hey Negrita’s journey began when singer-songwriter Felix Bechtolsheimer moved to South Florida in 2000. He spent his nights jamming with one of Ray Charles’ backing singers and a 55-year-old cowboy junky who had worked with Gram Parsons and Little Feat.
Having left London in search of a new life, Felix embraced the dark humour, warm weather and earthy music of the Deep South. Within a few weeks of arriving in Delray Beach, he secured a residency at the bohemian Da Da Lounge. There he began writing and performing the songs that would evolve, some five years later, into Hey Negrita’s critically-acclaimed debut album, ‘We Are Catfish’.
In July 2005, hey Negrita released the 7” single ‘Devil In My Shoes’ on London indie Fat Fox Records, followed by the full-length debut ‘We Are Catfish’. The album quickly crossed over the Atlantic, gaining strong support from key radio stations and DJs across the US, including Nic Harcourt’s tastemaker show ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’, on KCRW in Los Angeles.
In March 2006 the band embarked on their first US tour, which included a performance at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Footage from the tour formed the core of a mini-documentary aired on Channel 4 in the UK in August that year, which coincided with the release of the band’s second album ‘The Buzz Above’.
hey Negrita topped off 2006 with performances at a number of UK festivals, a 19-date UK tour with Alabama 3 and a second US tour with Tony Joe White.
In 2007 the band re-emerged with a new and revitalised line-up and returned to the studio to record their third studio album. They spent the summer playing festivals and touring UK prisons as well as taking part in the award-winning music documentary 'We Dreamed America'.
2008 saw hey Negrita return to the US for five gigs at the SXSW Music Festival, a support slot for The Beach Boys in Germany as well as performances at numerous festivals, including Glastonbury, Bestival, Latitude, Cambridge Folk Festival, Larmer Tree and The End of the Road Festival.
The band also embarked on a 14-date UK headline tour following the release of new album ‘You Can Kick’ and recorded the live acoustic album ‘Burn The Whole Place Down’, which is scheduled for release in October 2009.
Hey Negrita kicked off 2009 with performances at the SXSW Music Festival in Texas, Canadian Music Week in Toronto, The Great Escape in Brighton and Bergen Fest and the Vinstra Music Festival in Norway.
The band will spend the summer writing their next album (due to be recorded in December) before heading back out on the road in the UK, Europe and the US throughout September, October and November.