Londoner, multi-instrumentalist and classically trained pianist Hugo Valentine today releases ‘Change’, his latest in a string of emotive and contemplative self-written singles. Much like his previous tracks ‘My Friend, ‘Rule the World’ and ‘All I Want’, ‘Change’ is also a ruminative, piano-led number, the hallmark of Hugo’s songwriting so far.
“In a rare situation for me, they [the lyrics] came pretty much immediately, with coherent meaning. I think the message for me was clear from the outset – grow up, change, be who you want to be, but don’t forget who you really are. It sounds corny but has been such an important thread in my life, something so pertinent. I went to the studio later that day to lay down the demo. Beyond the core message of the song, it’s also a song about realising that things are not as they seemed when you were a child. It’s a moment to reflect on those childhood memories and view them from your adult self’s perspective. Most children are very impressionable, as I certainly was, but there comes with that a sort of bliss of life, a lack of knowledge and understanding of the difficulties and complexities of life – ‘Do you remember the strange days, when we were young and free’ – this feels bittersweet when you reflect on it as an adult.”
In the track, Hugo unpicks the complexities of adult life and details those sobering moments when the rose-tinted veneer is lifted from over your eyes and you realise that growing up isn’t as fun as it seemed like when you were a child. Sung in Hugo’s iconic sweet, raspy voice and laid over shimmering piano chords and powerful drums, ‘Change’ is sure to be a welcome addition to his discography of bittersweet singles.
Here Hugo Valentine reveals the creative process behind his latest single:
“Production of this song was very quick – all in all two weeks, beginning to end. This was done remotely as producer Henrik has been back in his home country of Norway during Covid. Demos of bass and drum parts were made, then tracked by Henrik. A couple of days later, I took the recordings and went to a studio to record the piano. That same evening, in a rare stroke of post-recording energy, I went to my own studio and laid down all the vocals. Then came the strings – they really were the missing link. I had a couple of very late nights writing and arranging the string parts (see below) and these were sent off to be recorded. I really spent time ensuring the strings had a real voice in this song – I didn’t want them just to be a texture, I wanted to bring back a taste of my classical beginnings, and I feel I indulged in this somewhat. Following that, a lovely sprinkling of backing vocals from the beautiful Char Lubbock, some mix wizardry from Henrik, and we had a record.”
Stream Change everywhere here.