KUBA OMS BIO
Kuba Oms knows how make people dance. As long time musical director of B.C's legendary electronic jam band, Velvet, he's played with some of the biggest names in the dance world. His new single, Electrolove, has become a summer hit in Canada and as his national radio campaign continues to build momentum, it's apparent that Kuba's new dance sound striking a chord.
Born in Victoria to a Scottish mother and Indian father, Kuba is a third generation Canadian. He started singing at age 15 by playing covers at school and around bonfires. Growing up on an island, you can’t just pick up and leave. You’ve got to find something to do and for me, it was music.” Also, 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.
To hone his chops, he started Souled Out, performing renditions of old soul classics from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder and Joe Cocker. “That’s how I really learned how to sing,” says Kuba. “Covering those songs was quite challenging. I am drawn to that music of the late 60’s and early ’70’s as there was often a feeling of desperation.” he says. “There was a war going and the civil rights movement was in full affect, and people and like Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan were prepared to sing about it.”
From there, he formed the legendary Velvet, an experimental, 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. He resurfaced, citing “girl problems” for his vanishing act. The experience had armed him with demos for his first solo album. “It’s funny what a little heartache can do. Some pretty good songs can result,” Kuba laughs. The heartache however, quickly turned into drug abuse things started to go sideways. “One day I had an epiphany and realized that if I was going to hit rock bottom, that meant that the music would be gone. I realized that I didn’t want to suffer anymore, because when I suffer, other people suffer,” he explains. “So I jumped through some hoops and checked myself into rehab.” Humbled and rejuvenated he returned home to Victoria to finish the record appropriately entitled “How Much Time”.
How Much Time was released on Oct. 6th, 2009 on Digniti/Warner and could be likened to a cross between Jamiroquai, Paolo Nutini, David Gray, Ben Harper and Al Green. He took a more contemporary approach to this 15-song collection has includes the timeless opener “Never Meant to Hurt You,” which won the National Songwriters Competition at Toronto’s Canadian Music Week. The song was recently featured in the film Powder Blue starring Forest Whitaker and Jessica Biel. The album also features the upbeat pop of “Beautiful Uncertainty,” about taking risks and living life again; 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;” and the velvet mix of the acoustic “This Heaven,” written to honor late great snowboarder Craig Kelly in the film Let It Ride, which won best film and best soundtrack at Utah’s X-Dance Film Festival. Kuba is currently writing with best selling author Don Miguel Ruiz, whose book The Four Agreements has sold over four million copies.