Helsinki-based Bobby Oroza (real name Boris Nordin) plays retro-spirited, raw but melodic and sweet soul together with Cold Diamond & Mink, also known as the studio orchestra of Timmion Records. The lineup consists of guitarist Seppo Salmi, bassist Sami Kantelinen and drummer Jukka Sarapää, who perform as a trio.
Oroza’s recordings have been licensed to the well-acknowledged, New York-based Big Crown Records and has some noteworthy fandom in the USA especially among the Latin communities of the west coast. One can find many influences in their music from the west coast Latin soul music which has been flourished for decades in the Californian district. Oroza has also gained name nationwide in the Chicano community along with its low rider culture.
The debut album titled This Love was released in March 2019. Big Crown Records has also published all the 7’’ singles since 2018. In 2020, Bobby Oroza featured as a vocalist on the single track “Reasons” by El Michels Affair, a long-time personal project of Leon Michels (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Menahan Street Band, Lee Fields & The Expressions…) His debut single “This Love”, issued in 2016 by Timmion Records, was also sampled by the rapper Earl Sweatshirt on his track “Hat Trick”, which caused buzz and interest internationally already well before his similarly titled debut album.
In March 2022, Big Crown Records issued Bobby Oroza’s new EP titled The Otherside. It was followed in June by the full album Get On The Otherside, which has been praised worldwide by both the critics and the fans. Tours of 2022 include several live shows in United States as well as in Japan.
The whole band behind Bobby Oroza plays equally in the retro funk and soul band The Soul Investigators, which Sami Kantelinen and Jukka Sarapää also founded in the 1990’s. Therefore Cold Diamond & Mink has been sometimes called the “hornless and more minimalistic version” of the orchestra.
Guitarist Seppo Salmi has played and performed earlier in several bands such as Soul Captain Band, Reino & The Rhinos and Paukkumaissi as well as in the bands of finreggae artists Jukka Poika, Raappana and Nopsajalka. As a solo artist Salmi has released under alias Seppo Paarma an acknowledged reggae album Pidä liekkis (2005), performing also as the main vocalist. It wasn’t the first time on the microphone, though as he had given a bit similar effort already earlier in the locally well-respected group Kompostikopla, who released their album Jukka Poika ja Kompostikopla in 2003.
Text: Joonas Kervinen / Funky Finland