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N'Dea Davenport

N'Dea Davenport with the Brand New Heavies (Vienna 2008)
Background information
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres funk, dance pop, R&B, Hip hop, New jack swing, soul, acid jazz
Occupations Singer, songwriter, record producer
Instruments vocals, drummer
Years active 1988-present
Labels Delicious Vinyl
V2 Records
Dozer Records
Associated acts Brand New Heavies

N'Dea Davenport (born May 6, 1966) is a Grammy-nominated American R&B/soul singer-songwriter best known for her role in the Brand New Heavies, a British funk/R&B band, a group responsible for the Acid Jazz wave in the early 90s.



Davenport was born in Atlanta, Georgia but moved to Los Angeles with a "one way ticket" and actually found success. She came to the attention of newly-formed Delicious Vinyl records, who signed her to an artist development deal and immediately put her to work with label-mate Tone-Loc, who was having some success with the Young MC-penned, Van Halen-sampling "Wild Thing", a 1989 pop and rap smash hit. Davenport's vocals can be heard on "Cheeba Cheeba", a song from Tone's debut Loc'd After Dark. Her other session work in this period would include singing for Malcolm McLaren on his Waltz Darling album, where she was able to display her particular skills on "Algernon's Simply Awfully Good at Algebra" The esoteric funk ditty featured Davenport in the lead vocal and was coproduced by Bootsy Collins of Parliament/Funkadelic. Further stints as background vocalist (for Madonna, among others) quickly yielded an offer to join an up-and-coming English band spearheading the acid jazz movement. After joining The Brand New Heavies (who had signed with Delicious Vinyl for North America) in 1990, she moved to London, England.

The Heavies, with Davenport as lead vocalist, recorded two albums together. Their self-titled debut yielded hits "Dream Come True", "Stay This Way", and "Never Stop". Their 1994 follow-up Brother Sister had considerable hits in "Dream On Dreamer", written by N'Dea and superproducer Dallas Austin, and the soulful and inspirational title track "Brother Sister".

Though her solo aspirations were postponed to join the Heavies,[1] she tasted moderate success in 1993 being featured on "Trust Me", a collaboration with rapper Guru. She departed from the band in 1994 to pursue a solo career after the release of Brother Sister. Her critically acclaimed solo debut album was produced in part by Dallas Austin and Davenport herself. The self-titled album was released June 30, 1998 on V2 Records. Several singles were culled from the album internationally including "Whatever You Want", "Underneath A Red Moon", "Bring It On" and "Bullshittin". The latter was released with remixes that featured a guest rap by Mos Def for radio. Davenport would continue to work on the odd project here and there, but the next few years would be relatively quiet on her career front.

Briefly emerging for 2001's Roger Sanchez/Armand Van Helden's "You Can't Change Me",[2] Davenport rejoined the Brand New Heavies in April 2006 to record the reunion album Get Used To It released in June 2006 on the band's alma mater label Delicious Vinyl. Most recently, Davenport, who had lived in New Orleans since 1995, released the apparently Hurricane Katrina-inspired "One Day My Love" on Peace Bisquit/Curvve Recordings in April 2006. She had sold her property in New Orleans just 3 months before the storm struck in August 2005.[3] The song has peaked at #23 on the Billboard Dance Charts. The single was also released in the UK in 2007.




N'Dea Davenport
Studio album by N'Dea Davenport
Released June 30, 1998
Genre R&B/Alternative
Length 55:25
Label V2 Records
Producer Dallas Austin
N'Dea Davenport
  • N'Dea Davenport (V2, 1998)
    (Peaked at #56 on Billboard's R&B Album Charts)[4]
  1. Whatever You Want - (4:31)
  2. Underneath A Red Moon - (4:16)
  3. Save Your Love For Me - (4:07)
  4. When The Night Falls - (4:50)
  5. Bring It On - (4:22)
  6. No Never Again - (5:14)
  7. In Wonder - (4:06)
  8. Bullshittin' - (3:34)
  9. Real Life - (3:06)
  10. Old Man - (4:00)
  11. Placement For The Baby - (6:25)
  12. Oh Mother Earth (Embrace) -(3:52)
  13. Getaway - (3:30)


  • "Trust Me" (Guru featuring N'Dea Davenport) (Delicious Vinyl, 1993)
  • "Bring It On" (V2, 1998) (US R&B #75) [5]
  • "Bullshittin" (V2, 1998)
  • "Underneath A Red Moon" (V2, 1999)
  • "Whatever You Want" (V2, 1999)
  • "You Can't Change Me" (Roger Sanchez feat. Armand Van Helden & N'Dea Davenport) (Defected, 2001)[6]
  • "One Day My Love" (Peace Bisquit/Curvve, 2006)

Additional information

  • The "Acid Jazz" label applied to The Brand New Heavies music was coined by British record executive Gilles Peterson, perhaps in hopes that he could keep interest in the music on a par with the then-ubiquitous Acid House music. The musical style was patterned after an admiration for 1970s funk ranging from James Brown to Rufus and the Average White Band. Peterson named his fledgling label Acid Jazz Records as well, and the Heavies recorded for this label in the United Kingdom.
  • Davenport recut the vocal track on "Never Stop" "Stay This Way", and "Dream Come True" after Jaye Ella Ruth (the band's prior lead vocalist and co-writer) had ceased to be a member of the group, but preceding the major release of these recordings. Ruth's vocals in comparison are noticeably thin and do not display the range Davenport would exhibit on her recordings.
  • Davenport's participation in sessions for both Malcolm McLaren's Waltz Darling and Madonna's I'm Breathless provide a curious link between "Deep in Vogue" and "Vogue" respectively. Madonna's originality has been contested vis-a-vis these two songs.
  • Davenport's "Save Your Love For Me" is a cover of a song originally performed by Nancy Wilson. Wilson's original song appears on an album of the same name.
  • Davenport is also a drummer.[3]


External links


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