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LISTEN TO THIS REVIEW
Got To Feel It - Rehan Dalal
Buy Got To Feel It


RELEASE INFO

LABEL: Self Released (Reflex Records)
RELEASE DATE: 06.25.13
FORMATS: Physical, Digital

Band Members

Rehan Dalal: Guitar, Vocals
Justin Abedin: Guitar
Joel Visentin: Keyboards
Thomas Francis: Keyboards
Marlon Pennant: Bass
Jeremy Morgan: Drums
Cat Lewis: Background Vocals

BIOGRAPHY

Rehan Dalal may be an unusual candidate for the role of a soul musician. He doesn't necessarily fit the traditional mold. Born and raised in Bombay, India, he grew up surrounded by Classic Rock cover bands, Bollywood singers and classical Indian musicians. However none of these sounds drew him in as strongly as the pulsing groove and earnest sentiments of Soul. After moving to Canada, he soon picked up a guitar and began writing songs. It was the start to an exciting journey that would find him finally making the music that he always found solace in.

He has just finished recording his debut album Got To Feel It with producer Justin Abedin (Justin Hines, jackSOUL). It is a collection of songs that touch upon a range of styles. Featuring soul stylings, R&B grooves, pop hooks and folk lyricism, Rehan's music is influenced by the early 60's soul sounds of Sam Cooke and Ray Charles; to the Motown era magic of Stevie Wonder and The Temptations; to the modern flavors of Raphael Saadiq and Ben L'Oncle Soul; with a dash of Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer thrown in for good measure.

In the last few years he was won several awards and has garnered acclaim for his engaging live act. Performing at various festivals and sharing the stage with the likes of Divine Brown, Big Sugar and David Ryan Harris. He was even described as "Really groovy" by drummer Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Eric Clapton) and "Very compelling" by Universal's head of A&R, Mark Spicoluk.

Review & Interview

July 3rd, 2013. On maritimevinyl.ca

Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder fill a large portion of my vinyl collection so when I read that up and coming soul singer Rehan Dalal had listed them as influences, he quickly gained my attention. Rehan was born in Bombay, India, but has migrated to Toronto, Ontario. Upon arriving in Canada, he learned to play guitar and began singing. With this new found passion for music and his natural talent, he just released his debut album Got To Feel It. 

Rehan’s back-up band gives the album a ‘big band’ feel, showcasing some absolutely incredible musicians on horns, strings, and funky guitars with complex drumming. My only quirk is that the back-up band is almost too good. The music is very polished, sounding as if these band members were just studio musicians. Money can buy anybody an incredible backup band which sometimes can mask any flaws that the primary artists have in their own abilities. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case on Got To Feel It; Rehan can stand his own ground, a fabulous singer with undeniable talent.  If my only negativity on this album is that it sounds too good, I think Rehan and his band must be doing something right.


Got To Feel It was released digitally June 25th (You can find it on iTunes). Ok, I can understand that digital is the audio medium world that we are living in, but where do you find the liner notes? Who wrote these songs? Who are the musicians? Perhaps I’m just an analog guy stuck in the middle of a digital world so this information may be readily available, but I could not easily find it.

Overall, I am very pleased with this album. It has ten great songs filled with incredible musicians and soul singing. If you’re a fan of the older Motown artists, this new album should be a welcome addition to your collection. Canadian soul music is definitely not mainstream, so it’s a refreshing change to see some new faces. Rehan came out full force with Got To Feel It and deserves credit for a great debut album.

July 18th, 2013. By Shalaka Pei for http://nh7.in/indiecision

Bombay-born and raised Rehan Dalal moved to Canada in 2005, and that’s where he began making music. The young singer-songwriter took up the guitar during his time at university, and, in his words, “It started taking over everything I was doing.” After a few years of playing local venues around Toronto, and even a festival, Dalal has put out his debut record, Got To Feel It, a beautifully produced pop-soul album.

“I grew up listening to a lot of jazz and through that, I landed on soul music which was the friendliest intersection between jazz and pop music,” he tells me. “Something about it has always spoken to me. I’ve always loved Stevie Wonder, the Motown greats and Michael Jackson… well, who doesn’t like Michael Jackson? So it was a natural direction for me.” Dalal adds that a good groove and sense of rhythm is important to him, and it shows in the music. “When I was growing up I wanted to be a drummer really badly,” he laughs.

Dalal’s album sees him backed by some talented sessions musicians. The band came about around three years ago, he explained. “I was playing this festival called Canadian Music Fest. I was in the green room at the venue, noodling around before I went on stage and I ended up chatting with this guitarist called Justin Abedin about what I was doing. It turned out he’d studied with my guitar heroes, and he offered to give me lessons.” The album was funded by a grant from FACTOR, a Canadian non-profit organisation. “There are a lot of systems in place in the country for musicians,” Dalal explains. “I was lucky enough to get this grant. There are a lot of arts councils that provide grants and assistance, so it’s a really great place to be coming up as a musician, there’s a lot of support systems in place.”

The ten tracks on Got To Feel It are largely relationship-oriented in terms of themes. “A lot of the writing is almost like journaling,” Dalal muses. “It’s like notes to myself. Most of the songs are about something that’s affected me in someway or the other. It was largely a relationship record, not necessarily romantic, but interpersonal, and even my relationship with myself, at points. Sometimes the writing is more obtuse and observatory.” He adds that there was already some material ready for a second record, explaining that his sophomore release will probably be very different. “I try not to limit myself,” he explains.

Dalal and his band have not started touring with the album yet, and are finding their footing with their live show. “We’re playing small local shows now but we hope to start touring later this year,” he says, adding that he’d love to perform in India. “While I’m happy to do solo shows, this record needs the whole band to perform so I really hope that can happen.”





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