Kuba Oms...Get used to that name

Kuba Oms is a pro. Flat out. The man has been making music for well over a decade, and like any musician who’s been around that long, has had his ups and downs.

The good news here is Oms is a success story. Battling everything from heartbreak to drug addiction, the past decade has been an eventful one. Needless to say, a clean Oms is very excited about the present.

“I feel blessed actually. 10 years ago I had every major label in the US on our case down in New York. I was a different guy back then, a lot more of a control freak. It’s interesting because 10 years later, I’m 10 years better. The music industry has sort of gone sideways, but for me the music has kinda evolved a lot since then.

“I’m really enjoying playing music. I love the guys that I play with. I’m really excited about the future. The last trip down to LA. We shot a music video. I played a bunch of shows and really realized there’s a huge market for what I do down in the states.” Oms said recently before a “Velvet” show at Darcy’s Pub in Victoria.

That music video was for the single Beautiful Uncertainty, from his full length “How Much Time” released this past September. The 15 song effort is truly a fantastic album, never tempting your “skip” finger into action. Although less than a year old, Oms and the boys recorded their set recently at Shore Fest, confident enough in that batch of live songs to lay it down.

“We’re just mixing that right now. We’re going to put out a little E.P. of that. Anybody that joins the mailing list can just get it, get a free download of it. So that’ll be kind of a gift to the fans, and an invitation to new people to join us.

“It’s a good way to archive these last couple years and this batch of songs. I’ve got a lot of new songs that I’m really excited to record. We’re actually going to the studio next month, pretty intensely to do some recording, so we’re really excited about that. It felt appropriate to archive, a little E.P. as a way of moving on.”

Kuba is also in the Peak FM Performance Project this year. A 2nd time finalist, Oms admits last years result wasn’t exactly what they had hoped for, but the experience gained will be put to use this year.

“It was a good experience. I mean it was disappointing in a lot of respects. And if you look at a lot of the acts that were in the top 20 last year, you look around at who’s really still relevant, and who’s still playing, even some of the bands that won, it just shows that the Peak Performance Project is an opportunity, it’s an opportunity to do something. You don’t win it and you’ve “made it”. It's an opportunity to receive help, and opportunities like that are far and few between. So it’s something that you have to respect and feel blessed that you have it.

“The most exciting part is the community and the new friends to make. I learned a lot from last year, I learned a lot about pushing too hard, and trying too hard. It’s like anything, if you try too hard, you don’t really get what you want. You just kinda gotta go with the flow and let it happen.

“For me I haven’t had much of a chance to think about it because I’m so busy. You know I have it blocked off, I’m committed to it, and then I’ll just go there and have some fun, learn some tricks and meet some peeps.”

Being so busy certainly isn’t a bad thing. With show after show piling up this summer (including headlining a stage at the upcoming Live at Squamish, on Labour Day Weekend), it’s a wonder that Oms has been able to do anything other than live shows. Yet the Victoria native has been busy with a variety of things this sunny season.

“We were fortunate enough to get a MuchFact grant, which is a foundation to assist artists from MuchMusic. We went down and shot with a big name Canadian director in LA with a full Canadian Crew. We went down to LA to do something different, and get out of our comfort zone. The video is wrapping tomorrow, the final edit. So that’s coming out in a couple weeks. Its actually turned out really good. So that’s one thing we are really excited about. And the other thing is just the new material and getting in the studio. I know this record (How Much Time) only came out about 9 months ago, and we’re still gonna you know “work the record” from a labels perspective, but I’m excited to get in and enter this new era of my sort of evolution, and our evolution as a band. The last album was kinda ADD, I’m proud of it and I’m stoked about it, but it crossed a lot of genres, and in a lot of ways it falls in between the cracks in Canadian and US radio. Not that I’m going for radio like that, don’t get me wrong, I’m not like catering to anybody, but this next record is just gonna be a lot more focused.

“I’m going into pre production next Tuesday and Wednesday in a studio. We’re just negotiating that for next month. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. I want it to represent me, so its relaxed and a little bit lo-fi but I want it to sound as good as any record that you hear, so that requires working with the best so were talking with the top people.”

Seeking out nothing but the best is just the way Oms does his business (that’s of course why he said yes to this Island SoapBox interview ;). Surely this album will be another example of the hard work Kuba and this group have put forth. With “no filler” guuarentees, Kuba Oms is a polished act that is set to explode.

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