November 18, 2011


The soulful voice of vocalist, songwriter, and producer N'Dea Davenport first emerged in 1991 when she became the front woman for the British funk band The Brand New Heavies. Featuring international hits "Never Stop," "Dream Come True," and "Stay this Way," the band's self-titled 1992 debut album brought acid jazz to pop's mainstream. As the band's lead singer, Davenport's kinetic stage presence and soaring vocals drove the band's groove into the hearts, feet, and hips of dancing audiences.

It's safe to say that Davenport's instinctual ability to move a crowd developed from her club roots and education as a dance student. While attending college for mass communications, classes in music, dance and acting augmented her studies through graduation. Later on, after leaving her hometown of Atlanta with $300 in hand, she moved to Los Angeles and became immersed in its underground warehouse scene of the late '80s and early '90s. As a dancer, she was embraced by artists and visionaries in fashion and photography, as well as by diverse musical talents. Their subculture linked Davenport to great pop artists, including Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Fab-Five Freddy. As fate would have it, Fab-Five Freddy advised his DJ friend to sign Davenport to a solo deal around the same time that The Brand New Heavies landed on this same Delicious Vinyl label and were looking for a new lead singer.

In 1995, at the height of The Heavies' commercial success, Davenport resigned and headed back to the U.S. After returning stateside, she worked to build her solo career and collaborated with various artists, including, Mos Def, Mark Ronson, DJ Krush, Dallas Austin, Guru (Jazzmatazz), Natalie Merchant, Madonna, and Daniel Lanois, to name a few. Her self-titled solo debut was released on V2 Records in 1998, boasting the funky flavor that listeners have come to expect from her. Davenport would later reunite with the Brand New Heavies in 2006, and she continues to tour with the band. She is currently working on a project called Celectrixx, an electronic and acoustic duo that she conceived in Japan with up-and-coming producer Katsuya. Celectrixx's sonic recipe, consisting of dub rhythms, electronic beats, and infused dark soul, is inspired by Davenport's progressive musical vision.