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"Athavale- Devoted (EX)"

There's something about Winnipeg, MB-based Erik Athavale's (pronounced Ah-Tuv-Lay) debut album that gets under your skin. It's certainly not original — Athavale wears influences like Jay Kay and Shuggie Otis on his sleeve. The bottom line is that Devoted is at most times an irresistible collection of pop soul. Opening track "Beautiful" is a pleasant down-tempo jam that allows Athavale to stretch out and showcase his dry as ice vocals. The title track is a fine funk-lite jam that should rock a few hip house parties this holiday season. Where Devoted goes wrong however, is with rock-influenced songs like "Nothin New" and the way too syrupy "The Night We Met," the first single from an album that hopefully will generate much worthier hits. Athavale's press release describes him as a "performer in progress." That is indeed true but the overall quality of Devoted will leave many a listener with a sense of anticipation.

Matt Bauer - EXCLAIM! MAGAZINE- 12.2007

"Athavale- Devoted (WFP)"

(Ten Doors Down)
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

On his debut album, Erik Athavale (pronounced ah-TUV-lay) proves why he deserved to win last year's Project Cool contest with nine-tracks that go down as smooth and easy as his vocals. Beautiful starts the album off on a slow-burning light-jazz groove before he shows off his love of contemporary jazz on the bouncy title track. He forays into electro funk on Nothing New and Raise Up and throws in some soulful R&B on Morning Groove.

And groovy is just what this is with enough stylistic divergences to keep Athavale from being branded a one-trick neo-soul/jazz pony.

Rob Williams - WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, Winnipeg- 11.17.2007

"Athavale - Devoted (Uptown)"

Athavale - Devoted
(Ten Doors Down)

Erik Athavale knows how to lay down a groove. Devoted is the debut album from this soul/pop crooner, and this catchy collection of songs will appeal to fans of Maroon 5 and Jamiroquai. The title track is an infectious hip-shaker, and is the best example of Athavale's smooth-like-peanut-butter vocals - but it's his jazz leanings that make him an exiting local artist to watch. Despite a few bubblegum pop snoozers (disc opener Beautiful could be a Backstreet Boys tune), this record is a solid first effort. Hopefully, Athavale will become a mainstay on the jazz fest circuit rather than on the commercial pop radio one.

Jen Zoratti - UPTOWN MAGAZINE - WINNIPEG 11.8.2007

"Athavale- Devoted (SUN)"

Ten Doors Down Music
Sun Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Neo-soul singer Erik Athavale funded his new disc with cash he picked up in 99.1 FM's Project COOL contest last year. That's money well spent. Awash in funky electric piano doodles, sexy slow jams, and even cameos from former Much VJ Bradford How, Devoted is an auspicious debut that positions its creator as a force to be reckoned with. Opener Beautiful is a highlight, with Athavale (whose crooning recalls Jacko and Jamiroquai) picking up steam while a warm keyboard and drum bed slowly build behind him. Elsewhere, he finds room for bluesy guitar solos, flirty falsettos, and jazzy funk jams. Given the promise on display, it's hard not to be reminded of Remy Shand, the last blue-eyed-soul sensation to stir up interest. But seeing how Shand's disappearing act has now gone into extra innings, we'll happily bliss out to Athavale's cultured grooves.

David Schmeichel - WINNIPEG SUN, Winnipeg - 11.08.2007


2007- "Devoted" (LP)
2006- "Athavale" (EP/demo)
2004- "quess presents: reSOULutions v.1.1" (EP/demo)



A self-described "performer-in-progress", Erik Athavale spent much of the last seven years writing songs he imagined no one would hear. When he began performing his original material in the fall of 2004, he quickly developed a loyal following in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

With no formal musical training, but possessing an uncanny sense of melody, Erik– who performs simply under his family name (pronounced "Ah-Tuv-Lay") – enlisted the help of some of the top players in Winnipeg to refine his compositions. The result is a diverse collection of pop, soul and rock tunes, linked together by Athavale's distinct voice and tone. Athavale's instrument has been compared to luminaries like Jamiroquai's Jay Kay, Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Sade, and Shuggie Otis.

His first single, "The Night We Met," is a tale of a romantic encounter that Athavale claims, "never came to be... it's a seduction story, sure, but the end of the story's not revealed in the lyrics." This is a staple in Athavale's writing: the lyrics are personal enough to humanize the singer and forge a relationship with the audience. Yet Athavale's no bleeding heart, and certainly no kiss-and-teller.

On the strength of the highly-personal tune, "Bounce," which has been revisited for his upcoming album, Athavale managed to snag the top prize in local radio station Cool FM's Project Cool contest in 2006. That honour afforded him the budget to record his forthcoming full-length release, entitled Devoted, which is sure to open opportunities for Athavale across Canada and beyond. Devoted is highly anticipated by both the local audience and national music industry insiders.

Athavale's personable stage presence has been commended by local audiences and performers, with Athavale sharing the stage with K-Os, Rob James (formerly of McMaster and James), Mark Robertson and db Clifford. Athavale has his sights set on reaching beyond his hometown borders following the release, starting with Western Canada, "and seeing where things take me from there."

As he hones his musical abilities and continues to work stages across the country, Athavale will be one to watch. For a 'performer in progress', the progress thus far has been remarkable.