TALENT SCOUT - Axel Tosca Laugart

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Cuban pianist and composer Axel Tosca Laugart formed his genre-bending band (U)nity back in 2006 and has been wowing audiences ever since. (Fellow musical chameleon Robert Glasper says of the five-person collective, "I saw them cats uptown for the very first time and it blew my mind...I went home and thought about it all night, it was crazy"). That's why Laugart is our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week.

NAME: Axel Tosca Laugart

HOMETOWN: Havana, Cuba.

MUSICAL TRAINING: Classical music at the Paulita Concepcion and Amadeo Roldan schools in Cuba.

FIRST GIGS: It’s incredible to say but my first concert was with my parents at “Casa da las Americas.”

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: The system, our times and place in the universe, sounds, idols, animals, air, love, people, family.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: I'm listening a lot of Trap music, Indie rock and Timba (Cuban musical genre).

MY BIG BREAK: Coming to America. I realize now that with talent and good guidance, you can fulfill your goals. But everything needs to be well-planned.

LATEST ALBUM:(U)nity is Power on the Ropeadope label.

INSTRUMENTS PLAYED:Piano. I also use the Yamaha Motif. I rock with it and it’s super easy to work with. I also love the microKORG. I'm doing all my leads and key bass with it. And any Dave Smith "Prophet" keyboard. Oooohh my God, I'll be in heaven!

FAVORITE KEYBOARDIST AND WHY? Herbie Hancock. He’s still searching for more in music, life, and spirit. He even acting too in a movie. He is an idol of mine and I will always preach him.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I'm about to play a solo concert at Lincoln Center in New York City (at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola) on August 29th. I'll also be in Ibiza with Little Louie Vega on August 21st and promoting the (U)nity is Power album which comes-out Friday the 28th of July.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Dream big, study and learn, and absorb everything you can. Life is beautiful.

For more info, visit http://iamunity.com

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