In the case of Brazilian singer-songwriting phenomenon Fabio Penna, it’s true to say that a jack of more than one trade can still be a master of them. Because, if he had just followed his first career, as a successful journalist, this insanely talented artist could have been lost to music forever.
Just as he was about to enter the world of journalism, Penna also rediscovered his love of music picked up an electric guitar. And the rest is history… or at least it will be once the world wakes up to Penna’s incredible gifts. The release of his latest album – ‘Box of Dreams’ – should certainly help.
The record demonstrates the endless creativity that is at the heart of Brazilian music, and that infuses everything Penna himself touches. Instead of being a genre album in one style, he has created a suite of 10 songs, each based on the work of one of the great cinema directors.
The album features songs inspired by David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, and even Andy Warhol. The lyrics reflect the dreamlike qualities of these film-makers – the qualities that inspired Penna to write music in the first place.
Growing up in a musical household in one of the most musical countries in the world helped Penna hone his craft. He absorbed musical influences since the age of six. In his sound, you can hear elements of Brazilian jazz legend Tom Jobim, but also the diverse influence of the likes of Chet Baker, Radiohead and even Pink Floyd. It is a heady mix that, in Penna’s hands, is also a magical one.
A successful career in the media has meant that Penna has never had to make money from his music. That has meant he has been allowed to explore his creative side without having any commercial pressure on him. Perhaps that’s why he has been able to make such a special, unique record.
‘Box of Dreams’ is a curate’s egg of an album. It has a bit of everything – jazz, rock, pop, soul, but is also unmistakably Brazilian. It is a record for true music lovers and it will put Fabio Penna on the map.