Barbara Naps

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Naps studied piano as a child and sang in the school choir. On completing her education she became involved in session work providing winsome harmonies at various London-based studios. Her reputation…
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Naps studied piano as a child and sang in the school choir. On completing her education she became involved in session work providing winsome harmonies at various London-based studios. Her reputation led the highly respected female band Akabu to enrol Naps as their drummer. She toured the globe with the band, earning particular acclaim in Japan and the USA, where the novelty of an all-female reggae band gained them a lot of attention. They resisted major label interest as the contractual stipulations generally involved sexual exploitation and Akabu were determined not to compromise their credibility. When the band was not touring or recording Naps resumed her role as a backing vocalist. She made a notable contribution to Vivian Jones’ highly popular ‘Strong Love’. While performing with Akabu she accompanied UB40 on their Labour Of Love tour. It was at this time that she enjoyed crossover success, when ‘Suffering’ was released on the b-side of UB40’s interpretation of Winston Groovy’s ‘Please Don’t Make Me Cry’. By the early 90s she was finally given the chance to demonstrate her ability as a solo artist. Her debut, the sublime ‘When You’re In Love’, surfaced in 1994. The track was produced by the Ruff Cut Band who released further hits from the singer including, in 1996, a version of Bob Marley And The Wailers’ ‘Hurting Inside’. The band also released several other Naps’ songs, including ‘Sorry’ and the 1997 hit, ‘Slow Whine’. In addition to maintaining a solo career she supported both Janet Lee Davis and Starkey Banton, alongside fellow Akabu member Simmy in session at the ‘A’ Class Studio for Powers Youth. On the live circuit she joined her brother Vincent Nap backing Banton on his celebrated live performances at the Essential concerts in London. She has also worked in session alongside Soul II Soul, Imagination and the Eurythmics. In January 1999 her solo reputation was further enhanced when Ruff Cut released her long awaited debut, defiantly titled No Apologies. Notable tracks included ‘Help Me Lord’, ‘De Herbs’, ‘Mr. Melody’ and a remix of ‘Hurting Inside’.