Brand New Heavies

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The Brand New Heavies
Simon Bartholomew, N'Dea Davenport, & Andrew Levy
(Current line-up)
Background information
Origin Ealing, London, England
Years active 1985–present
Past members

The Brand New Heavies are an acid jazz and funk group formed in 1985 in Ealing in west London.


1980s & 1990s[edit]

The Brand New Heavies began in the 1980s as an instrumental acid jazz group called Brothers International.[1]

The group came up with the Heavies name after signing their first record contract, borrowing from a liner note on a James Brown single declaring the artist "Minister of New Super Heavy Funk".[2] As The Brand New Heavies they gained a cult following in the London club scene and soon signed to Cooltempo as acid jazz replaced rare groove in clubs. The band issued a debut recording for Eddie Piller's Acid Jazz label in 1990 with Jay Ella Ruth as lead singer.[3]

A single, "Got to Give", came out on Cooltempo before the Brand New Heavies signed to Acid Jazz Records and released Brand New Heavies to critical acclaim. The band signed to a division of Chrysalis Records in the UK,[1] and American distribution was picked up by influential label Delicious Vinyl, and N'Dea Davenport (who had signed an artist development deal with Delicious Vinyl) joined the group. A revamped version of the first album with vocals by N'Dea Davenport was then released, and the singles "Dream Come True", "Never Stop" and "Stay This Way", all with Davenport on lead vocals, became hits on both sides of the Atlantic, with the latter becoming a music video directed by Douglas Gayeton that saw heavy rotation on MTV.

The group's appearance with MC Serch (formerly of 3rd Bass) and Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest) at a performance in New York City, inspired the group to incorporate elements of hip hop music. Their next album was the critically acclaimed Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1, which included collaborations with Guru of Gang Starr and The Pharcyde, among others, but lacked any female vocals.

While under management by Colin Lester's and Ian McAndrew's Wildlife Entertainment, The Brand New Heavies released Brother Sister (1994) which was the last album for a while with N'Dea Davenport, who had left to complete her solo album (which she had put on hold to join the Heavies). The album spawned more singles, though one of them, a cover of Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis", was popular only in the UK because it was not included in the US version of the album.

Siedah Garrett joined the group for their next album, Shelter (1997). It contained the minor hit, the Carole King-penned song "You've Got a Friend" that was originally made famous by James Taylor. Again, though, this song did not appear on the US version of the album. The album also contained the hit "Sometimes". The remix of "Sometimes" included the rap vocals of Q-Tip.

2000s to date[edit]

The Brand New Heavies then released their greatest hits album, Trunk Funk - The Best of The Brand New Heavies (2000) with Carleen Anderson on vocals for some newly recorded songs, followed by the Japan only album We Won't Stop (2003) featuring a variety of vocalists and Allaboutthefunk (2004) featuring British singer Nicole Russo on vocals.

For We Won't Stop album, The Brand New Heavies relied on singer/songwriter Sy Smith for the bulk of the female vocals.[4] Original member Jan Kincaid takes the lead on three of the tracks, and Los Angeles-based poet Gina Loring[5][6] makes several appearances on the album.[7] Where the Heavies typical sound had typically been more 1970s funk-styled and acoustically driven, We Won't Stop sees the band experimenting with more electronic elements and contemporary R&B.[8]

The album marked the first commercial release of "What Do You Take Me For", the band's lone track featuring former flagship lead vocalist N'Dea Davenport.[9] The track would be later re-recorded in a more modern configuration with Nicole Russo on lead for the Allabouthefunk album.[10] The sound and musical arrangement heard on these first releases of "Music", "Love Is...", and the title track "We Won't Stop" were re-recorded with new leads on N'Dea Davenport's 2006 return to the band for the comeback album Get Used to It.[11]

In April 2006, the Brand New Heavies reunited with N'Dea Davenport and former label Delicious Vinyl. A new album, Get Used to It was released on 27 June 2006 via Starbucks and more traditional music retail outlets. The album was recorded in New York and London; and the lead single "I Don't Know Why (I Love You)" was issued in early May. The single was notable for being one of very few late releases to feature the trademarked A Tom Moulton Mix, as he had been asked to contribute remixes. Later that year, their Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1 album track "Jump 'n' Move" featuring Jamal-ski was featured on the soundtrack for the 2006 computer animated feature film Happy Feet and the in-game soundtrack for 2004's NBA Live 2005 and 2009's NBA 2k10. The band toured at the end of 2006.

