Aziz Collins & Joshua Collins
TeamSoul Entertainment Group
For many artists, appealing to diverse audiences is no easy feat. But for West Philadelphianatives Josh and Aziz Collins of the R&B/ Soul duo U.City (formerly United Soul), this task is accomplished with ease, style, and some good music. With their debut album Reservations, released in 2005, U.City created a fusion of soul, rock, funk and hip hop all in one original sound. A sound that continues …to engage crowds and make instant fans out of first-time listeners.Reservations serves as a reminder of soul music as it once was. The project features music that “warms the heart and reminds one of love lost, found and yearned for,” Aziz declares. Included on the album is the sultry single “Best of Me,” which won the group the 2003 Heineken Music Initiative/ASCAP Foundation R&B Grant, an award that recognizes the best rising songwriters across the country. Another single, “He Don’t,” was featured on Hidden Beach Recordings’ compilation album “Hidden Hits” released in 2003.
2008 has found U.City with the release of their sophomore project, “The Fall,” an album which will give fans a taste of something different. The music embodies a new spirit and represents the evolution of the group over the last three years. “Our sound is our own. It is exactly sincere; people don’t have to feel like they are listening to soul artists trying to do rock, hip-hop, and pop,” says Josh. Not just stellar performers but gifted songwriters, the duo has impressed upon industry favorites, including husband and wife combo Kindred the Family Soul, who perform the U.City-penned track “Hey” on their third album “The Arrival.” The group’s talents also earned them a spot on the 2005 VH1 Soul Tour where they shared the stage with Kindred and Jaguar Wright in Washington D.C. and New York City. Still, appreciation for U.City’s work reaches far beyond the boundaries of their immediate region.
The group made its international debut when they performed at the Jazz Café in London, leaving the crowd at once pleasantly surprised and anxious for more. Though the two are not related by blood as their identical last names suggest, the kindred musical connection explains why Josh and Aziz identify as brothers. The artistic chemistry and vocal contrasts of the two, an ideal mixture of refined smoothness and raw strength, creates an unforgettable combination. And this combination continues to create work that will stand apart and ultimately bring authenticity and depth to an industry that is starving to be fed substance.
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Aziz Collins/Joshua Collins
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