POPULAR reggae singer Natural Black has cut off his locks, breaking his covenant in the Rastafarian lifestyle and dramatically altering his look.
“I got up and cut off my locks Sunday morning because I looked around at my surroundings and realised that I have not been living a Rastafarian lifestyle. I want to see the changes around me, and as it relates to the upliftment of the people, the direction of the Rasta order and the walk toward perfection. That is not happening. I just see discord and chaos in the rasta community, all of it is very misleading,” said the artiste, whose real name is Mortimer Softley.
The Far From Reality singer is aware that there might be a backlash from members of the Rastafarian community, but he is prepared to defend his decision.
“They tell you one thing about the upliftment of the people and improvements and things His Majesty speaks of, but in the long run, you realise that is a different thing which is really happening and it is disappointing. Rasta still stands predominant. We can only defile ourselves, Rasta is still the highest, but I am not living up to those high standards, so I can’t be a hypocrite. That is why I take a pair of scissors and cut my locks myself,” he said.
Natural Black plans to concentrate more on recording dancehall music, and is putting the recording of roots and culture songs on pause.
“I just need a break from it, I feel like I need a change, mi a go tek it to the dancehall right now. Because I buss with Songs with Meaning and Far From Reality, dem brand me as a roots artiste, but mi have the chance and the talent to do dancehall as well. I respect Rasta but mi caan be a rasta and do skettel music, It nah go match, I want to do some hardcore dancehall songs and mi caan do both, that ah go create a conflict within myself,” he said.
He commisserated with his fans who might feel betrayed by his decision but pointed to well-known members of society such as consultant Leachim Semaj and Dr Peter Phillips, minister of finance, plannning and the public service, who have abandoned the Rastafarian lifestyle by cutting their locks.
“People change and move on, mi de pon my journey and this is where it lead me. Mi ah do this for myself, right now, mi ready fi the dancehall,” he said.
The singer is promoting new singles, Play With You, and a song, Dancehall Riddim on a rhythm track of the same name on his own Shagillia label.