Alex Cuba
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Alex Cuba

Smithers, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Smithers, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Latin Singer/Songwriter




"Alex Cuba Will Tune Out "Static" and Turn on Soul"

When your name is Alex Cuba and you were born and raised on a certain island 90 miles south of Florida, people naturally expect you to make Cuban music.

But the Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter isn't a big fan of preconceived expectations. The winner of the 2010 Latin Grammy for new artist, Cuba swings among various hybrids of jazz, funk, pop and traditional Caribbean boleros and sones, playing guitar and bass and singing in both Spanish and English with a gentle sincerity that never subsides into stickiness.

One of his favorite collaborators is his fellow Canadian artist Nelly Furtado; they wrote nine songs together for Furtado's 2009 Spanish-language debut, the plantinum-selling "Mi Plan."

Cuba's fourth album, "Ruido en el Sistema" (Static in the System), will be released in October, and he'll be playing Thursday evening at the Santa Monica Pier and on Saturday at the H2O Music Festival at the Los Angeles State Historic Park downtown, where he'll be part of a lineup that includes Wisin & Yandel, Snoop Dogg, John Legend and Ozomatli. - LA Times


Are You (April 2012) single
Ruido En El Sistema (Sept/October 2012 Canada/UK/Europe) album

Directo (Germany/Puerto Rico 2011) single
Alex Cuba (2010 Canada/US, 2011 Gemany) album

Si Pero No (US 2010) single
Agua Del Pozo (2007/09 Canada/US) album

Lo Mismo Que Yo ft. Ron Sexsmith (UK 2005) single
Humo De Tabaco (2005 Japan/UK, US/Canada) album



Alex Cuba is a rebel. "When it comes to creativity, I need to go to places I've never been before," he says. With the wanderlust of a world traveler, the Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter explores new sonic spaces on Ruido En El Sistema / Static in the System. Following the compass points of rock, soul, pop, and Latin-funk on his fourth album, Cuba continues his journey as a critically acclaimed independent artist who's charted his own destiny across the world stage while earning a growing legion of devoted listeners at each new juncture.

As rebels are often wont, Alex Cuba views his music as a liberating force. It's a quality that's transmitted through the artist's songs and has made him a fascinating exception to the staid rules of category. He explains, "The purpose of my music is to free up people, to free up musicians, to free up writers and composers and creators in the world. That is the purpose of why I do music. Music, for me, is not one style. I'm not creating for one kind of people." Armed with a Gibson ES355, Alex Cuba consistently challenges perceptions about what Latin music is, and who listens to it, by simply being himself.

A self-proclaimed "musical sponge," Alex Cuba first learned the music of his native Artemisa, a city located just west of Havana. His father, a guitarist and music instructor, earned a Master's degree in music at age 55 and remains a source of inspiration for the artist. Beyond sharing a natural affinity for music, the multi-instrumentalist Cuba learned the discipline of honing his musical talents from his father and later formed The Puentes Brothers with his brother. Citing influences that range from Kind of Blue by Miles Davis to The Beatles' White Album, Cuba looked beyond the rich heritage of his homeland to develop his own singular style -- one fueled by spontaneity, or what Cuba characterizes as the "tension of imperfection."

Alex Cuba's soulful style was first glimpsed in 2006 on his solo debut, Humo De Tabaco. Working with producer Martin Terefe (Craig David, Jason Mraz), Cuba netted a Top 20 BBC Radio 2 hit ("Lo Mismo Que Yo," featuring Ron Sexsmith) and received his first Juno Award for "Best World Music Album." Agua Del Pozo followed in 2007 on the artist's own Caracol Records, earning Cuba another Juno for "Best World Music Album" and further expanding his profile in the U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands through concert appearances and an iTunes "Single of the Week." Two years later, he co-wrote nine tracks with Nelly Furtado and was featured on her Spanish language debut for Universal, Mi Plan (My Plan), including her chart-topping "Manos Al Aire," which later earned Alex Cuba a 2011 BMI Latin Award for his songwriting contributions to the track.

However, it was Alex Cuba's third album that brought him to a whole new level of international renown. Arriving in 2009, Alex Cuba showcased the artist's winning partnership with co-producer Joby Baker and contained his first English song, "If You Give Me Love." The self-titled set generated praise from media outlets ranging from NPR to Billboard to Jazz FM UK. In November 2010, Alex Cuba was awarded a Latin Grammy for "Best New Artist" in addition to a nomination for "Best Male Pop Vocal Album." Alex Cuba was also acknowledged at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards with a nomination in the "Best Latin Pop Album" category, an impressive achievement for an independent artist still cultivating a U.S. fan base. "It was a little token for all of the time I’ve put into the music, all of the sacrifices," Cuba says of his Grammy nod. "It's also a pointer that you better appeal to your guts and keep doing music for the reason that your guts tell you why you do music -- for the feeling of it."

During this remarkable series of career benchmarks, Alex Cuba recalls thinking, "I have to make an even stronger album than I've ever done in my life." Once again marshaling his keen instincts at Joby Baker's studio in Victoria, B.C., Alex Cuba reset the barometer of his own expectations and recorded another artistic triumph, Ruido En El Sistema / Static In The System. Featuring four English tracks, the new project showcases a combination of confidence and competence in the language of his adopted land. The progression, natural and organic, is emblematic of his 13 years living in Canada.

Customary to the creative process that's shaped his first three albums, Cuba entered the studio with a wealth of material. "Every time I go into the studio, I have at least 23 songs," he notes. "Then from there, I make sure I capture the magic of the moment that sometimes happens without thinking. The way I record, its just Joby and I doing 95 percent of the music. The last step is going to Havana, where I record horns and percussion."

The pop punch of "Eres," and its English companion "Are You," set the sessions in motion and spawned a variety of styles that stem from Cuba's clear yet eclectic sensibilities. "Creo" best embodies the