We are so excited to present “Sunny Day in Brussels”, the first solo album by our former student Leo Hishida!
Leo is a Brazilian producer and guitar player who participated in our Electronic Music Production short course. The album has 6 tracks which were composed by the artist, who also wrote the tunes, sung, played the guitars and piano. Record and production of the EP were all done in Brussels, where he lives since 2010. The tracks mix elements of groove, trip-hop, a touch of psychedelic, indie rock and pop.
Leo, tell us a little bit about you…
I was born in the UK, but all my childhood and studies up to the university took place in Curitiba, Brazil. There I took my first music lessons, and learned to play the electric and classical guitar. I started my first band, and indie rock group called “Woyzeck”. We were quite active at the Brazilian scene during the 90s, and we released our first album “Quebra-Queixo” in 1998. By then I was also working as a sound engineer and music teacher. In parallel, I graduated in IT – and that is what my day job is about here in Brussels.
Tell us a few words about your passion for electronic music production…
I was always fascinated by the possibilities of creating electronic music, as well as the (recording) studio work. Samplers, synthesizers and drum machines, and also mixing tables and tape recorders were all to me synonyms of magic. Then a few years ago, when all these fantastic resources became really affordable in the DAW format, it made a world of difference to me – now I can have my own studio without breaking the bank!! As I said before, I have a rather solid background as a musician, but using a DAW meant I could take care of the whole production line, from the concept to the mastered track.
Is “Sunny Day in Brussels” the first EP you have produced?
I had been to the studio before and cut some tracks and albums with other groups, but “Sunny Day in Brussels” is my first solo EP and first production, yes. Needless to say I am quite proud of it 🙂
What’s your inspiration behind the production of these tracks and the whole concept of the 6-track EP?
Inspiration may come and go, therefore I prefer to rely on constant work. I keep a notebook close to me and write down any ideas I could use on my tracks. A new song can start with a beat, with a melody, or with a text. Or with a chord progression, who knows – maybe with a new sound.
Little by little I was adding the other elements whilst making sure the 6 tracks could fit in the same EP. And by having 5-6 tracks I could also go back and forth to the previous and newest tracks during the production, refining the concept of the album. I call it an indie-electronic album, and if you listen to it you will still notice that it’s the work of a guitarist 🙂
How did the short course Electronic Music Production of SAE helped you to produce the tracks?
The EMP course at SAE played a key role in the process of finishing this project. I met new colleagues who were at least as motivated as myself to be constantly creative. Teachers who were eager to listen to our new productions and ready to give their valuable feedback. Teachers who are also working in the industry and would share their knowledge with us not only on the musical and theoretical aspects, but on practical and economical points as well. And as you can see, I became so motivated that I kept the momentum and managed to finalize and launch the album only a few months after I graduated.
Any “electronic music” plans for the future?
Absolutely! After I finished my first album I can only think about the second, and hopefully a third and so on. I am certainly in it for the long run. Time is on my side, I hope!