Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Black History Month: ULTRA NATE

Ultra Nate
Ultra Nate is dance music royalty. Born in Havre de Grace, Maryland in 1968, she was raised listening to everyone from Marvin Gaye to Boy George. She set off her career in ’91 and signed her first deal with Warner Brothers in England. She entitled her first album  “Blue Notes In The Basement”. It included 4 singles; “It’s Over Now”, “Deeper Love (Missing You)”, “is It Love”, and “Rejoicing”. In 1993, she followed up her debut with “One Woman’s Insanity” expanding and working with Nellee Hooper and D’Influence in addition to The Basement Boys who produced her previous work. This project was released at a time when Robin S. and Crystal Waters were having huge mainstream success with dance/pop singles. Although Nate’s singles “How Long” and “Show Me” reached the top of the dance charts, her albums didn’t move a huge number of units and she soon left the label. The decision was mutual as Warner Bros wanted Ultra to move in a less house direction. She soon moved onto release music on iconic house labels King Street and Strictly Rhythm

in 1997, Ultra Nate released the huge mainstream hit entitled “Free” produced by Mood II Swing. It reached 75 on the US Billboard 100, peaked at number 4 in the UK, number 10 on the Canadian Singles Charts, and helped establish the “Situation Critical” (1998) LP at 17 on the UK album charts. The album also featured “Found A Cure” which is the tune Nate is most widely known for as well as “New Kind of Medicine”. The same year “Release The Pressure”, also on the album, was featured on the soundtrack for The 24 Hour Woman along with 3 new club mixes. in 2001 she followed up this success with the “Stranger Than Fiction” album now working with Mood II Swing, Attica Blues, and 4Hero. One of the stand out songs from this release was “Twisted” also featured on the 4Hero Remixed project.

In 2004, Nate contributed the beautiful song, “Wonderful Place” to the Underground Dance Artists United For Life compilation “Keep Hope Alive”. The same year she teamed up with Gerry DeVeaux releasing music as Ultra Devoted. They dropped the singles “Feel Love”, “Time of Our Lives”, and “Brass In Pocket”. The following year she collaborated with Guadino and with Stonebridge having more mainstream success with the dance hit “Freak On”. In 2006, she created her own Blufire Records imprint and partnered with Tommy Boy Records to release “Love’s the Only Drug” which reached number 2 on the iTunes Hot Dance Club Play chart. She then did a cover of the Pointer Sisters classic “Automatic” and that went on to reach number 1 on the same chart in 2007. Following these successes, she released “Give It All You Got” with Chris Willis which reached number 1 on Billboard.

In 2010 Bob Sinclair remixed “Free” giving the anthem new life. She also collaborated with Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Quentin Harris, and Tony Moran around the same time. With even more releases between 2011 and 2015, and a residency at Space in Ibiza, Ultra Nate has been no stranger to a busy schedule. With a lengthy discography and list of accomplishments, her momentum is sure to continue on for years to come. for more info.

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