“The first time you experience Helsinki-born Sam Huber’s music, you’ll hear references to legends like Bowie and Prince mixed with the contemporary beats of hip-hop, soul and funk. It’s a modern urban hybrid that refuses to fit neatly into any box and it is this same spirit of discovery that has led Huber to the U.S. to expand and redefine his sound.” (Vents Magazine)
Even in an increasingly isolationist world, musicians and fans alike know that the future is global. Instantaneous electronic access to international artists’ entire catalogues has seen broad popularity blossom for a host of previously niche sounds: K-Pop, Afrobeat, Desert Blues. Now Sam Huber, a 25 year veteran of the Finnish funk scene, and multi-hyphenate producer-musician-label CEO Tomás Doncker are proud to present a fusion of pop, funk and R&B with additional influences from both sides of the Atlantic that they call “global soul” for Huber’s newest album, Top of the World.
Though they grew up separated by over 2000 miles, Sam and Tomás have been able to connect through their mutual love for music. Huber says, “When we play together, we represent over fifty years of experience in the studio and live performance. We come from completely different worlds, but we absolutely speak the same language.”
Sam Huber may be a new name to American audiences but, in his homeland of Finland, he’s an accomplished stage and film actor who has toured internationally and recorded successfully for over twenty five years as the front-man for the absurdly named, occasionally antic, but always deeply soulful band Eternal Erection.
The Brooklyn-raised Doncker’s past work includes a sizable role in the New York No Wave movement of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s as a member of Defunkt and James Chance and The Contortions. He’s since collaborated with Bootsy Collins, Chocolate Genius, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Shemekia Copeland, before starting his own label True Groove Records, focused on the global soul style. “Sam is the very personification of global soul,” says Doncker, “He is music unfettered by boundaries of genre or divisions of nation, color or culture. He’s working in the true tradition of rhythm and blues.”
Doncker continues, “When Sam and I first started collaborating, he was entranced by the matrix of sounds he was hearing on the streets of New York City: trap, Middle Eastern dance, Afropop, classic hip hop and modern rock all laid one on top of the other. It was a very intentional move on our part to build an album that reflected Sam’s excitement at being in a musical melting pot, so there’s every possible influence you can imagine in the new album, all of it driven by the strongest, finest baritone voice you’ll ever hear.”
“As collaborators, we thrive on what Tomás calls “The 4 C’s,” says Huber. “Creating Compelling Content Constantly. We had only just finished mastering our first album, Confused, when Tomás said to me, ‘Alright, let’s get started on the next one.’ I thought he was joking, but he absolutely was not! It’s been a roller coaster of work since and that energy has opened so many doors for us: a fall 2018 tour in Europe, a live album in the works, and our first real run at the New York City live market. Made it, ma! Top of the World!“
Top of the World features a collaboration with special guest artist Garrison “Hawkman” Hawk. The legendary producer Bill Laswell also worked with Huber and Doncker on a companion dub remix EP featuring solo guitar work from Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Parliament-Funkadelic member Michael “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton.
With tracks like “Top of the World”, “All the Time in the World” and “End of the World”, it’s clear that Huber has global domination in mind. Huber says, “We didn’t start out intending for this to be a concept album, but circumstances dictated that it became one. We wanted to let everyone know that, with all the trouble going on in the Americas and Europe today, we in the Scandinavian countries still look to the United States and – perhaps even more meaningfully – New York City as a global cultural leader. We want to be supportive in dark times and show that two people who might seem like they’re very far apart can still make incredible music together.” (Rock NYC)