Mar. 13, 2013 - Issue #908: In Your Face
Alex Cuba is the full package. The Latin singer-songwriter has the voice, the musicianship, the humour, the awards and even the hair to back up his stage show.
"At the very least, at my show, [the audience] will be able to stare for an hour and a half at a huge 'fro, which makes for a good show," jokes the Cuban-Canadian, who also sports a pair of impressive right-angle mutton chops.
"I'm proud of my hairstyle," he says still laughing. Of course, though, he's also proud of his music, which has garnered him two Latin Grammys and two Junos, among other awards.
Cuba, whose given name is Alex Puentes, came to Canada with his Canadian wife in 1999 and soon after started his career as a Spanish singer-songwriter. But, unlike most Cuban musicians, he strays from stereotypical Latin music. Instead writing songs that cover multiple genres, creating what he calls Latin soul, a mixture of rock and roll, pop, and traditional Latin sounds.
"My music is very diverse," he says. "This is why the awards keep loving me, because it sounds unique."
And, he says, that's why audiences love him, too, because they're always left guessing what's going to come next.
"That makes for a beyond language sort of connection," he says of his relationship with the crowd.
Cuba, who plays electric guitar and is backed by a bassist and a drummer, is currently touring in promotion of his latest album, Ruido En El Sistema, which was No. 6 on iTunes' U.S. Latin chart earlier this year.
Ruida is Cuba's fourth solo album. Of it, he says, each song came naturally, even though the subject matter is much different than on his previous albums.
"I used to live on my own cloud of love," he says of his earlier work. "But, this brand new album has seen me take a new turn. It has seen me talk about politics and peace and war and all of that.
"I'm really proud that it happened naturally. I didn't force it. I was just ready to take on that new identity as a singer-songwriter."
Fri, Mar 15 (7:30 pm)
Festival Place, Sherwood Park, $29 – $31
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