Mia Kulba
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Mia Kulba’s “Julie's Suitcase” Named October “Best Song Of The Month”
By Dale Kawashima, October 31, 2005

Mia Kulba, a very promising, young pop/rock singer/writer based in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for November, for her song “Julie's Suitcase” (which was co-written by Rob Wells, Robbie Patterson & Ben Dunk). Kulba, who is 18, has recently collaborated with several, top writer/producers, and is already in talks with a prominent Canadian label (which would include U.S. distribution).

“Julie’s Suitcase” is a very melodic, uptempo pop tune, which features a hooky chorus. The sparkling, dynamic arrangement catches the listener’s attention, although the lyric theme is actually darker. It’s about a teenage girl (Julie) who is abruptly forced to move from one home to another (her parents are divorced), and how she holds in all of her feelings in the suitcase she travels with. This recording was excellently produced by Rob Wells, who has produced many of the winning artists from the Canadian Idol talent show.

Kulba was born and raised in Winnipeg, and she began singing, acting and playing piano at a young age. When she was around 7, she performed in local productions of Oklahoma and The Sound Of Music at Rainbow Stage and she began taking classical voice lessons. Kulba also competed in the Winnipeg Music Festival (a classical music competition) every year from age 7 to 17, and she won each year in her age group. When she was 13, Kulba also entered and won Dauphin's Countryfest music competition, which led to her co-writing two songs with notable, Canadian composer/producer Danny Schur.

Her local, pop music success led to her being represented by music attorney Chris Taylor, who helped Kulba land a publishing deal (at age 15) with Peermusic in Toronto. She began collaborating with Peermusic writer Greg Johnson. Peermusic then shopped Kulba’s demos and generated major interest, securing showcases with top execs at J Records (including CEO Clive Davis), Sony and several other labels. “It was very exciting to showcase for Clive Davis and the other labels,” recalled Kulba. “However, when these showcases didn’t lead to a record deal, I started to learn how tough the music business can be.”

In November 2004 and February 2005, Kulba participated in writing sessions at Peermusic, and she co-wrote and recorded 12 new songs. One of these songs was “Julie’s Suitcase.” “This song is about a good friend of mine, Julie, who’s had a difficult time moving one home to another,” explained Kulba. “She hasn’t been able to build a stable life. She was kicked out of her dad’s house (her father moved to China) and moved to her mom’s house. It’s been hard for her to find a good home.”

“Julie’s Suitcase” is just one of several new demos which demonstrate Kulba’s impressive writing and performing skills. She is continuing to collaborate, and has writing sessions set up with top pros such as Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow’s writing partner) and Steve McClintock (Tiffany, Juice Newton). She’s also written with Robert Ellis Orrall in Nashville (Carlene Carter, John Anderson). In addition, her song “Just Like January” has been recorded by Canadian Idol winner Melissa O’Neil for her debut CD, and she has placed songs on the Queer As Folk TV show and on other shows.


- Songwriter Universe Magazine


Sun, November 27, 2005

Writing Her Ticket

Local teen tunesmith lands song on Idol CD
By Rob Williams

A lot of kids Mia Kulba's age dream of winning Canadian Idol. But for the 18-year-old Winnipegger that could already be seen as a backward career move.

Mia who? OK, you might not have heard of her yet, but if you have recently crowned Idol Melissa O'Neil's self-titled debut CD you've already heard some of Kulba's work. The young signer-songwriter co-wrote a tune on the disc -- giving her as many songwriter credits on the CD as O'Neil.

And we're willing to bet that if you pay attention to the pop scene you're gong to be hearing a lot more from Kulba before too long. Although she's barely old enough to drink, the Vincent Massey grad already has a development deal with Universal Music subsidiary Anthem Entertainment, is managed by the folks who handle Rush and is putting together tracks for her planned debut disc.

"The label is waiting for me to get some more hits for the album then hopefully I'll record it in L.A. in the summer," she says, like it's no big.

Then again, for her it isn't. Two years ago she showcased for Arista Records founder Clive Davis -- who recently signed local rockers Inward Eye. She was nervous but kept it together for acoustic versions of three of her songs.

"He thought it was great, but I needed to be more developed. He said my voice was great, but my material wasn't strong."

Most people might be discouraged after Davis's blunt assessment, but the rejection only strengthened Kulba's resolve.

To that end, she has been to writing camps in Toronto and just returned from her third songwriting session in L.A. with Jeff Trott, best known for co-writing Sheryl Crow hits like If It Makes You Happy and Everyday is a Winding Road. All that hard work is paying off. Her songs have already been featured on TV shows Falcon Beach, Queer as Folk and The Eleventh Hour.

