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Folk: like Joni Moods: Type: Acoustic Easy Listening: Vocal Pop

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United States - California - LA

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Hugo Fernandes What I love. Backstory Sell your music everywhere

Hugo Fernandes

Hugo Fernandes is a thirty five-year veteran singer and guitarist. Starting as a solo entertainer in South Africa, he established himself as a ground-breaking live entertainer, described in reviews as ‘the best one-man band on the planet’ before moving to Los Angeles where he has averaged over 300 gigs a year for the past thirty years. During this time he has been booked by many celebrated musicians like Herbie Hancock and has been applauded by Joni Mitchel. He has been joined at the microphone by many of the worlds greats including Paul McCartney.
What I Love is the title of Hugo’s first album of all original songs. 17 songs chosen from the songbook of Andrew Brel. Arranged for solo guitar by Hugo and performed studio live as an acoustic reading of the song with just voice and guitar. An alternative title could be ‘Hugo sings Brel.’

Background on the two people involved in making “What I Love.”

Hugo and Andrew shared a house in South Africa in the early 80’s before Andrew moved to London, 1984, and Hugo moved to Los Angeles, 1987. They met again after thirty years when Andrew moved to California where he heard Hugo performing one of his songs in his set. ‘You and me babe’, a popular song in South Africa in 1982. Hugo’s unique styling of this song created an interest in making an album using the same formula, Hugo choosing his favorite Andrew songs and arranging them in his own style.

Andrew would record and produce the album and give the project high production values, drawing on his experience from thirty years of music production in London, recording many great players, including Peter Green, Hugh Burns, Leo Sayer, Spike Edney, Roger Taylor, Charlie Morgan, Ronnie Johnson and Mickey Moody.

This would be a challenge of playing the songs live from beginning to end. Old school. Not bar by bar cut and paste from a sample library. Hugo has many decades of learning songs behind him and hears music emotionally, by ear. Before each session Hugo would pick out a Brel song and learn it in his own unique way, adding his distinctive guitar styling to the arrangements in a process that was filled with joyful reminders of why both Hugo and Andrew chose a musical life in the first place. This can be described as a labor of love, made for no other reason than the love of music.

This album showcases a friendship in which both have learned something in the thirty-five years each has been professionally involved in making music, and still as enthusiastic about making new music now as thirty five years ago.

The recording process happened over a 12 Month period, meeting whenever possible for sessions in Andrews ‘Treadmill Studio’ in California. Recording Hugo’s voice through a Shure SM7, going though a UAD mic Pre. The guitar on the album is a rare Nylon Taylor NS72 hand made in 2005, to order. (Cat Stevens bought the next one off the Taylor line.) The 17 recordings are a cross section of songs written between 1985 and 2018 by Andrew Brel. Story songs such as;

“Sophie and Johann” about the fourth most famous German woman in Germany, Sophie Scholl, 21, who risked her life as a liberal voice at a time of Nazi horror. Leading to her meet with Johann Reickhart, the eighth- generation executioner in Germany in 1943.
“You and me Babe” is a love song by a young man, starting out in life and love with the innocent naivete that only young love provides.
“Paradise Key” is a well-known song about the 40,000 Children who died in the Iran Iraq war in human wave attacks where tens of thousands of 11 year old boys were given red plastic paradise keys and assured of a place in heaven if they became martyrs for Islam.
“Insensitivity” is a song in a Brazilian style about being sensitive to others, showcasing Hugo’s Brazilian timing.
“Elegy to the Last Lion” is a song about animal conservation. Unless we look after wild animals, they will become extinct.
“Suburban House” is a beautiful song about heartbreak, originally sung by Leo Sayer, here performed by Hugo in a guitar arrangement that is quite breathtaking.The album closes with a song called “Family Law”, sung from the perspective of a young boy, separated from his father by family law. Destined to become a favorite with anyone involved in separation where children are used as leverage for one side against the other.

“I was very happy to hear both Hugo’s selection from my repertoire as well as his super fine reading of the songs. I think the production values successfully represent my intention; to make a recording sound like Hugo is playing live in your living room. 17 songs, lasting one hour. No time wasting solo’s. Just voice and guitar with the focus on choice of notes, timing, phrasing and pitch.”

The album is available on CD from CD Baby. (A limited edition CD). And on all streaming media from 4th July, 2018.

Hugo is available for a ‘What I love show’, performing songs from the album. Contact him on Facebook or by emailing Andrew Brel Music. andrew@andrewbrel.com

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