Originally Published as a guest post for Monroes Live, Galway
Ahead of his May 28th show in Monroe’s Live, NATTY WAILER, the self-titled messenger of “love and liberation” caught up with Darragh J. Mullooly to discuss living naturally, building homemade instruments as a child and, of course, his relationship with the incomparable Bob Marley.
Rastafari ambassador, Natty Wailer, can be best described as a true positivity pioneer with an unmatched passion for his craft. As a Reggae aficionado with a deep connection to music and the Rastafarian way of living, this Wailer is a genuinely inspirational character who is sure to light up any stage that he graces. Like most children Natty had a natural sense of curiosity and a real hunger to learn new things and although academia came as a challenge, his main focus and driving force was to be creative. Even at the tender age of ten, the profound effect that music can have on people was ingrained in him.
“When I was nine or ten, before I met Bob and the Wailers, I was trying to make my own guitar and my own keyboard. I tried making a guitar with strings, boards, nails, cans. I remember my local countryside church saved up some money and bought themselves a keyboard. The first day that it was played it opened up a new world to me. I never knew there was an instrument or a person that could do that sort of thing, that makes your spirit leave your physical self.”
After a childhood spent learning to how create and appreciate the gift of music, he crossed paths with the iconic Bob Marley. Although he is undoubtedly one of the most famous names in music history, Natty explains how being a “superstar” was never something that Marley wanted.
“When it comes to Bob and his music – Bob was pure spirit. My personal experience was…you connect with him. He made you look at your whole self and he never wanted to be known as a superstar, or a celebrity, just as a Rastafarian who wanted to inspire people through his music.”
As well as a deep rooted love for his music, or what he calls “my life’s work”, Natty is also a willing spokesman for the Rastafarian way of life. For readers out there who aren’t clued into the Rasta way, Natty clarifies: “Rastafari is not just for African people, it’s a life language. It’s all about natural living – as natural as possible. Instead of drinking a cup of cola, I get honey and lemon and make my own lemonade, because if I drink Coca-Cola I’m poisoning myself. So Rastafari isn’t about religion, it’s really a way of life; natural living. Before you put anything on your face or in your mouth, read the labels. You know. What’s this? What is this going to do to my body?
What am I polluting myself with?
Natty explains how he, like a lot of people, grew up in a Christian family and community.
After going to the usual Sunday morning church every week, he came to the realisation that Rasta was the right way to live, for him, and this is shown through his musical endeavours.
“Through experience, I’ve come to realise all this. I realised what life is really worth and that’s the message in the music.”
Despite being over 7,000 Km from Jamaica, Natty says that Ireland has become his second home. The first time his feet touched Irish soil was in Belfast and an overwhelming sense of tranquillity swept over him. As well as stay in the North, Natty did the obligatory two-year stint in Galway! As almost everyone knows, there is something special about the City of the Tribes.
“I love Galway. I lived there for two years…there are some really great folks down in Galway. In Ireland, you say that Galway is a little bit off the beaten track. When you’re there, you’re in a bubble, you have everything you need and you don’t have to leave. So there is no need to go to Dublin, Kerry, or anywhere else”
Natty continues: “One of the special things about Galway is Shop Street. There are twenty different languages being spoken and there are buskers and students. Everyone is communicating and sharing. Galway really has a bit of get up and go!”
The old adage: “No rest for the wicked” really does ring true for Mr Wailer. He lives for harmony and breathes melody. His life’s work is what he cites as his relaxation time. After a long day in the studio Natty enjoys nothing more than kicking back and listening to what has just been recorded. The 9 to 5 rat-race is not something that appeals to him; so no need for the annual two-weeks in the sun. “I’m not within that kind of system, so every day is a holiday!”
There’s no doubt that Natty’s penchant for Galway and his undying zest for music will shine through on May 28th.
“I want to bring people together, because music is a huge part of the human spirit. The most important thing for me is that, this is not my music, this is our music. Every language, every nation and every tribe had some kind of instrument. Music has become our voice, it’s getting our message across…we can sing about love!”
If you want to be part of the musical spirit then don’t forget to check out Natty Wailer and the Reggae Vibes, hitting Monroe’s Live on May 28th.