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Cirque Du Soleil
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(Cirque Du Soleil)
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“Whiteworld/Oedipus”
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Cirque Du Soleil
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[listen]

Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
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Rising Stars [Issue #7]
Van Hunt: Soulblazing
By Dave Lewis
Van Hunt (CD Capitol)


Atlanta-based soul man Van Hunt blends Funk, Pop, and even a little Punk into a satisfying mixture of musical forms, and comes up with his own unique recipe. His self-titled debut album on Capitol records drops January 27th.

The lead single “Dust” indicates what listeners will hear on Hunt’s album: a fresh, bold mix of sonic styles, delivered in a sexy, soulful way that instantly distinguishes itself from the sounds of other so-called “neo-soul” artists.

“I’m all about breaking some new ground,” said Hunt in a recent telephone interview from somewhere in Utah.

Largely producing on his own, Hunt was given a helping hand in the recording phase from producer Andrew Slater (Macy Gray, The Wallflowers), who gave the album a sense of continuity, “because,” said Hunt, “I tend to bounce around all over the place with different styles.”

Hunt just couldn’t stop himself from trying new sounds and experimenting with the music on the CD. “It’s just who I am,” he said. “I try to put everything in the music and I try to listen to everything, so it just came off like that.”

While he may listen to anything he can get his hands on, Hunt obviously has an insatiable love for classic soul artists. “That’s my influence,” Hunt offered, “that’s what I listen to.” He added that there are four diverse artists whose discs are never far from his player: Sly Stone, Prince, Thelonious Monk, and Richard Pryor.

Recording in such various locales as Memphis, Nashville, NYC, Atlanta, and Los Angeles lent a strong dose of diversity to the disc. “Everywhere we went we invited musicians down from the local community,” Hunt claimed. “Musicians from Nashville are just sick. The musicianship is incredible. Those cats are not just sitting around playing Shania Twain covers - they are bad.”
Hunt is ambivalent about being labeled a “neo-soul” artist. “As a name itself, it’s not very sexy,” Hunt admitted, “I liked it better when it was ‘neo-classical soul.’ I hope the ideas will get a little better as far as titles for it.”

The singer has loftier goals in mind than such flavor-of-the-week labels. “I don’t measure myself up against what that is . . . that’s a genre that has come about, and if they consider me a part of it - great. But what I’m chasing after,” he continued, “is the thirty or forty year legacy of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, people like that. That’s what I measure myself against. That’s the precedent.”


Van Hunt
Capitol

Soulblazing Van Hunt Van Hunt


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