Nattali Rize is a tender-spoken reggae artist who packs a political punch. Rize puts themes of love and hope front and center in her songs with her soulful vocals. By tying together her multicultural identity with her global travels, Rize has carved out her own mantra of putting humanity first and politics second.
“The illusion of what divides us is what makes people impressionable to fight against their fellow human,” Rize says. “The reality is that we are one family, we are all connected and have the potential to be so much more than what current and past world systems have ever told us we could be.”
She released New Era Frequency, a collaborative EP featuring fellow reggae artists Notis, in 2015, and she plans to release her first full-length album in March. Rize says her mother raised her on goddesses like Aretha Franklin and Judy Mowatt — influential artists that Rize ties in with her Samoan and indigenous American roots to create a rich perspective on achieving political change through music.
“I don’t like politics,” she says. “It’s a sick system that keeps the collective mindset trapped in a very narrow paradigm of thought.” She adds that by creating and sharing music from a multitude of backgrounds, change can better grow in an otherwise hopeless system — one that is programmed to keep you down.
“[Society] told you the sky is the limit,” Rize says. “The truth is it’s just the beginning. You’ve just got to fully wake and realize it, reclaim your power.”
Catch Nattali Rize with fellow reggae groups Tribal Seed and Raging Fyah 9 pm Tuesday, Jan. 31, at WOW Hall; $13 adv., $15 door. — Kelsey Anne Rankin