Spotlight: Nikhil Korula; RIYL Dave Matthews, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Sting

By on August 12, 2013

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Nikhil Korula

Genre
Rock, Acoustic, Folk, SingerSongwriter, Funk, Blues 

Comparison
Dave Matthews Band, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Sting 

Location
Los Angeles, CA 

What if a childhood prodigy that grew up singing onstage alongside Placido Domingo, Barry Manilow, and Luther Vandross devoted his musical gifts to uniting souls with uplifting, pan-genre groove rock?

For a decade, The Nikhil Korula Band has authentically blended calypso, rock, reggae, African and Latin grooves into an irresistible elixir enjoyed equally by the jam band community and AAA and college radio. Founding frontman Nikhil Korula has created a living and breathing musical mosaic with some of Los Angeles’s finest musicians. The NK Band has touched fans globally with positive messaging, outstanding songcraft, and unparalleled musicianship. The NK Band family’s latest release is an intimate EP called Solo Sessions (Groove Infinity Records). It features some of Nikhil Korula’s most personal songwriting as well an all-star backing courtesy of two members of The Dave Matthews Band. It’s a stunning addition to the rich and diverse NK Band catalog.

The NK Band’s broad appeal has enabled them to build a robust live profile. The sextet has shared stages with a wide variety of respected artists such as John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Ben Harper, Los Lonely Boys, Tim Reynolds, Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R, Page McConnell (Phish), Colin Hay (Men At Work), Rusted Root, Colbie Caillat, Les Claypool, Sara Bareilles, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Gavin DeGraw, among others. Through a tireless work ethic and undeniable songs, NK Band has been able to sell out such iconic venues as the House of Blues, Apollo Theater, Viper Room, and The Roxy. Parallel to this, NK Band has become a beloved fixture on the jam band scene, delighting music fans on college campuses and esteemed festivals like Bonnaroo and Summerfest. The six-piece group has also played landmark mainstream events such as Sunset Sessions and Sundance.

The NK Band has accomplished all of this with no major label or booking agent; it all comes down to the strength of its music and the deep connections the group has forged with its engaged fanbase.

Founding frontman Nikhil Korula began his professional career at age 5 as a classically trained, child prodigy vocalist, sharing the stages with the finest singers in opera, pop, and R&B. Other highlights from his formative years include working with legendary film composer Danny Elfman and appearing at the 32nd Annual Grammy® Awards with Mike and the Mechanics. While in college, he discovered the creative liberation inherent in jazz, pop, R&B, and funk. He soon began to channel his astounding talents to writing original music bridging cultures, hearts, minds, and musical traditions. He then founded the NK Band with LA’s most respected musicians (topflight jazz and session guys who, along with Korula, have worked with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter for a tribute concert for Carlos Santana) and hunkered down to build a band dynamic that transcended the talent of each individual to form a cohesive band vibe. Stylistically, the NK Band pools from an eclectic selection of inspirations, including Dave Matthews Band, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Sting, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson.

The Solo Sessions (Groove Infinity Records) is a rare treat for NK Band fans because it brings them closer to Korula’s musical orbit. For the first time, Korula handles all the guitar duties and writes from a slightly different perspective than on previous NK Band records. “These songs are more vulnerable. After touring so much with the band, I wanted to step out a little as a singer-songwriter,” he explains. Joining him on the 5-song EP are Dave Matthews Band mainstays Jeff Coffin (sax) and Butch Taylor (keyboards).

The music is expansively soulful, replete with the NK Band’s trademark multicultural adventurousness. The songwriting retains the core NK Band positive messaging, but the lyrics and concepts explored on Solo Sessions are profoundly introspective. The EP is thoughtfully sequenced with an eloquently existential arc, opening with a track titled “Spark” and closing with one named “Fade Away.” “We’re all sparks with great potential and the goal in life is to see how brightly you can shine before you fade away,” Korula explains of the EP’s narrative thread. On “Spark” he sings: The time has come to allow someone to be a light in the dark. A voice unheard beyond the spoken word can lead the world with a spark.

“It’s come full circle for me,” Korula says. “I used to see DMB play stadiums, then the NK Band played shows with them, and now I’ve had the opportunity to record with them. It blows my mind this happened. Through all this hard work we got this validation. I listen to the EP from time to time just to make sure it all wasn’t a dream!”

https://www.facebook.com/nikhilkorulaband

DaveHHM

Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.

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