UNV II - Kings of the Quiet Storm
UNV II formerly U.N.V. (Universal Nubian Voices) became the first urban act signed to Madonna’s label, Maverick/Warner Bros. Records, in 1993. UNV’s deal came shortly after recording their first hit single “Something’s Goin’ On” which received local radio airplay on Detroit’s WJLB. The single made it to #1 on the R&R Urban Contemporary chart. Billboard records include #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles, #29 on the Hot 100, and #15 on the Rhythmic Top 40. The similarly titled album made it to #7 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The second single, “Straight to My Heart,” reached #36 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart. UNV released its second album in 1995 self-titled Universal Nubian Voices. Their single “So in Love with You” charted #14 on the Rhythmic Top 40 and continues to be one of the greatest wedding songs of all time.
During UNV’s tenure with Maverick, the group worked with some of the industry’s leading artists and producers including Madonna, David Foster, Brian McKnight, Eric Clapton, Nile Rodgers, Boys II Men, Jodeci, Shai, Silk, New Edition, EnVogue, R.Kelly, Intro, Joe, Gerald Levert, Tevin Campbell, and many others.
Shortly after the original group dissolved in 1996, one of the founding members and lead singers, J.Poww, went on to pursue his hip-hop career and co-founded his first independent label called Tre-J Records. His first independent release was for rap duo J & The Phatman who made monumental strides as the first music artists from Michigan to appear on Yo! MTVRaps. Chart-topping producers Soul Shock and Karlin, who produced artists such as Tupac Shakur, Usher, Whitney Houston, and Toni Braxton, produced J & The Phatman’s first single, “Keep It Comin (1996).”
Over the years, J.Poww released several projects under his independent label, Powwer Moves Records. Albums include Solo Mission (2000), Poww Bros (2003), and back-to-back solo projects as follows: The Headliner (2009), Journey of a Man (2010), hip-hop album Split Personality (2011), Where is the Love (2012), and his latest urban gospel album Savior Made (2014).
Today UNV II consists of founding member J.Poww and to new members Terry Thomas and Byron “Suge” McClendon.
Terry Thomas’ voice has appeared on several commercial jingles and he’s worked with many industry professionals on various musical projects including Mario Winans, Michael Powell, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Daryl Coley, Ronnie Laws, Howard Hewitt, David Hollister, Althea Rene' and Con Funk Shun.
Byron “Suge” McClendon enjoyed singing gospel with a few other groups before joining UNV II, bringing his unique bass baritone voice. Completing the quartet, Jeff
Currently, UNV II is working on a new album, Kings of the Quiet Storm, scheduled to be released Dec 2016.
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