The Mother Lode

"People are suffering and struggling around the world and there are those who live by completely different rules. The question becomes - what's next? Where do we go from here and what do we do with this information as a society? The conversation is getting louder, and it feels like we are on the precipice of a major shift or revolution, but it remains to be seen.”

Iconic singer Ultra Naté pulled no punches earlier this week talking about her latest single RICH M’FKs, the relentlessly crunching electro collaboration with internationally renowned German electronic producer and DJ Henrik Schwarz.

"Henrik’s warping and minimal sounds in RICH M’FKs capture the distorted reality I’m lamenting in the song,” she explained. “A lot of people have told me it captures exactly how they’ve been feeling these last few years, like the walls are closing in. RICH M'FKs feels like despair initially but grows quickly to become more of a fight song. Those distorted and morphing sounds become the march, the stomp and fist pump of the people.”

RICH M’FKs is one of two tracks made with Schwarz for Ultra’s #1 album ULTRA, alongside the previously unreleased BOY (Feeling Good Feeling Better). Both tracks now feature on this special EP, accompanied by previously unreleased dub versions, and presented Ultra an opportunity to process swirling emotions intensified during the lockdown period.

“I kept the hook (of BOY) intact and developed the song fully, drawing on some of my own relationship difficulties I was working through at the time,” Ultra said. “The “I’m feeling good, I’m feeling better” line was very therapeutic for me because I felt dreadful at the time! There were just too many things spiralling out of control and at times I felt like I was losing myself. There were no more straws to break the camel’s back, I was just done. But I had this lovely, dreamy, bluesy, kind of floating song with beautiful colors that I was creating simultaneously, and it was cathartic to immerse myself in building it.”

The production process for both artists proved a lifeline during Covid, as Ultra explains: “I have been a fan of Henrik’s for quite a long time! I find his productions and remixes to always be engaging, solid and well-produced. He’s a master at what he does, and I’ve always been inspired to work with him. I had generally started writing material for my new album but hadn’t had the time to really drill down on it. Then the pandemic hit and as I began whittling away the days of early lockdown, I reached out to some possible collaborators. It was a very traumatic period as friends around the world were suddenly lost to Covid. The world was standing still, people were frightened, and it was chaotic. I found solace in creating, it allowed me to control at least some part of my life.

“When I reached out to Henrik, like everyone else, he was dealing with the trauma and very keen on collaborating, we all needed it! We needed some semblance of normality and a vehicle to process and heal through. Creating with Henrik was one of the smoothest collaborations I’ve ever done and because we were in lockdown, everything was done remotely and seamlessly.”




Named one of Billboard Magazine’s Greatest Dance Artists Of All Time, and with a career spanning three decades and spawning massive crowd stompers such as Twisted, Automatic, Party Girl, New Kind Of Medicine, Found A Cure, How Long (Ultra Flava), If You Could Read My Mind, and the seminal, evergreen anthem Free, US singer, songwriter, DJ and producer Ultra Naté continues to be an integral force within the life blood of global House Music.

One of the first house music artists to sign a major label deal with she inked paper with Warner Music UK, Ultra Naté’s sound has continually embraced a variety of genres including House, Soul, Disco, Electro-Pop, R&B, HipHop and Rock. Her catalogue is one steeped in timeless classics, impressive accolades and creative highlights with everyone from The Basement Boys, Nellee Hooper, D-Influence, Mood II Swing, Nona Hendryx, Lenny Kravitz and Frankie Knuckles, to N’Dea Davenport, NERVO, Todd Terry, Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), 4 Hero, Deee-lite, Masters At Work, Roger Sanchez and more.

Ultra’s biggest single ‘Free’ shows no sign of letting up, 25 years after its original release. Ultra a widely noted ally of the international LBGTQIA+ community, Free was universally named one of the Top Pride anthems of all time during 2019’s unprecedented global World Pride celebrations. In 2020 Tomorrowland’s influential One World Radio included the track in the Top 10 of its ‘Best Ibiza Anthems of All Time’. In 2021, Ultra was invited by dance maestro Pete Tong to close out his Ibiza Classics tour with Jules Buckley and the Heritage Orchestra, performing Free in front of crowds of up to 90,000. June 2022 saw Swedish Pop duo Icona Pop collaborate with Ultra for a revised version of Free, titled You’re Free and aptly released on Ultra Records. In July 2022 Ultra gave a historic performance of Free at a sold out Wembley Stadium for the Women’s Euro 2022 final, alongside Becky Hill and Stefflon Don. In October 2022, at the invitation of Pete Tong, Ultra returned to the UK to record a sensational new Orchestral version of Free (Do What U Want) with LP Giobbi and Jules Buckley that incorporates Rozalla’s classic, Everybody’s Free, exclusively for Amazon Music on Ministry of Sound.

November 4, 2022 4:00am ET by The Mother Lode  

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