David Beretta Owens

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N8ive is a "thinking man's band" with philosophical lyrics and catchy, intriguing songs ranging from acoustic rock to hard-edged hip-hop collaborations...
In 2002, ex-Lithium (and Gimp) front man Dave Owens gathered together the talents of Warren Gibson (ex-Seed, Gimp, Odball and Diesel Whores) and Kevin Leicher (Plum, Odball, Even Flow and Diesel Whores), and formed N8ive.

From the time of their first gig (16.05.02) - supporting Boo! at the Bassline - the group, originally purely acoustic, has impressed. It wasn't long after that the band decided that they needed to take their sound to a higher level and Gary Leicher (ex-Seed, Gimp and Odball) joined the band, adding another acoustic guitar into the N8ive mix. The result was a much bigger sound and N8ive began creating a huge impression on critics and audiences alike.

Owens' enigmatic voice resonated over a fusion of hardcore sounds and sensual melodies, played on acoustic guitar by himself and Gary Leicher. On the strong platform of Kevin Leicher's drumbeats and Warren Gibson's solid bass sounds, the combination of power and beauty was inspiring.

After a year of N8ive existence, another metamorphosis took place as the band began to dabble with including electric guitar on some of their tracks. This became a permanent feature of the N8ive sets with Leicher playing electric guitar and Owens on acoustic, taking the qualities that made the band so unique - the contrast of acoustic melodies played hardcore style - to an even greater dimension.

N8ive continued to play on a much stronger level, and with their sound filled out, the impact of the group on audiences was even more immense. The group played the country's top festivals and clubs in Joburg and Cape Town, increasing their repertoire and reputation as they went along.

Their collaboration with top hip-hop outfit Skwatta Kamp (the first between a solely white rock band and entirely black hip-hop outfit) also won the band serious kudos, and the fruits of the work appear on the Skwatta Kamp album Mkhukhu Funkshen.

The band took a break in 2006 with the birth of David's first son, and as life often does, took the members on their own separate journeys, and the band never regrouped or performed again.