N’Dea Davenport & The Brand New Heavies Reunite For Some Escapism (Audio)
The Brand New Heavies formed in the mid-1980s London club scene. However, it was during the 1990s that the Acid Jazz outfit founded by Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy found its most successful stride. In 1990, Atlanta, Georgia native N’Dea Davenport joined the fold as the group’s lead singer. This lineup sounded great, and touched the ears of many Hip-Hop Heads, R&B fans, and a wide scope of music lovers.
Following an eponymous debut album that included Jay Ella Ruth as a vocalist, a 1991 Delicious Vinyl Records reissue added Davenport to the mix. With that move came Stateside commercial success across a string of charting singles.
N’dea was also a key presence on 1991’s Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1, a fusion project that involved reigning Rap acts like Guru, Main Source, Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, The Pharcyde, and others. Through 1995, the collective made some incredible music together, with a team that also included drummer/vocalist Jan Kincaid, keyboardist Cari Evans, and percussionist/keyboardist Lascelles Gordon. In 1995, N’Dea Davenport broke from the group to return to her solo music pursuits. In 1998, she eventually released her eponymous debut.
In 2019, that is still the case. After reunion runs in the mid-2000s until the mid-2010s, N’Dea Davenport helps the group release its first single in years. “Getaway,” arriving on the same Acid Jazz Records imprint that helped launch the crew, this song is a groovy reunion.
Notably, the song includes a brief nod to The Emotions’ stuttering line in 1977 hit “Best Of My Love.” With a smooth bassline, N’Dea sings about the need to get away from the confines of mental boxes, judgment, and stagnation. Thirty years after Andrew Levy and N’Dea Davenport established some incredible chemistry, they’ve still got it with the pen, pad, and the studio, courtesy of “Getaway.”