Nasio Fontaine

About Nasio Fontaine

An exciting, persistent singer from Dominica whose story should inspire anyone who wants to be a recording artist. Nasio financed his first recording, produced, financed, promoted, and distributed it himself.
A farm boy from Bagatell/Carte-Bois, in Dominica, Nasio Fontaine is the youngest of seven siblings. A one room shanty was the Fontaine's living quarters; it had no running water, electricity, or plumbing. His parents stressed education, but Nasio left school after earning a primary school certificate at 14. He loved drumming as a child and drove everybody batty by banging on anything and everything around the house and in school. He sung in church and school and won the yearly singing contests at age nine, 10 & 11 over many other talented participants. Early idols include the Mighty Sparrow, and the Merrimen of Barbados. Nasio only heard calypsos and other native sounds until his parents brought a Phillips radio home; then he started feeling soul artists like Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Sam Cooke, expanding his musical boundaries.
He moved to St. Maarten in 1981 and absorbed Reggae music, and adopted the Rastafarian lifestyle, something he didn't dare do in Dominica where the Rastafarian culture was barely tolerated and followers were often killed for wearing dread locks. He did odd jobs--working the docks and sweeping stores--saved his money and financed his first recording with the help of his brother. By 1986 he'd saved enough to record a 12- inch single entitled "Born To Be Free" b/w "Party." "Born To Be Free" became a major Carribean hit, it sold 5,000 copies in St. Marteen alone, the island's biggest selling record ever. Nasio went from island to island promoting his creation, making sure to leave records at the radio stations with the biggest antennas.
He became known as the Born-To-Be-Free-Man in St. Marteen and continued to work the docks and the grocery stores to save enough money to bankroll another recording. Nasio recorded Babylon Is Falling, a five-song EP in 1990, but shelved it for four years, releasing it only after being prompted by a friend. Nasio sweetened some of the tracks in Jamaica in 1992, and had 2,000 copies pressed. He released his next CD Reggae Power, in 1994 and went on another island-to-island promotion tour. The record became a success and Nasio garnered many awards. A single from the album "Wanna Go Home," helped by a video really blew him up. Another single "Under Attack" from Wolf Catcher kept the sales flowing and Nasio was an island sensation. His second full CD, Revolution was released April 1999, 17 years after his first recording, and the adulation for Nasio's music continues.

Living in the Positive was released in 2003, with an expanded edition following in 2004 from Ras/Sanctuary. ~ Andrew Hamilton


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