justin Henry

Thursday, July 25 · 8:00 PM at Ella Lounge