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MP3 Velvet - World Change

Improvised, stream of consciousness, psychedelic, acid-blues house music.

10 MP3 Songs in this album (57:34) !
Related styles: ELECTRONIC: House, ROCK: Acid Rock

People who are interested in Jamiroquai should consider this download.


The time is now for Kuba Oms, the Canadian singer who mines ‘70s-era soul, funk and rock n’ roll on his solo debut, How Much Time. As the long-time musical director of the live house jam band Velvet, he has taken a contemporary approach to his own project that could be likened to a cross between Jamiroquai, Gnarls Barkley, David Gray and Ben Harper.

The 15-song collection includes the timeless opener “never meant to hurt you,” a well-distanced reflection on his one-time love; the upbeat pop of “beautiful uncertainty” about taking risks and living life again; the from-the-soul destined classic “piece de resistance,” a ballad about fighting the state of the world with love and truth; the unique reggae-based soul song “comin’ undone,” complete with patois and whistle; and the “velvet mix” of the acoustic “this heaven,” written to honour late great snowboarder Craig Kelly for the closing credits of Let It Ride, which won best film and best soundtrack at 2007’s Utah’s X-Dance Film Festival. A recent development has “never meant to hurt you” placed in the forthcoming Forest Whitaker, Jessica Beal, Ray Liotta film entitled, Powder Blue.

How Much Time has been a long time coming, but Kuba’s finally arrived at a sound that is purely him. With the skills he has acquired by helming Velvet’s highly popular weekly jam in Victoria, British Columbia (he also lives in Vancouver) for more than a decade, he’s able to reach for the perfect vocal styling to fit the vibe of each song. His delivery is always soulful, raw and emotive, but also has a laidback quality. In other words, the guy is no show-off. He has the intuition and chops to give what’s needed.

Born in Victoria to a Scottish mother and Indian father, Kuba is a third generation Canadian. As a kid, his parents held bible studies every Thursday evening, which ended in huge sing-along jams with his dad and uncle hosting on acoustic guitars. “This was when I’d come into the room,” he remembers. “I’d sit cross legged and just listen.”
He started at age 15 by singing covers at school and around bonfires. An accomplished tennis player, he had the option of a scholarship to a U.S. college, but opted for music instead. And so his pursuit began. His first original band, Out Of Nowhere, built quite a following in the west coast with its influence of rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s, such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. “In a lot of ways, it was the kind of music I’m playing now, only heavier,” Kuba reflects.

Out Of Nowhere released one indie album, 1995’s Off The Floor, but the band came to an end because, as Kuba explains, it was “too serious” and had “too much ambition.” To chill out, he started a cover band, Souled Out, that became really big in B.C. with renditions of old soul classics from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder. “That’s how I really learned how to sing,” says Kuba. “Covering those songs was quite challenging.”

From there, he formed the legendary Velvet, an experimental, vibey, improv unit that crossed into dance/DJ culture. Kuba’s Sunday night residency with the ever-changing line-up of musicians (including then-unknown Nelly Furtado) sold out every week. Velvet released a series of live recordings and 12-inches and became so big that record companies came knocking. But suddenly, Kuba pulled back and disappeared.

In 2003, he resurfaced, citing “girl problems” for his vanishing act. The experience had armed him with his first solo album. “It’s funny what a little heartache can do. Some pretty good songs can result,” Kuba laughs. That album included “never meant to hurt you,” “miss you so bad”, “whatever tomorrow brings” and “every day that goes by,” songs that were re-recorded for this new recording and official solo debut, How Much Time.

It seems the other version — although it won the 2006 National Songwriting Contest for the track “never meant to hurt you,” which received regular rotation on Vancouver’s Z95.3 — was too produced for Kuba’s liking. Another musician, DbClifford, now signed to a major label, was in his band at the time and spoke out: “The reason you haven’t put this out is because it doesn’t really represent you. It’s too polished.”

Taking that to heart, Kuba rerecorded those tracks. Helping out on the new album are a host of notable musicians and co-producers, including Clifford (No. 1 hit in Japan), Jeff Dawson (Daniel Powter producer), Rick May (Michael Jackson, Rickie Lee Jones), Sean Ashby (Sarah McLachlan), Chin Injeti (Dr. Dre, Jay Z), Matt Skillings (Run Chico Run), Adam Kittredge (Jets Overhead), Danuel Tate (Cobblestone Jazz) and Joby Baker (roots producer).

“Most of this record was done off the floor,” says Kuba. “We did it with no click track, just old school stylings, the way they would have done old Stones or Motown. The deal with the guys was if this doesn’t go down in three takes, then the song isn’t making the record.”

So the ones that made the record — all 15, including the remix — are a stellar collection that bridges sounds, styles and eras. How Much Time is, indeed, time well spent.

For more information, contact:
Sean Timothy Kearney
(617) 913-2000

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