Words by Keane Fletcher
Brazilian-born Bruno Bah isn't someone who likes to rush. In fact, his latest single 'Bound Together' has been a labour of love for the musician over a decade in the making, traversing multiple countries, collaborators and calendar years in its journey from conception to release.
'I started writing this song in Porto Alegre Brazil in 2009 with my friend Thomas Sieczkowski,' says Bah. 'A decade later in 2020...vocals were recorded by me in Sydney. Artwork was done by Karoline Dassie in the Midwest USA. English, Portuguese and everything is finally "Bound Together” in this song.'
And just in time for summer too! With international travel being off the cards for the the foreseeable future, 'Bound Together' is the perfect track for those dreaming of tropical getaways, balmy summer romances and sipping caipirinhas on the beach. I can almost taste the sunscreen!
We recently caught up with Bruno Bah to talk all things music and inspo, check it out below.
1- Where in the world are you based at the moment?
I am based in Sydney Australia!
2- How would you describe your sound? Who are your musical influences?
I’ve been surfing since I was a kid and it is in the ocean that’s where I mostly get inspiration to make music. Therefore, surf music such as Jack Johnson and Bob Marley’s reggae are the foundation of my art. My father used to listen to Beatles, The Police, and Bee Gees so I grew up in touch to these classics which are also reflected in my mix of reggae, rock and Brazilian MPB.
3- What first got you into music?
My grandmother was the only one in the family who was into music; she played the keyboard mostly as an occasional hobby. Back in the late 90's in Bombinhas [Santa Catarina], my family had a couple of apartments to rent. We used to spend summers there and there was this time that some tourists from Argentina wanted to stay some days longer in one of the units. They were short on money so they offered an old guitar and a broken surfboard. In the next day, I was learning the first chords and getting the first waves :)
3- What’s your songwriting process like? What inspires you?
'Eu vou pra Santa' talks about the most beautiful state of Brazil, Santa Catarina, which is my second home since I was born.
'Break Up' was my first song in English and came up when I was 19 after a relationship with this girl that did not end well. Haha!
Life is about the balance, both the good and bad experiences are part of it and important to inspire us.
4- Your latest single 'Bound Together' is a beachy, bittersweet love song. Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind it?
I started writing this song in Porto Alegre Brazil in 2009 with my friend Thomas Sieczkowski. Drums were recorded by Zebra who is based in California. A decade later in 2020, here in Sydney Australia, inspired by personal experiences and the relationship of a flatmate from New Zealand (who due to Covid were forced to live apart from her boyfriend in Italy) I've written new lyrics. Thomas recorded keyboards, guitars and bass in Santa Catarina. Vocals were recorded by me in Sydney. Artwork was done by Karoline Dassie in the Midwest USA. English, Portuguese and everything is finally 'Bound Together' in this song. :) Regardless of distance and difficulties, some lives are meant to be together and it is just a point of time for it to happen.
5- You've traveled and performed all over the world. What have been some of your most memorable musical experiences? How does the Australian music scene compare with some of the other countries you've visited?
I have always been very curious, outgoing and looked for opportunities to live abroad. I have done my Bachelors in Industrial Engineering in a very good university in southern Brazil which had partnership and agreements with unis around the world. So first, I was selected for a one-year exchange in Europe. Quickly I became the musician of the Erasmus community in the two cities that I lived there, playing in bbqs and house parties. Then I went back to Brazil but I was in love with this diversity and this taste of the world. In less than 6 months, I was already heading to another exchange, this time to study one year at University of Nebraska, USA. One of the biggest music challenges and most memorable experience was during my first weeks there, to play in a Sorority for over 40 American girls.
I made good network there, and also worked for an information processing company in the business/ marketing/ sales word. Music was always along my path but never the priority.
2014 I was selected for a Masters in Engineering Management in Boston, and it was there in Massachusetts that I started playing more often at bars and first time I made money playing music.
End of 2016 I went back to Brazil and then could not take music out of my life. I played some nice shows with full band, kept writing songs and started taking recordings more seriously. 2019 I moved to Australia which was a great match for my surf music style and things just started getting better and better. Before Covid I had an average of 4 gigs per week all over Sydney and always bringing special guests and playing with a variety of artists.
6- Which do you prefer and why: live performance or studio recording?
I am better in live music performance and I´ve also like the production part of music events. However, I know studio recording is the way to scale the business and I am thankful for my friend Thomas Sieczkowski who besides being my partner in many of my compositions, is also my technical producer. He has just being hired by Spotify and is moving to Sweden!
7- What's next for you?
I will record a music video with @fazerasmalas and I am pretty excited that gigs are coming back. I also have plans to record other original songs such as “Desculpa Amor”. Recently I started a new music project where I work (at Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park) and it is just getting better and better. Sunset sessions with the best view of Sydney Harbour and surrounded by beautiful nature. It all started when me and John Camargo were practicing for a wedding, and some hotel guests started coming to sing along. That’s an example why I believe, we musicians, are soldiers of the same cause.
Thanks for stopping by Hipland!