Of course, those turned out to be small victories next to having an Idol sing one of her tunes. Kulba co-wrote the rockin' power-ballad Just Like January during a workshop last year with Ben Dunk and Robbie Patterson, best known for their work with Wave and Snow.

The lyrics are all hers, though, based on her experiences of learning through mistakes like all teens.

"Everyone makes mistakes and wants to start over," she says. "It's about growing up."

Her publishing company pitched several of Kulba's songs for the O'Neil disc. With hundreds of submissions, she was surprised they picked one of hers.

"I was flattered -- it was really cool. It's not changed too much. The only difference is you can tell money was put into her version compared to mine, which was done in a few hours. I think it's really appropriate for the album, it's young," she says.

Speaking of young, Kulba began studying piano and voice when she was a tot, landing roles in Rainbow Stage productions of The Sound of Music and Oklahoma at seven. Five years later she won a Dauphin Countryfest talent contest.

Since then, with her family's support, she's decided to make a career of music. She has a manager and an entertainment lawyer who helped her sign a deal with publishing giant Peer Music. They shop her songs to producers, including demos she recorded with local producer Chris Burke-Gaffney.

"She has a fantastic voice and she's young and beautiful," Burke-Gaffney says. "She has as much talent as a lot of people who are big stars."

That's what she could be if the stars align and she gets the record deal she's chasing between part-time jobs catering and doing make-up for wedding parties. In the meantime, look for her at a music venue near you.

"I just put a band together a few months ago, and we've been performing," she says. "I'm going to keep writing and hopefully get those people to sign."


- Winnipeg Sun


Mia Kulba

Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

Unsigned

www.miakulba.com

By: Susan Frances
March 2006


Singer/songwriter Mia Kulba from “the Paris of the prairies” Manitoba, Canada delivers music compositions that blend the country stylings of Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert with the pop grooves of Hilary Duff, Mandy Ventrice, and Australia’s The Veronicas. There are equal portions of genuine raw emotion with pop sweetness into the essence of Mia’s material, making for songs that listeners can identify with and feel upbeat about even when it seems hard to feel upbeat about anything.

Mia’s song “Julie’s Suitcase” is a mid-tempo number with tight instrumentation. Every chord progression weaves into the next without leaving any loose ends or misplaced strings. Everything fits tightly from the slopes in the vocal melody to the fluid guitar strums to the consonant snare drum loops and light synth effects that sound like taps of raindrops hitting against a windowpane. The movement builds up to a flooding of guitar flourishes and a sequence of ascending violin notes before sloping back to a soft sonorous. Mia tells SongwriterUniverse.com that “Julie’s Suitcase” is about a girlfriend of hers whose parents are separated and her life has become about being shuffled from one home to the next, so she is going to put all of her worries and all of her dreams into her suitcase and stow away.

Similarly, “Come Home” is an upbeat tempo with vocals that sing into the melodic folds. The mixture of acoustic and electric guitar splashes render the tune a country/pop feel with a penetrating hand clap beat. The fun and lively rhythm creates grooves that peak and trough like an easy ride on the merry-go-round. The tune has pop tones reminiscent of Hilary Duff, Kelly Clarkson, and American Idol’s second season contestant Carmen Rasmusen.

The track “Just Like January” has more rock/pop textures comparable to Avril LaVigne, Alex Bach, and Amy Lee of Evanescence. The heavy, edgier guitar vibrations challenge Mia’s vocals to dig into deeper timbres which she does as she sings: Trash everything that has ever crashed your system/ Forget all the days that you ever cried for help/ Shelf all the words that have ever been used against you/ Take the time to trust yourself/ Starting over again/ I know there’s something waiting/ And I’m changing just like January.

According to Mia’s bio, “Just Like January” was recorded by 2005’s Canadian Idol Melissa O’Neil for her debut album. The song was written by Mia and a few co-writers. That’s in contrast to her song “Turn Another Page,” which is completely written by Mia. “Turn Another Page” begins gently and lights with vocals then builds up to a wide guitar sonorous, reduces the flourishes during the verses, then transitions to at large build up in the chorus. The artistry in the song structure makes driving waves with a natural flow.

“End of the World” opens to a choir of guitar and tambourine lines. The vocals play into the grooves of the music passages with a sixth-sense for fitting and resonating into the song. The track ambles fluidly even through the rapids in the movement. The final number “Lemon and Lime” is a sweet ditty suffused with pop confection but still offers life-like lyrics about a pair who don’t see eye to eye and who make each other crazy and yet they match like lemons and limes.