The Heavies recorded a cover of "C'est Magnifique" (originally from Cole Porter's 1953 musical Can-Can) for an early 2009 TV ad by Lancôme. The song also appeared in an early track listing of the Heavies' 2009 live album, but wasn't eventually included. The 2-CD Live in London was released in October 2009. The studio version of "C'est Magnifique" was released as a download and also included on a couple of various artists compilations.

The Brand New Heavies released a download instrumental album called Dunk Your Trunk in November 2011.[12] The album, recorded in only four days and described as 'funky library music' is directed at 'TV and Movie people to add to their programmes and films'. The 5-track Dunk Your Trunk Remixed E.P. was released on download on 1 May 2013.

The band hinted in late 2012 via their Facebook page at the possibility of a Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 2 being recorded in the upcoming future - a long talked about follow-up to 1992's Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1, where various rap artists fronted the band.

Dawn Joseph joined the band in 2013.

The Brand New Heavies eighth studio album Forward was released on 6 May 2013. Lead vocal duties on the album are divided evenly between N'Dea Davenport, who features on the first single "Sunlight", Jan Kincaid and Simon Bartholomew, making his debut as lead vocalist on this album, and new UK vocalist Dawn Joseph.[13] While the album was produced by the Heavies themselves, as all their previous albums, there are also new collaborators, including songwriters Johan Jones Wetterberg, Marc Jackson Burrows, Rita Campbell and Tim Laws and mixing engineer Toni Economides.

On 27 July The Brand New Heavies made their first TV performance together with new UK vocalist Dawn Joseph on Swedish TV4 show Sommarkrysset introducing "Sunlight".

On 10 October 2013 The Brand New Heavies announced via their website that Dawn Joseph had officially joined the band as full-time lead vocalist and that the band were working on a new studio album slated for release in early 2014.[14]

On February 21st 2014 The Brand New Heavies played at Buxton Opera House with support from British acoustic blues singer songwriter Matt Woosey. The Brand New Heavies ninth studio album Sweet Freaks, with Dawn Joseph on vocals, was released on the 24th October 2014. [15]

In January 2016, The Brand New Heavies announced that N'dea Davenport will tour with the band again.


Band Member Instrument Dates
Jan Kincaid
(born 17 May 1966 in Ealing, London, UK)
drums, keyboards, writer, producer, vocals 1985—present
Simon Bartholomew
(born 16 October 1965 in Ealing, London, UK)
guitar, writer, producer, vocals 1985—present
Andrew Levy
(born 20 July 1966 in Ealing, London, UK)
bass, keyboards, writer, producer 1985—present
Lascelles Gordon percussion, guitar 1985-1992
Rob Cremona Rhodes electric piano 1990—1991 (debut album)
Jim Wellman tenor sax, soprano sax, keyboards 1990—1991 (debut album)
Ceri Evans keyboards 1985—1992
Jay Ella Ruth vocals 1990
N'Dea Davenport
(born 6 May 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
vocals 1990—1995, 2005—2013, 2016-present
Siedah Garrett
(born 24 June 1960 in Los Angeles, California, USA)
vocals 1997—1998
Carleen Anderson
(born 10 May 1957 in Houston, Texas, USA)
vocals 1999—2000
Sy Smith
(born 18 February 1978 in New York, NY, USA)
vocals 2003
Nicole Russo (born in London, UK) vocals 2004
Dawn Joseph vocals 2013—2015


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Lead Vocalist Album details
1990 The Brand New Heavies Acid Jazz Jay Ella Ruth
1991 The Brand New Heavies Delicious Vinyl N'Dea Davenport
1992 Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1 Delicious Vinyl various hip-hop artists UK no. 38, US no. 139
1992 The Brand New Heavies FFRR N'Dea Davenport UK no. 25
1994 Brother Sister Delicious Vinyl N'Dea Davenport UK no. 4, US no. 95
1997 Shelter Delicious Vinyl Siedah Garrett UK no. 5, US no. 118
2003 We Won't Stop TBNH, Ltd./Pony Canyon Sy Smith, Gina Loring Japan and Korea only release
2004 Allabouthefunk OneTwo/Pony Canyon Nicole Russo
2006 Get Used to It Delicious Vinyl N'Dea Davenport
2011 Dunk Your Trunk Pedigree Cuts incidental music for TV and films; digital-only release
2013 Forward HeavyTone Recordings N'Dea Davenport, Dawn Joseph
2014 Sweet Freaks earMUSIC Dawn Joseph

Remix albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1995 Excursions: Remixes & Rare Grooves Delicious Vinyl
2007 Elephantitis: The Funk + House Remixes Delicious Vinyl
2008 Get Used to It - The Tom Moulton Mixes Delicious Vinyl
2009 Elephantitis: The Funk + House Remixes 2 Delicious Vinyl

