Native Sun Profile

These days, Sarina Leah and Mohammed Yahya are making appearances around the UK in their signature style - bright colours, oversized glasses, and traditional prints. At their performances, Yahya's raps are complimented by Leah's melodious voice.

Together, they are Native Sun, a new group returning to hip hop's roots with a unique twist.

"...Unfortunately now when people think of hip hop in the mainstream, it's very negative. So, we are trying to return to that essence of music when it was positive and ancient and old but still very pure."

Although, Native Sun use hip hop to promote positivity, the duo's refusal to put themselves into any single musical category lends to their experimental sound. Yahya describes their style as a mix of different genres, "Hip hop with a blend of afro beats but then it's also like jazz and reggae."

Leah was born in East London to parents from the Caribbean while her counterpart, Mohammed Yahya, was born in Mozambique and came to Britain by way of Portugal. Both are 30.

After knowing each other for ten years, the duo decided to create the group last year. They want to spread positivity at a time of global unrest. Both, Leah and Yahya, participate in workshops in prisons and schools to underprivileged youth and members of society.

"The message in regards to our music, in my view, would be all about love. It's a simple idea to spread love and peace and love one another," said Leah. "It comes from the idea that unity makes life enhanced. Coming together can create more progressive movements," she added.

Although their creative process is spontaneous, they duo say they will release their album in early 2012 and they are already halfway there.

"It's been very organic, like even in the process of recording our first song. We didn't feel rushed or pressured to do it. Whilst that was happening, it went from one song to three songs," said Yahya.

When asked about Native Sun's most memorable moments, their performance at last year's Restless Beings event, EcoShip, is high on their list.

"On the boat when we did the show for Restless Beings, who are an incredible charity, they arranged us to be in 1920s style. You felt like you was performing in a different time zone..."

See them perform live at Restless Being Human Writes event on November 26th.

If you would like to hear their music visit their Bandcamp page.

Images by Jake Burge.