Mia’s songs are lively and fun and still laden with granulars of real life difficulties and hardships into the mix. Her debut album is due out this year and with songs that are garnered with lively rhythms and vocals that sing into the melodies, being upbeat and saccharine sweet are elements to put into your suitcase, along with the trials and tribulations commandeered through life.


- Northeast In Tune


This weekend the Canadian Music Industry will pat itself on the back at the 2006 Juno Awards in Halifax. Of the nominees 10, If you include Neil Young and expat Luke Doucet - are from Manitoba, but those acts are just a sample of what the province has to offer. Music fans in and around Winnipeg know we've got one of the most talented diverse music scenes in the country. With that in mind, we present a look at some of the best young emerging talent that may one day represent the city at a Juno ceremony down the road.

Singer-Songwriter Mia Kulba has had song placements in TV shows Falcon Beach, Queer as Folk and the Eleventh Hour, her song, Just Like January was recorded by Canadian Idol Melissa O'Neil. Kulba has showcased for several major labels in Toronto and New York, including Arista founder Clive Davis.

The singer recently received positive feedback at Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
Kulba is working on her debut album with Jeff Trott, best known for his work with Sheryl Crow. - Winnipeg Free Press, Rob Williams, March 30, 2006


Insight Productions and Original Pictures Ink Deal with ABC Family for Broadcast Rights To Drama Series, Falcon Beach

(TORONTO - April 27, 2005) Original Pictures and Insight Productions announced today that American broadcaster ABC Family has picked up the Canadian produced primetime drama, Falcon Beach.

The announcement comes on the heels of an earlier announcement from Global Television Network that Falcon Beach will be developed into a 13-part, one-hour series. The two-hour movie pilot aired on Global Television on January 29, 2005. Series production is scheduled to begin this summer, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Music features Canadian artists such as Sam Roberts, Mia Kulba, Paper Moon, Matt Mays.

"ABC Family owns the holidays and has had great success with our branded programming events," said Tom Zappala, Senior Vice President, Program Acquisitions and Scheduling, ABC Family. "It only makes sense to expand our tentpole events to be bigger than ever, and 'Falcon Beach' will kick off our newest branded holiday 'Sizzlin' Summer' in 2006."

"We're very excited to be part of ABC Family's hot summer of programming," said Executive Producers John Brunton and Kim Todd.

Filmed in the cottage community of Lake Winnipeg, Falcon Beach is about a group of young people summering in the fictional lakeside resort town of Falcon Beach. It's about summer. It's about freedom. It's about young adults trying to define themselves for the life ahead. But it's also about two worlds colliding - that of the summer cottagers and that of the townies who live and work in Falcon Beach year round.

Produced by Kim Todd, John Murray, Shannon Farr · Created by John Murray & Shannon Farr · Executive Produced by John Brunton, Kim Todd, Barbara Bowlby · Starring Steven Byers, Jennifer Kydd, Devon Weigel, Ephraim Ellis, Eric Johnson, Melissa Elias.

The FALCON BEACH pilot was produced by Insight Production Company Ltd. and Original Pictures Inc. in association with Global Television Network Inc., a CanWest Company, and with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund, Manitoba Film & Sound, CanWest Western Independent Producers Fund, Government of Canada - Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Government of Manitoba - Manitoba Television Tax Credit and the Government of Ontario - Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit. Distributed internationally by CanWest International Distribution Limited.

- Toronto


Mia Kulba's talents aren't restricted to writing popular music with some of the biggest names in the North American music industry. She is equally at home singing pop, country, classical and Broadway. Mia recently won top honours at the Winnipeg Music Festival and achieved the highest mark overall in Manitoba from the Royal Conservatory of Music. The Mia Kulba band is one of the hotest unsigned acts in Canada. Don't miss out on her fabulous all ages shows at local festivals or when she comes to your town on tour. - Country Music News


Melissa O'Neil's Music in Review
by James Shepherd (2005/12/04)

Now 'Just Like January' is a pop song written by Canadian starlet Mia Kulba that has been given a rock production arrangement and this one would be an excellent next single release. It's incredibly catchy, and it's the catchy numbers that make the very best pop songs.
- Beavers Music Magazine


That BNF crew really have it going on this week. Cool tunes from the outer environs, including Mia Kulba, Museum Pieces, the Jenkins, Geoffrey Wickham, Jack & Misty, Ashley Cleveland, Todd Fritsch, Mark LaForme, Tonio K, Amanda Stott, Marc Ekins, Young, and Black and Silver. - Brave New Frontiers


Discography

Streaming tracks at www.letstalkmusic.com
Ep released in 2003 received moderate rotation

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Mia Kulba is a rare gem whose stylized vocal performances and dynamic songwriting are setting the music market on fire. Growing up in Winnipeg, a cultural mecca in the oft parched prairies, Mia began her classical voice training and piano playing at a young age. Picking up the guitar and honing her songwriting skills with award winning writers from Nashville, NYC, LA to Toronto, for the last five years led to the natural progression of playing out live with the fabulously good looking and talented members of the Mia Kulba Band. Mia is a mainstay at the Pyramid Cabaret in Winnipeg opening for a variety of great bands including Jason Collett, The Volts, Fall Forward, The Mad Young Darlings, and Paso Mino....

