Valensia

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Valensia
Birth name Aldous Byron Valensia Clarkson
Also known as Valensia
Born (1971-04-13) April 13, 1971 (age 43)
Origin The Hague, Netherlands
Genres New-age, hard rock, symphonic rock, progressive rock
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1993–present
Labels Phonogram
Associated acts V, Metal Majesty
Notable instruments
Valensia Unicorn

Aldous Byron Valensia Clarkson (born April 13, 1971, in The Hague),[1] better known as simply Valensia, is a Dutch singer, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist.

Early life[edit]

Valensia grew up in Waalwijk and used to spend a lot of his time at the family's beachhouse in Dénia, Spain. When he was a little kid, he used to play guitar and sing at the beaches in Dénia. He had also written a lot of songs and was even offered a record contract, but his parents decided he was too young for the music business and refused the offer.[1] Several years later, in the Netherlands, Valensia used to play in some bands, usually on keyboard or guitar.

Gaia era[edit]

Valensia met Robby Valentine (another Dutch singer) at an airport, as they were both listening to Queen´s Bohemian Rhapsody. After that, Valensia started sending demos to several record companies and producer John Sonneveld noticed him. Then Valensia signed a record deal with Mercury Records and in 1993 his first album "Valensia" was released.

Influenced by Kate Bush and Queen, Valensia's self-titled first album (known as "Gaia" in Japan) contained the hit single "Gaia" that, out of nowhere, reached #2 in the Dutch charts[1] and stayed in the charts for several weeks. "Gaia" had success in other countries too. The album itself spent almost 20 weeks in the album charts and had good critiques. Four singles were released: Gaia, The Sun, Nathalie and Tere.

He was quite a success in the Netherlands, but he was an even greater success in Japan. Valensia noticed that, so a mini-album called "The White Album" was released in Japan only, in 1994, including a Valensian-styled Christmas song ("21st Century New Christmas Time") and a version of Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill."

K.O.S.M.O.S and promotion issues[edit]

Valensia's second album "Valensia II" (also known as "K.O.S.M.O.S.") was the first Dutch surround sound CD ever made.[1] It was, again, a success in Japan, but his Dutch record company didn't want to promote it. Due to this fact, it received less attention than it perhaps deserved in the Netherlands.

K.O.S.M.O.S (Valensia often refers to it as "Costmost") was the most expensive album in the history of the Netherlands. Valensia said that people often forget that his first 2 albums were produced by "the best Dutch producers" (as Valensia himself said): John Sonneveld and Pim Koopman (KayaK's drummer).[2]

Three singles were released: "Kosmos", "Thunderbolt" (only in Japan) and "Blue Rain" (only in the Netherlands).

For his next album, the record company ordered him to write songs in an Alanis Morissette-style, because they thought the public wouldn't like Valensia's style of music. At the request of the Japanese record company, "Gantenbrink" (the only real Valensian song on the album) was added. Ironically (or sadly), Valensia's new album "Valensia '98" (full name: "Valensia '98 Musical Blue Paraphernalian Dreams Of Earth's Eventide Whiter Future & Darker Present Soundspheres From New Diamond Age Symphonian Artworks To Yesterday's Westernworld Rockcraft Under The Raging Nineties' Silver Promise Of The Happy Hundreds On The Break Of The New Millennium's Hazy Misty Dawn") also known as "Millennium" or "Valensia III," was never released in the Netherlands.

Though his Dutch record company refused to release "Valensia '98", Valensia still had a lot of fans in the Netherlands. A fan meeting took place near the Carré theater in Amsterdam and they were presented with a promotional copy of "Valensia ´98." The fans started gathering on the Internet and, finally, in June 1999, in cooperation with Valensia himself, the Official Valensia Website at www.valensia.com went online.

Later career[edit]

In the summer of 1999, "V" was released. V was a cooperation between Valensia and Robby Valentine. Valensia's style have always had a mysterious atmosphere around it, but "V" sounded absolutely different. With a Beatle-esque ELO-esque and Queen-esque style, the sound of "V" was quite naive and happy.

Valensia's mother Jacqueline died, in November 1999. This had quite an impact on him. So, his next album "Gaia II" (released on the new record label Marquee) had a song dedicated to his mother, "Requieme pour Jacqueline".

Since then he has released several quality albums with little commercial success. For this reason he is still struggling to find a good company record. Meanwhile he records his albums in his own home studio. He is a respected artist in Japan. He is known also because of his complex music (arrangement-wise), and also for his guitar skills (among other instruments). Valensia has also released albums with the bands V (with Robby Valentine) and Metal Majesty (with his brother David on drums).

In 2008 Valensia appeared on the Dutch TV program De Reunie.[3] He has been working on a new album which will be released on Spring 2010. A single entitled "One Day My Princess Will Come" was to be released on February 24, 2010. However, the release was cancelled.[4]

Discography[edit]

Valensia albums[edit]

V (Valensia/Valentine)[edit]

Metal Majesty[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]