By Jerry Del Priore
One would say that Javier Velez, aka Versal, is a musical genius in many respects, with the ability to play several different instruments — including piano, organ, trumpet, trombone, and guitar -both electric/classical — by the age 17. He added three additional instruments later in life to bring the total to eight.
The Houston-based ambient/New Age musician/producer has put out his first release, a self-titled six-song EP called Versal, made public in March.
It’s a project he’s very proud of and it took time to complete because of his involvement with other various artists on other projects.
“This is my first release, and a dream long overdue for me,” Versal said. “I have spent a lifetime involved in music, always in collaboration with others, which gave me little time to do this until now. I hope everyone enjoys this music as much as I enjoyed creating it. May all beings be happy”
Versal studied harmony, composition, orchestration, and counterpoint under professor James McCoy, Ph.D., which is evident in his piano-driven opening track, Eternal — a beautifully composed classically-sounding song.
An accomplished computer graphics artist as well, Versal paints a charming picture in the second tune, Flamenco en Culebra, showing off his Latin roots, especially with the guitar riffs he strums.
Again, Versal displays his guitar prowess on the song, Carrousel, as he picks way into the listener’s heart. The accompanying keyboard work dazzles as he performs his instrumental magic.
I can’t help think how Versal’s easy-listening style is so fitting for movie music scores but could be played in front of captivated live audiences as well.