LAURELL HUBICK WINS SONG OF THE YEAR AT VIBE AWARDS
Toronto - May 16th, 2004
B.C.-based musician and singer/songwriter Laurell Hubick, winner of "Vancouver Idol" and one of the top 100 finalists on 'Canadian Idol' has won the votes of fans across Canada in the category of 'Song of the Year' at this year's Vibe Awards (Canada's people's choice gospel music awards) which took place in Etobicoke, Toronto, May 15th, 2004.
A first time contender at the Vibes and nominated in four categories, Laurell's song "Great I AM" from her newly released independent album "Into Your Love" won enough votes to overtake Reunion Records' Jill Paquette with "Come to me". Many of the songs on Laurell's sophomore CD, featuring her accomplished songwriting and unique, jazz-inflected voice, were debuted live before a captivated audience of 400 at Vancouver's North Shore Alliance Church in late 2003. 500 copies of Laurell's CD were snatched up on that release weekend alone.
"Into your Love'" will be available at Christian bookstores throughout Canada on May 25th.
Laurell's winning song "Great I AM" will also be featured on the 2004 Vibe Awards compilation CD, coming to Christian bookstores in late May.
The Vibe Awards will be aired on:
The Miracle Channel: June 19, 8p.m. (MDT)
NOW TV: September 5, 4p.m. (PDT)
Prime TV: September 18, 7p.m. (EDT)
(check local listings to confirm times in your area)
Laurell Hubick, a third-year jazz student at North Vancouver's Capilano College, has received widespread media coverage on BCTV, CTV, VTV and Roger's Cable TV as well as in the Vancouver Sun, and the North Shore Outlook. She is currently working on a mainstream album featuring an organic combination of her jazz and acoustic background, its release scheduled at a great outdoor venue on the North Shore August 28.
For more information on Laurell Hubick please call (604) 318-0555 or visit www.laurell.ca.
It was a dim café on the North Shore, and a young girl was up on the tiny stage, playing for the crowd of style kids and hipsters that were filling the place on a sparkling Vancouver Thursday night. Just her and another guitarist, and their music had the place rapt. At most of those café shows, people are more into their conversations and their lattes and cheesecakes than into the music, but the place was dead quiet, everyone just totally taken away by the girl up there with the gorgeous, fragile voice. The crowd there knew that girl was something special, and now, five years later, Laurell's music is continuing to catch people's breath in their throats.
Now 24 years old, the B.C.-based singer / songwriter Laurell Hubick has become one of those rare artists who can draw from the mainstream, the sacred and the purely musical and turn out music that's honest and unique, full of conviction and free of artifice. Coming off the recent release of "Into Your Love," a collection of 11 original worship songs, and with a mainstream album in the works, Laurell is one of Canada's brightest young talents, and certainly one of its purest voices.
With formal training in Jazz Studies at North Vancouver's Capilano College, Laurell has been honing her skills as a songwriter since the age of six, when impromptu performances for her family made it clear which path she'd be going down in life. In November 2003, Laurell released her second CD, "Into Your Love." CD sales soared at an impressive rate for an independent artist, with over 500 units snatched up in its debut weekend alone. Laurell's credits include winning the North Vancouver Battle of the Bands as a solo act in 1998, being named the "Vancouver Idol," and making the top 100 in the nation-wide singer search "Canadian Idol" in 2003. She has received widespread media coverage on BCTV, CTV, VTV and Rogers Cable, and in the Vancouver Sun, the North Shore News and the North Shore Outlook. Laurell's talents have also earned her scholarships from Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music.
Although only 24, Laurell's music has been a long time coming. She played in music programs in high school, but never took a music career seriously until after graduation. One night, sitting in a restaurant in Greece, a man playing a guitar asked for requests; someone shouted out for "Hotel California," and Laurell, who was traveling there and somehow knew all the words, was called up to sing and play guitar, segueing into her own songs after her treatment of the Eagles' classic. "In that moment I realized how much I love playing on my own, performing in my own setting. It was so neat to have other people respond because they could relate." When she returned to Canada that year, she asked the owners of The End Café if she could sing; she performed at an open mic night and was later booked to play there on an ongoing gig. That year she also won the Battle of the Bands in North Vancouver; she was 19 at the time, and cut her first album "Nectar" with her winnings.
As a born performer, and as a person of spiritual strength, Laurell was soon singing and leading worship at a church in North Vancouver, and began to realize that her motives for performing were for fame, for the popstar dream. But there, the purposes were grounded, the purposes were for real - "church was a place where I could sing and the center of attention was God, not me," Laurell says. Music is a holy thing, a prayerful thing, a way of saying the things of the heart. "I believe it's one reason God created music," she continues. "It amplifies His voice when our ears are deaf to it, and it's one of my greatest joys to partake in it, especially now that I know the One who created and inspires it." From curious melodies and convicting passion to softer glimpses of wisdom and truth, Laurell's songs are both an expression of her holy loves and invitation into a higher world; and her musical talents and inspired lyrics have a way of bringing us into the presence of the One she simply sums up as "all I need."
In another turning point, Laurell and her husband traveled down south to Mexico in early 2003. She had her guitar on the trip, found her way to an open mic at one of the cafes in Sayulita, and with much prompting from her husband and friends, stepped up to play some of her 'mainstream' songs, so beginning the night that "it all finally made sense."
