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Alex Cuba takes new approach to songwriting

Cuban-Canadian Alex Cuba has learned to blend his Cuban roots with a Canadian approach to songwriting, with the result being new work that straddles both cultures.
Smithers, B.C.-based musician talks about his musical journey since coming to Canada. 6:12

Cuban-Canadian musician Alex Cuba has learned to blend his Cuban roots with a Canadian approach to songwriting, with the result being new work that straddles both cultures.

The Smithers, B.C.-based singer-songwriter — who won Junos for his world music albums (Humo De Tabaco in 2006 and Agua Del Pozo in 2008) — says living in Canada has improved his songwriting skills.

Cuba — whose real name is Alexis Puentes — co-wrote Nelly Furtado's Latin Grammy-winning album Mi Plan and sang with the pop star on the title track. He has also collaborated with Luis Enrique, Ron Sexsmith, Blue Rodeo and Dominican legends Milly Quezada and Juan Luis Guerra.

His new album Ruido is being released in the U.S., France, Germany and Britain as well as Canada, with an international  tour to follow.

Ruido blends a pop-funk sound with his Cuban roots. With it, as he tells CBC's Alice Hopton, he has taken a step further in his musical journey since moving to Canada for love. The album also includes, for the first time, songs that reflect on the state of the world.

"I think this album is going to mark an obvious development in my career as a songwriter, because all of a sudden social issues started visiting me and all of a sudden I started getting these songs," he said.

"This album not only talks about beauty, life, love or Cuba or Canada, it talks about issues that we are facing all over the world."

Upcoming concert dates for Cuba include:

  • Feb. 7, 2013: Aylmer, Ont.
  • Feb. 8: Hamilton, Ont.
  • Feb. 9: Alliston, Ont.
  • Feb.12: Gatineau, Que.
  • Feb. 13:  Kirkland Lake, Ont.
  • Feb. 15-16:  London, Ont.