The world loves music and real artistry and starlet, Mia Kulba delivers time and time again moving audiences to the rich enjoyment and fun they seek. In 2005 Mia had song placements in Falcon Beach, Queer as Folk, CTV television series the Eleventh Hour and 'Just Like January' was released by Canadian Idol winner, Melissa O'Neil on her debut album. 2006 started out when Top 40 A/C song 'Julie's Suitcase' made it into the semi-finals of the ISC alongside Mia's songs, Turn Another Page, Julie's Suitcase and Lemon and Lime receiving Honorable Mentions from the Billboard World Song content.

Just back from L.A. Mia spent the last few weeks writing and recording with Jeff Trott. Trott, a well known hit songwriter with Sheryl Crow (If It Makes You Happy, My Favorite Mistake, Santa Monica Blvd.) is a Nettwerk Producer (Sheryl Crow, Counting Crows, Stevie Nicks, Jeremy Toback).

Mia Kulba's music has an edge, sort of like Vanessa Carlton meets the Dixie Chicks. Instrumentation is solid, with an emphasis squarely on the vocals. Tunes are catchy and radio-friendly but don't let anyone put Mia Kulba into a genre demographic classification box.

Songwriting wouldn't matter as much to the mischeviously, magical sprite Mia, if it weren't for the talented band who help perfect the fun and friction of her ever popular live show.

Singer/songwriter Mia Kulba from “the Paris of the prairies” Manitoba, Canada delivers music compositions that blend the country stylings of Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert with the pop grooves of Hilary Duff, Mandy Ventrice, and Australia’s The Veronicas. There are equal portions of genuine raw emotion with pop sweetness into the essence of Mia’s material, making for songs that listeners can identify with and feel upbeat about even when it seems hard to feel upbeat about anything.

Mia’s song “Julie’s Suitcase” is a mid-tempo number with tight instrumentation. Every chord progression weaves into the next without leaving any loose ends or misplaced strings. Everything fits tightly from the slopes in the vocal melody to the fluid guitar strums to the consonant snare drum loops and light synth effects that sound like taps of raindrops hitting against a windowpane. The movement builds up to a flooding of guitar flourishes and a sequence of ascending violin notes before sloping back to a soft sonorous. Mia tells SongwriterUniverse.com that “Julie’s Suitcase” is about a girlfriend of hers whose parents are separated and her life has become about being shuffled from one home to the next, so she is going to put all of her worries and all of her dreams into her suitcase and stow away.

Similarly, “Come Home” is an upbeat tempo with vocals that sing into the melodic folds. The mixture of acoustic and electric guitar splashes render the tune a country/pop feel with a penetrating hand clap beat. The fun and lively rhythm creates grooves that peak and trough like an easy ride on the merry-go-round. The tune has pop tones reminiscent of Hilary Duff, Kelly Clarkson, and American Idol’s second season contestant Carmen Rasmusen.

The track “Just Like January” has more rock/pop textures comparable to Avril LaVigne, Alex Bach, and Amy Lee of Evanescence. The heavy, edgier guitar vibrations challenge Mia’s vocals to dig into deeper timbres which she does as she sings: Trash everything that has ever crashed your system/ Forget all the days that you ever cried for help/ Shelf all the words that have ever been used against you/ Take the time to trust yourself/ Starting over again/ I know there’s something waiting/ And I’m changing just like January.

According to Mia’s bio, “Just Like January” was recorded by 2005’s Canadian Idol Melissa O’Neil for her debut album. The song was written by Mia and a few co-writers. That’s in contrast to her song “Turn Another Page,” which is completely written by Mia. “Turn Another Page” begins gently and lights with vocals then builds up to a wide guitar sonorous, reduces the flourishes during the verses, then transitions to at large build up in the chorus. The artistry in the song structure makes driving waves with a natural flow.

“End of the World” opens to a choir of guitar and tambourine lines. The vocals play into the grooves of the music