"I sang what I felt, it was the words to my life in song. I felt free from being the center of attention and that people were reflecting on their own experiences as they listened to the words...it was like we'd crossed an invisible bridge between being acquaintances and being friends. In that moment I saw my dream being realized, my dream of my music being a conduit through which people can express their feelings. I felt like God had shown me the validity of singing about emotional things that people can relate to...and the power of singing about the imperfections and pain that make me human."
Laurell's passion for creating music that will connect with people continues to be the driving force behind her songwriting. Her mainstream CD - as yet untitled - derives much of its content from relationships. "I have one about [my husband] Jamie, obviously an acknowledgment that this relationship is awesome even though it isn't always perfect." They're honest songs, and don't always pretend to arrive at a resolution. "It just shows I'm human, I don't always have it together, I'm not perfect, I get broken and hurt. It's never about me being perfect, but I have hope, a hope that's perfect."
And while some of the more critical in her Christian faith may accuse her of selling out by producing a set of mainstream songs, Laurell says she has no qualms with where she's going. "I'm happy with fate taking its path and people hearing it who are meant to be hearing it," she explains. Laurell's one of those people and one of those musicians who are true to their own paths, their own journeys; for her, it's a spiritual and musical one. Her music lets her audience be fellow travelers, and she's more interested in that than any timeline laid out for success.
"I write songs for a lot of reasons, after an experience that's impacted me, or to express something to God, or for fun...sometimes for therapy...in any case, it's just an honest expression of where I'm at."
True enough. Regardless of genre, you can't escape the passion in Laurell's music that's clearly coming from the heart.
Recent Article From the Outlook
While Canadian Idol was in town this week testing out op star wannabes, Laurell Hubick was pondering a future based on the truth. It is a value that factors into everything the Vancouver Idol winner does, and partly why she won't be limbing aboard the Canadian Idol juggernaut a second time around. The 24-year-old admits last spring's experience was a lot of fun, but she started losing interest when she advanced and was told she could no longer sing her own original music but rather had to chose from a prepared list. "My songs are a real representation of my sound," Hubick shares in a friendly, down to earth, cutesy kind of way as we sit in The North Shore Outlook office Monday morning.
A sound that she is imparting in two realms - the first of which is a recently released worship CD "Into Your Love."
Hubick, who sings regularly at North Shore Alliance church, says she had been considering releasing a worship oriented CD and a mainstream CD. But as a student in the jazz program at Capilano College, funds have been limited and she had decided that the mainstream CD would have to wait a while. Then out of the blue - or for the faith inclined, out of divine intervention - a church member called North Shore Alliance's young adults minister and told him that they would like to pay for Hubick to put out a worship CD. The funds were provided through the In Him Foundation, and Hubick never knew the identity of the donors until the CD release party in November. "This whole fall felt like'Laurell, get on the roller coaster, put your hands up and ride it.' It just kind of happened. Even the way the
CD process got going, it was out of my hands." It is a CD that comes straight from the heart, but lyrically plays more on her love for Jesus Christ and how much she values that spiritual relationship. Her mainstream, as of yet untitled CD, due for release this summer, derives a lot of its content from Hubick's personal relationships. "I have one about [my
husband] Jamie, obviously an acknowledgement that this relationship isn't perfect." The lyrics, she notes, go:"Stay by my side, let's walk this walk, let's ride this ride." They're honest songs, Hubick contends. The lyrics don't pretend to arrive at a resolution. "It just shows I'm a human, that I don't always have it together. I'm not perfect, I get broken and hurt. "It's never about me being perfect, but I have a hope that is." And while some of the more critical in her Christian
faith may accuse her of selling out by producing a mainstream CD, Hubick says she has no qualms with what she is going. "I'm happy with fate taking its pat hand people hearing it who are meant to be hearing it," she explains. The CDs are just a part of the spiritual and musical journey being unveiled before her. They are not, as of yet, part of
some timeline she has laid out for success. "I still don't necessarily have an arrival date or point in my mind. I just feel that I'm supposed to get better and I'm supposed to share it." "Into Your Love" sold 452 copies at the CD release
party and despite a lukewarm marketing effort on H u b i c k ' s part thus far, is also moving well at Sign Of The
Fish bookstore in See page 17
From page 13
Lower Lonsdale and via her website (www.laurell.ca). The early numbers make her grin, but they aren't as important to Hubick as the impact of her work and her spiritually-led desire to make a difference. "I think Christians are afraid of showing this imperfection and this pain because they see themselves as the example. "But if we were to be a true example, I think honesty would be a key element." An element she finds to be absent from the prepackaged pop images created just to sell music, like the kind Canadian Idol aspires to develop. "I just want to be known for who I am; as this person who's not going to give you this image necessarily but the real deal," Hubick shares. "I look at the influences
on MuchMusic and I just think 'Hey, if I have a chance to be a positive influence, then let's do it." Hubick is counting on the belief that staying true to who she is will keep her from falling into the image trap. A trap that causes rising young artists to develop who they are based on the comments of critics: A trap that becomes so pervasive, it holds them
emotionally captive. In her own way, even if she's not consciously doing it, Hubick is imparting some Biblical wisdom: "The truth shall set you free." _
-- February 2004