EP Releases[edit]

  • 1992: Ultimate Trunk Funk EP (UK #19) (Never Stop / Stay This Way / Mr. Tanaka / Got to Give)
  • 2007: Let's Do It Again - Remix EP aka Remixes (Let's Do It Again / All Fired Up /

We've Got / Right On / Get Used to It)

  • 2012: Dunk Your Trunk Remixed E.P. (download)

Live albums and compilations[edit]


Year Title Label Album UK Chart Positions US Hot 100 US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs US Dance Club Songs
1988 "Got to Give" Cooltempo n/a
1989 "People Get Ready" Acid Jazz n/a
1990 "Dream Come True"
featuring Jay Ella Ruth
Acid Jazz The Brand New Heavies - 63 -
1991 "Never Stop" Acid Jazz, Delicious Vinyl The Brand New Heavies (UK #43) 54 3 42
"Stay This Way" Delicious Vinyl, FFRR The Brand New Heavies
1992 "Dream Come True '92" Delicious Vinyl, FFRR The Brand New Heavies (UK #24) - 42 -
"Stay This Way" Delicious Vinyl The Brand New Heavies (UK #40) - 19 38
"Don't Let It Go to Your Head" FFRR The Brand New Heavies (UK #24)
"Bonafied Funk"
featuring Main Source
Delicious Vinyl Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1
1994 "Dream on Dreamer" Delicious Vinyl, FFRR Brother Sister (UK #15) 51 19 4
"Back to Love" FFRR Brother Sister (UK #23)
"Midnight at the Oasis"
b/w "World Keeps Spinning"
Delicious Vinyl, FFRR Brother Sister (UK #13)
"Brother Sister" Delicious Vinyl/EastWest Brother Sister
"Spend Some Time" Delicious Vinyl, FFRR Brother Sister (UK #26) - - 2
1995 "Close to You" FFRR Pret-A-Porter Soundtrack (UK #38)
"Mind Trips" Delicious Vinyl Excursions: Remixes, and Rare Grooves
1997 "Sometimes" Delicious Vinyl Shelter (UK #11) 88 20 24
"You Are the Universe" FFRR Shelter (UK #21)
"You've Got a Friend" FFRR Shelter (UK #9)
"You Can Do It" Delicious Vinyl Shelter - - 27
1998 "Shelter" FFRR Shelter (UK #31)
1999 "Saturday Nite" FFRR Trunk Funk – The Best of The Brand New Heavies (UK #35)
"Apparently Nothing" FFRR Trunk Funk – The Best of The Brand New Heavies (UK #32)
2004 "Boogie" OneTwo Allabouthefunk (UK #66)
2005 "Surrender" OneTwo Allabouthefunk (UK #78)
2006 "I Don't Know Why (I Love You)" TBNH/Delicious Vinyl Get Used To It (UK #188) - - 21
2007 "Let's Do It Again" TBNH Get Used To It
2013 "Sunlight" HeavyTone Recordings Forward
2014 "Sweet Freeek" earMUSIC Sweet Freaks


Songs featured in Motion Picture Soundtracks[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hammer, Steve. "Interview: Simon Bartholomew". 
  2. ^ Interview with Jon Scragg, Jazz FM 102.2 (London), 22 October 2004.
  3. ^ "N'Dea Davenport Interview". SoulTalk. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  4. ^ "Sy Smith: The Syberspace Social". Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  5. ^ "Cal Poly MultiCultural Center to Host Poet Gina Loring on Jan. 7". Cal Polytechnic State University. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  6. ^ Sean Wardwell (8 March 2009). "Poet Gina Loring to perform at Texas State". San Marcos Mercury. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  7. ^ "The Brand New Heavies - Biography". Pony Canyon. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Brand New Heavies, concert in Korea for the first time in four years". MK (Korean). 20 October 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  9. ^ Dan Grunebaum. "The Brand New Heavies". Metropolis Japan. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  10. ^ "We Won't Stop - The Brand New Heavies". Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  11. ^ "The Brand New Heavies - Get Used To It". FOK. 1 Nov 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  12. ^ "PEDF043 – The Brand New Heavies – Dunk Your Trunk | Pedigree CutsPedigree Cuts". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  13. ^ "The Brand New Heavies: Call In The Heavies". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  14. ^ "Dawn Joseph announced as full-time lead vocalist". 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 75–76. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  17. ^ "Brand New Heavies Discography on". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 

External links[edit]