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Cristobal Tapia de Veer emigrated to Quebec City from Chile with his mother when he was 15 years old. The young political refugee grew up with an obsessive love of music and picked as many instruments as possible before deciding to get more formal training. By the time he was sixteen, he found himself enrolled at the Quebec Music Conservatory. And that's where he met another young prodigy, Byron Mikaloff. Byron was a talented guitarist and songwriter from Terrace, British Columbia who flew across the country to study in the classical guitar program at the same institution. Before long Cristobal and Byron discovered a mutual, if eclectic, taste for music and decided to collaborate together.

The band the two young men formed, The Blokes, played a number of spirited gigs around Quebec City gaining a reasonable following. Despite the success the band was having, Cristobal and Byron had a more diverse musical palette in mind. They wanted to find a way to somehow mix the sounds they adored from the club scene with different pop sensibilities from around the world. This new sound began to incorporate cabaret with DJ scratches and jazz with a heavy bottom end. The one thing missing though was the perfect voice. Which brings us back to our party…

The morning after, Byron recalls waking up to the sound of the most beautiful voice coming out of the shower. More and more people awoke to the sound of this mysterious female singing and everyone waited outside the bathroom door. The shock was not just that the voice was Zita singing; it was that Zita could sing at all. They had been friends for a while and she had never told anyone that she loved to sing, so how could they possibly know that she had such a wonderful voice.

Excited by the possibilities of what Zita could bring to their new project (including a love for Billie Holliday and smoky jazz), Cristobal and Byron immediately put her vocals on tape and One Ton was born. In addition to that incredible voice, Zita brought a certain exotic charm to One Ton born out of an incredible six months living with her aunt in India.

Once they had worked up enough material, the new line-up began building their own following, playing around Quebec and recording a popular independent CD, Beginning Of A New Race. From here, things begin to heat up…

Now that Zita was out in the open as a singer, her voice was in heavy demand on the Quebec music scene. In the fall of 2000, the popular group "Les Respectables" asked Zita to sing the chorus on their single "Amalgame" which went to #1 on Quebec's pop charts. Les Respectables were managed by Avalanche Productions (Soul Attorneys, Jorane, Projet Orange) who heard One Ton's indie release and were stunned by the sound the group was producing. They soon decided to represent the new group and try to find them a record deal.

In the summer of 2001, One Ton signed with Warner Music Canada and began recording their debut album at Ground Control Studios in Quebec City. The 13 songs on Abnormal Pleasures represent an exciting new sound that is at the same time a tropical paradise ("La Fruta"), a movie filmed in Cinemascope ("Another Miracle") and an endless night of clubbing ("Supersexworld").

"Byron has very precise musical ideas," says Cristobal explaining their collaboration. "On the other hand, I look at everything on the periphery." Indeed, it's Cristobal's periphery view and job as the album's producer that introduces the eclecticism to One Ton's Music. "In the studio the musicians think I'm insane for the many unusual things I ask them to try."

With Byron and Cristobal concentrating on the music, it is Zita's voice that is the connection to the world. "Zita has such charm and femininity," adds Byron, "That I must put myself in the skin of a woman in order to write for her."

Cristobal continues that "since she learned to sing instinctively, her voice has a fragility reminiscent of great female voices of the 60's like Bridget Bardot and Janis Joplin." There is no better example of what he's is talking about than the cabaret of "My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Lolita)."

No two songs on One Ton's major label debut, Abnormal Pleasures, can best describe what this band is about. It is like the old saying "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." So to is it true of the band members themselves. If Byron, Cristobal and Zita had not found each other, this special sound of One Ton could never exist.

Abnormal Pleasures (CD, Album) WEA International Inc., Warner Music (Canada) 2002
Supersexworld (CD, Maxi) WEA International Inc. 2002
Supersexworld (CD, Maxi) WEA International Inc. 2002

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