THE ROOTS, THE VIBE, THE NOW
At an early age OVACiiR caught the vibe. The vibe was a love of music. A passion for music, in all its styles and forms and like a cosmic force it’s been guiding him through the universe ever since.
Born Frank Randall III, OVACiiR grew up in a tight-knit family on the shores of Thread Lake in Flint, Michigan. He taught himself how to play drums at the age of 5, studied piano at the age of 7, and by the age of 9 had added bass, electric guitar and keyboards to his talents. It was about that time OVA took an interest in jazz, soaking up everything from the virtuoso piano playing of Oscar Petersen, to the jazz fusion of Roy Ayers and Herbie Hancock. “Trendsetters always go outside the boundaries,” says OVA about his legendary predecessors, “and that’s what I try to do too. Predictability is the enemy of creativity.”
OVA’s awakening to jazz was further enhanced by his father’s devotion to the craft, which had been a fixture in the Flint jazz scene for over 50 years. Watching his father’s band rehearse in their living room and observing his dad’s passion, focus and desire had a deep impact on OVA’s approach to music and life. “He was the real deal,” OVA says fondly. “He was married over 50 years, raised four kids and played up to the very end of his journey in 2007. His commitment was everything to him, and it’s a quality he taught me early on.”
After graduating from high school OVA set out to see the world, so he enlisted in the Army. While stationed in Germany OVA continued to hone his musical skills by playing in various jazz-funk ensembles and touring alongside the S.O.S. Band and other acts. When he returned to the States, OVA continued his musical pursuits and soon caught the attention of Gene Perry, a Philadelphia based talent manager. With Perry, OVA produced and recorded his first two singles, “Futuristic Girl” and”The Time Has Come”. The two funk flavored tracks went into heavy rotation on Flint and Saginaw radio stations, but without national distribution the discs gradually died out and went out of print.
Hungry for a change of atmosphere and direction, OVA moved to Los Angeles and immersed himself in the local music scene. Playing keyboards for such R&B Jazz groups as Mystique, Beta Soul, Maia and Asha, OVA quickly gained a reputation for being a dynamic performer as well as a talented songwriter/ producer. His ear for music led to him to produce and collaborate with an array of artists, producing tracks for R&B Jazz singer India, an album for the rap group Dope Poets Regiment, and the rock infused rap single “Cause Corruption” from the movie soundtrack Animal Instincts 3. OVACiiR continues to lend his talent and support to other independent production companies such as “Librium Productions”.
In 2006 OVACiiR, released his first complete solo album in his enduring career, OVA has come creatively full circle. Alternating between cool & breezy instrumentals and hot & funky grooves, this self entitled album demonstrated OVA’s unbridled range by capturing the mood of jazz while infusing it with hip-hop flare. OVA displays his wizardry as a producer and keyboardist by rendering the songs with such authenticity that you could swear it came from a four man band. This CD revealed the depth, insight and passion that OVA lays bare on every track.
From his early days in Flint to the jazz scene of Los Angeles, OVA has and continues to evolve as a musical artist. His latest album “OUTSIDE REALITY, due out Spring of 2009, masterfully blends the spirit of jazz with the rhythms of soul and funk, resulting in a work that sheds labels while allowing listeners to focus on the artist. With the creation of his own label, Silent Warrior Productions, and his focus on being a soloist, OVA is ready to take his career to the next level. If talent and desire are any measure then the musical universe is about to get another star.