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The Naya Rockers Announces the Re-Master of Their Hit Album

The Naya Rockers Announces the Re-Master of Their Hit Album

Naya Sound System is due out Oct. 14th.

The Naya Rockers are back with a remaster of their much-loved 2014 studio album, Naya Sound System. It features plenty of good vibes, irresistible riddims, and star collaborations across its nine tracks. Naya Sound System is due out Oct. 14th and will be available everywhere you stream music. Pre-save and download here:

Naya Sound System first came about when Nathan Sabanayagam, drummer and one half of the Naya Rockers duo, started traveling to Kingston, Jamaica in 2004. With riddims recorded from his band back in Boston in hand, the idea was to collaborate with other musicians. The seemingly simple idea expanded into a two year journey with home base becoming a rented room in Havendale. After spending several years meeting local artists and becoming familiar with Jamaica's reggae scene, Nathan put together a short list of stellar artists ready to lend their voices and talents to the album.

But by this time the band in Boston was no longer interested in the project thus he needed new riddims. Nathan recalls, "This left me in a tough situation, with many years invested I had to take matters into my own hands. I took the vocals I recorded and produced new riddims to match and out of this remix process was born Naya Sound System Vol. 1 released back in 2014." He continues, "Almost a decade later, I have remastered the record for release. A dub remix by the Mad Professor of Reggae Train and other versions to follow."

Naya Sound System is 9 songs deep that catalogs that time in Nathan's life. "The new release/re-release is a look back for me, a reflective moment where I can revisit my early work and see where I have been," said Sabanayagam. "As a fan and dedicated student of reggae, I have gone to the source and have been fortunate enough to drink from the well," he added.

While in Jamacia recording the record Nathan met legendary musicians, worked at legendary venues, record labels, and recording studios. Nathan recalls, "The first track I voiced was Babylon Stress at Tuff Gong during my second trip down."

Among the other legends were the likes of Kiddus I, Mikey General, Frankie Paul, Big Youth, Errol Dunkley, and Johnny Clarke. He worked around the clock recording their voices using a portable rig in hotel rooms, the artists' homes, and his own makeshift production base in the rented room in Havendale. One frequent haunt was the veranda in the home of guitarist and producer Earl "Chinna" Smith.

"In Jamaica, you record where the music is, and 'Chinna's Yard' has music flowing 24 hours a day," said Sabanayagam. "This is also where I would eventually be doing most of my production work in Kingston. Having an MBox, ProTools, and a laptop, I was able to capture recordings wherever I was."

He continues, "Most of the tunes were written on the spot, a chorus would form and we would work from there laying out the arrangement for the verses to fit in between. Lyrics were worked out over the riddim then written on paper or in the case of Frankie Paul who was blind just straight from his head into the mic. We could finish writing the song and recording all vocals including harmonies, lead and adlibs in 3 hours."

Once he'd recorded all the vocals, Sabanayagam began the arduous task of producing riddims to match. The band on Naya Sound System includes Earl "Chinna" Smith who contributed guitar and some percussion on "Illusions" and "Reggae Train." Nate Edgar (The Nth Power, John Brown's Body), the second half of Naya Rockers, on bass.

Nearly a decade later, The Naya Rockers have remastered their iconic record to stunning audio effect. When asked about his process back in Jamaica compared to now, he comments, "As far as gear, I fundamentally stay the same... but have switched my DAW from ProTools and ProTools hardware to Digital Performer and UAD Apollo hardware. The Roland Space Echo is a staple in my production and appears throughout the production as well as a host of plugins, automation and outboard compressors and EQ."

They also added in a few more musicians on the remastered version, including guitar by Van Martin, Mike Keenan and Johnny Trama, keyboards by Zack Brines, and Sabrina Pallini on Backing Vocals for "Don't give up." The remastered version was mixed by Nathan Sabanayagam and Will Holland and Chillhouse Studios, and mastered by Jason "Jocko" Randall at More Sound Studios.

Naya Sound System was Nathan's master class in the business of music. He recalls, "I had to use all the skills I had in order to finish this project and learn a few more. From learning the musical landscape of Kingston to the best way to record vocals in the field. Rebuilding riddims, working with artists, contracts, copyrights, PRO's at the same time trying to maintain a consistent vision." He continues, "I always enjoy working and collaborating best. But the nature of this project required that it mostly came from me and it is my interpretation and take of this style and genre. It is what's in my ears."

The newly remastered album will see a few remixes, one coming soon with be from the renowned dub artist Mad Professor for "Reggae Train." And although all the songs are standouts in their own, "Illusions" featuring Kiddus I is a special one for Nathan. He says, "we were recording on the veranda and Just as the track began at the end of Kiddus I's intro lines a very loud Thunder Clap sounded and Chinna yells "Jah".

Perhaps people may think this is an added effect or overdub but this was truly a mystical occurrence. It was from that moment I would begin working Inna De Yard also eventually, recording and producing a full length LP for Kiddus Green Fa Life."

In the works is a possible Europe tour with a few of the album collaborators joining Naya Rockers. The live shows will reflect the album as much as possible and even bring in a few dub engineers to help keep the iconic sound of Naya Sound System!

The remastered version of Naya Sound System will be available for streaming and purchase on Oct. 14th, available for pre-save and order here:

From This Author - Michael Major

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