"Lisa Hugo is simply Amazing!"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
I first had the privilege of hearing Lisa Hugo in early 2010. After spending 42 minutes listening to her 3rd release: "It's Time" I simply abandoned all hopes of finding any weakness with it. In fact as the CD progressed I became more and more impressed. “It’s Time” is a world class Jazz production from start to finish. There’s not a weak song on this entire catalogue period! The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of Lisa Hugo are world class, and her X-Factor dial is well into the Green Band, Lisa Hugo is clearly an artist worthy of attention, spotlight, and praise. Everything about her screams success, talent and top notch professionalism, she is the real deal! It's just a matter of time before she reaches critical acclaim on an international level. So if you haven't heard of Lisa Hugo - perhaps it's time you did. You should start with “It’s Time.” What else can I say - Lisa Hugo is simply amazing!
IMD “It’s Time is your 3rd release, how does it differ from your previous releases?
LISA HUGO My song writing skills have developed, my style has changed, my voice has changed and everything has improved. My first album was a big mix of many styles. I was trying to showcase my versatility as a singer which actually backfired when it came to getting a distribution deal for the album. Most of the record companies came back with the comment “we don’t know how to categorise your music”. The next album was recorded live at one of my solo performances in Hamburg. It is just me and my piano hence the title “Natural”. This album is comprised of 17 cover songs and only 1 original and actually sold very well at performances around Europe. My current album “It’s Time”, has a lot more jazz influences and is predominantly original. The musicians I work with on the album are all professional jazz musicians and their influences can be heard in the arrangements. This is also my first album to make it into the digital download world which has opened the door to potential fans much further.
IMD Listening to your music right away I hear a lot of jazz influences, artists like: Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Barbara Streisand – am I off the mark there?
LISA HUGO I am a huge fan of Barbara Streisand and her vocal prowess. She has amazing precision and clarity in her voice, not to mention her ability to interpret songs and this has surely influenced my music. Ella and Natalie are not off the mark…also big influences. I have performed a lot with big bands and concerts bands around the world and love to sing music from the 40’s and 50’s. This naturally flows over into my songwriting and performance.
IMD Who are some other influences?
LISA HUGO Oleta Adams, Randy Crawford, Carole King, James Taylor, The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, Eva Cassidy, Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, Frank Sinatra and the Ratpack to name a few.
IMD Your voice fits perfectly for Jazz Genera. How did you and this amazing genera eventually team up, what led you to it, how were you drawn to it?
"All the songs are written from personal experiences and I sing
from the heart…I hope people will feel that.."
LISA HUGO It just kind of happened. My parents never really listened to “Jazz” music when I was a kid, so I wasn’t really introduced to it until later on. While I was studying classical piano I remember getting jazz piano books from Art Tatum and similar jazz legends and trying to learn the notes. I guess, as I matured and developed as a musician and artist I also developed my love for jazz music and singing jazz. This gradually began to influence my style and song writing.
IMD Who gets to be your biggest musical influence of all time?
LISA HUGO Ella Fitzgerald and Barbra Streisand
IMD Your band is from Belgium, your from Australia – how did you make this Belgium connection?
LISA HUGO I have traveled a lot throughout my career and am currently based in Dubai. In 1996 I ventured to Europe to tour as a solo singer/pianist. I spent many years in Germany and three years in Belgium before moving on to Dubai. I had already worked with Pieter (drums) during my time in Belgium, but Janos (bass) and Dirk (guitar/Hammond) were new to me. We formed the band while I was living in Dubai. Recordings and charts were sent back and forth via internet before we physically got together for an intense week of rehearsals and recordings. It was amazing how we all jelled from the beginning and I’ve not been able to find other musicians with whom I have such a great feeling when we play.
IMD What do you like best about performing live?
LISA HUGO To get first hand appreciation from people who enjoy your music. I also love the adrenaline rush, the nerves and just having a good time on stage.IMD What do want your fans to take away from your music?
LISA HUGO I would like them to enjoy the music for what it is and hope it gives listeners a feeling of calm and happiness away from the stresses of life. All the songs are written from personal experiences and I sing from the heart…I hope people will feel that.IMD What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?
LISA HUGO Believe it or not, Michael Buble performing in Brussels. He is so intimate and relaxed with his audience and I believe his interpretation and performance of the great old songs are first-rate. I was especially impressed with his voice and vocal stamina, especially for someone who is constantly touring. At the end of the show she sang a song acapella with no mic and filled the concert hall to the back seats.IMD What’s next for Lisa Hugo?
LISA HUGO I will be in Dubai for some time to come. I am enjoying my time here, the climate is much more agreeable than the cold northern European winters and summers and although Australia is still a long flight away, it’s manageable. For the immediate future, no dates are set, but I am planning some more performances in Europe for later in the year. I also hope to bring out my band for a Dubai concert and small middle east tour in the second half of 2010. I am working on some sponsorship deals to make it happen. I am also writing, so hope to bring out a new album sometime soon. I would like my music to reach all people around the world who enjoy the musical genres jazz/pop and smooth jazz. I’d love to tour more extensively, but difficult with 2 small kids for the time being. Long term I would like to work with other writers and keep developing and creating new music. I would not discard the support of a good label, investor and/or sponsor.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
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