Maktub, whose name means "it is written" in Arabic, formed in 1996 as a pet project of four Seattle club musicians. Reggie Watts (vocals/synthesizer), Davis Martin (drums), Alex Veley (keyboards), and Kevin Goldman (bass), came together from various parts of Seattle's burgeoning soul community to create a groove-oriented, brooding R&B sound. Led by Watts' polished baritone vocals, Maktub released a competent debut album, Subtle Ways, in 1999. The album quickly rose to number one on local radio station KCMU's charts and went on to win the Best Northwest R&B Album of 1999 award at the Northwest Music awards. In addition to their growing local audience in the Northwest, Maktub found wide exposure on the Internet, and Subtle Ways quickly rose to number one on MP3.com's soul and urban charts. They even managed, through the Internet, to reach number two on the London-based Soul-24-7 radio chart without actually releasing the album in the UK. The relative success of Subtle Ways enabled Maktub to have their pick of Seattle musicians, and in 2000, they added guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Thaddeus Turner and replaced keyboardist Veley with smooth R&B veteran Darrius Willrich. Two years later, Willrich left the band and keyboardist Daniel Spils was added to Maktub just prior to the release of the eclectic Khronos. ~ Nathan Thornburgh
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