More than a week later, fans are still raving about Nathanael’s album launch concert – Forever +1. The fact that the event is still on the tips of many tongues will come as no surprise to the hundreds of music enthusiasts who made the journey to the well-decorated Courtyard Government Plaza, Port-of-Spain venue, (kudos to the decorating team) on November 6. For those of you who weren’t there, I got the deets.
The music affair was a celebration of love and marriage and sought to highlight and reaffirm the positive aspects of relationships at a time when many are losing hope and faith in all things good. It also introduced fans to his new music featured on Forever +1 – his fourth album offering – which comes on the heels of ‘Chances’, ‘For Better or Worse’ and ‘Szns Change.’ The 14–track compilation has something for everyone. If you’re a fan of Nathanael, you’d know his pen game is something serious. All the songs on the album center around healthy love and romance expertly flavoured with R&B, dancehall and reggae genres.
“I put my whole heart into this. I wanted to change the narrative with this new album – change how people see love, receive love, define love,” he told Caribbean Insight in an exclusive interview following the event. ‘This project took me about two years to complete. I really believe that this is my best work yet.”
Dressed in a pink custom-made Lee Richards ensemble, the artiste, whose real name is Ryan Levi Nathanael Hamilton, began his stint on stage with the song ‘Mr and Mrs’ off the ‘For Better or Worse’ album. Later, he treated the lively crowd to some of his oldies, like ‘Dance Like My Daddy’ and the ever-green wedding tune, ‘For Better or Worse.’ Fans were also waiting to hear some new music and Nathanael did not disappoint. He belted out the already popular ‘Big Man Ting’ and other tracks, such as ‘Cliche ‘and ‘The One I Want.’
The fun wasn’t over yet. Patrons, who had the opportunity to purchase signed copies of the new album that evening, were also treated to riveting live performances by Nisa,Vanessa Briggs, D Flaveny, and Jaron Nurse – to name a few. There were moments of nostalgia when the cast took fans down memory lane with classics from yesteryear – I’m talking Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. “We’ve got some painful, twisted, and all round negative outlooks on relationships and romance out there right now. My belief is that we need positive reinforcements in music, conversations, pieces of art that add value, to restore and to heal,” Nathanael told us.
Forever +1 was hosted by Gerelle Forbes and Wendell Bompart who did a commendable job keeping fans entertained between performances. Special mention must be made of the dynamic duo Ultrabrio and DJ Soundmind who brought out the classics during their set which had patrons – young, old, and in-between – on their feet, singing, reminiscing, and even doing the electric slide.
Nathanael, who is also the co-founder of the popular production company, Fisherman Project, also took the opportunity during the show to pay respects to his longtime friend and poet Omavi Langevine who succumbed to cancer earlier this year, with a five-minute video presentation which showed him in his element, on and off the stage.