Jim Morrison has this incredible quote about pain and society’s inclination to avoid it, to brush over it and immediately try to rectify any situation that induces it. In it he says, “Pain is meant to wake us up. People try and hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain.” And he’s right. So often people try to move through anything that causes hurt in order to reach the so-called natural state of contentment, that we end up just never dealing with any of those painful emotions at all.
I think that’s what makes music so powerful though, because it’s there that you find those unafraid to address pain. You personally may not want to go through the emotions of a heartbreak, but you put on Joni Mitchell’s Blue, and it’s impossible not to go to that place. Pain may wake us up, but so do those who sing about it.
It’s in this expressive, vulnerable area that Swiss singer/producer Hugo exists. His debut EP may only span four tracks, but in this limited time he deals with hurt, joy, and everything in between in an incredibly moving way. Led but his rich voice – reminiscent of Woodkid’s cinematic sound – and pulsating synths, I Am Not Hugo is a massive and intensely impressive first offering. Says the singer on his Soundcloud:
I am not Hugo. We all are. Hugo is the reflection of the desired present. The person you want to be. The inner self that is too scared to come to the surface. The utopia society says doesn’t exist. We come together through music, through fashion and through the magical world of art. Hugo’s goal is to offer a shelter of individuality, rebellion and freedom. Hugo’s purpose is to achieve a blank unity where every being can be themselves and live a positive, inspiring and fulfilling life. I am not Hugo. We all are.
Listen to the EP in full below, or download via his Bandcamp.