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“If an American soul singer ended up in Havana playing with the local congueros, you’d probably end up with something resembling my music!”
Scandinavian Soul Singer Niels HP was born in 1966 into a large family of seven kids. Although blessed with a voice that would not be out of place in the 60s Tamla/Motown era, his Scandinavian roots run very deep with a Finnish father and a Danish mother.
He began playing drums at the age of 7 and his fascination with rhythm remains at the core of his musicality. As he puts it: “If an American soul singer ended up in Havana playing with the local congueros, you’d probably end up with something resembling my music!”
At the age of 10, he started his first band with his brother (a year older) in the basement of the family house on the outskirts of Copenhagen.
Growing up he also took up singing, listening to The Beatles, old Gospel albums, and later Soul singers like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway.
After finishing school, word of his talent for singing spread, and he received a call from a Copenhagen based Soul Band, "Dirty Details “, who were looking for a singer. This lead to a tour in New York with a seminal vocal performance at Cafe wha in Greenwich Village. The overwhelming response from the audience inspired Niels HP to pursue a career as a singer.
In 1989, he Joined the legendary Funk Band Ridin' Thumb.
In 1990, he began study at the Rhythmic Conservatory of Copenhagen.
While studying at the Conservatory, Niels HP began writing music for Ridin' Thumb’s first album "Different Moves, Different Grooves”, which was released in 1994 . The album was considered a game-changer on the Danish Funk scene. Niels HP and the band appeared on various Danish TV shows, and Ridin' thumb toured extensively in Europe throughout the 90's.
In 1996, Niels HP garnered great reviews in the successful Danish run of the musical, “Hair” in Copenhagen, performing with some of the best new voices in the country. The show even enjoyed a stint in Paris in 1997.
In 1997, Niels HP left Ridin' Thumb to form his own band. He spent the following years working on his own music, while performing with some of the biggest players in Danish R&B and Soul.
In 2004, Niels released his debut solo album, "Promises of Rain". The album gained recognition on Danish radio with several of the songs being played on rotation, earned him critical acclaim and, importantly for Niels, much respect among the vibrant Soul/Jazz community and audiences of Copenhagen.
In 2005, Niels HP played the character Knud in the successful Musical version of the Danish movie "The one and only”.
In 2009, Niels graduated as a Singing Teacher from the internationally acclaimed "Complete Vocal Institute", and was later that year headhunted by the institute. Since then, he has travelled the length and breadth of Europe giving masterclasses in singing and rhythm.
In 2013, Niels HP released his long-awaited second solo album, "Bumpy Road". The album is built around the singer’s life-long fascination with rhythms and the relation between polyrhythmic interplay, and features Niels himself on Drums, Congas, Moog , Piano, Percussion and lead and background vocals. As the singer puts it: "In my world, all instruments are rhythm instruments” - and he plays them according to that philosophy.
In 2016, Niels HP had the privilege of recording the Donny Hathaway song "This Christmas" for The Danish Radio Big Band’s Christmas Album, "Jazzin' Round Christmas", and joining them on their Christmas tour.
Beyond the thriving Danish Funk and Soul scene, Niels has been invited to perform around the world, from London to Singapore and he is passionate about sharing the joy of rhythmic music with the world.
At the time of writing, Niels HP is currently working on new material for his 3rd solo album and has a busy performance schedule.
Format: CD, dig.
"Promises of Rain"
Format: CD, dig.
Danish Radio Bigband
"Jazzin' Round Christmas"
"Different moves different Grooves"
Label: Freestyle Records