Rising Star Brazilian Native Germano introduces a new kind of symphonic pop with his new single titled ”Lost Crowd”. The track smoothly bonds pop and soft rock elements creating a uplifting, misty blend of indie pop bound to stick in your mind at first listen. The LA based singer-songwriter, actor and director features his accomplished artistic background injecting a sophisticated theatrical style into his music and accompanying music video for “Lost Crowd” paving the way for a brand new mind provoking highly addictive pop music.
We recently had the opportunity to chat with Germano ahead of the official release of the single and music video for “Lost Crowd” where we discussed his early exposure to multicolored group of music artists, his song writing process to his experience of directing his first music video, “Lost Crowd” amongst many other things.
Germano’s passion for music began at a early age in his native Brazil, São Paulo to be exact. It began with his love for piano playing, Germano remembers, “We had an upright piano at home because my mom is a pianist, and I started playing the instrument by ear when I was 6 years old and soon after started writing songs.” By the time he reached his teenage years, Germano moved to Los Angeles where he explored various art forms including acting and theater. “As a teenager, I continued to play and got really good at the piano, but also took guitar and singing lessons, and some acting classes here and there. When I dropped out of college, where I studied Communication for two years, I enrolled in a theater school and started recording demos and posting covers on social media – that’s when I decided to really go for it and try to make it as an artist.”
Germano went on a self discovery journey learning the ins and outs of his music making abilities, nurturing his voice and his storytelling abilities; “I actually learned a lot about my voice and developed my own sound when I was doing covers, because I had to make them feel authentic to me, otherwise they wouldn’t work. When that happened and I felt like I was creating something original and that I’d actually want to listen to, I started writing songs like I hadn’t before – that’s around the time I wrote Lost Crowd.”
Germano’s music is a clear cut reflection of what young people go through on a daily basis which is why he refers to his music style as “coming-of-age pop”. Germano explains how his music contains a vivid visual aspect to it, “I like to call it “coming-of-age pop.” “Coming-of-age” because of the lyrical content, but also because it’s theatrical and dramatic. I can’t describe my music without thinking of the visual aspect, which is something very important to me and is also why I like to call it “coming-of-age” – because it feels cinematic. When I tell people I’m a pop artist, no one really knows what kind of music I make because pop has changed so much in the past few years and it can mean anything that is popular/mainstream now. But I’m still a fan of a good explosive pop chorus, and there’s definitely some of that on the EP, which I write naturally by influence of what I normally listen to. I guess there’s some soft-rock influences as well – it gets a little emo, a little dark, a little weird… But with pop melodies.”
Germano’s chromatic music influences bleed into his own music leaving his listeners with extreme curiosity of what he has to contribute in this vastly crowded music scene. Germano explains that even though he was born in Brazil, he would listen to Top 40 music and watch music video countdown TV shows. Germano’s mom exposed him to the likes of Elton John and Frank Sinatra and expresses immense gratitude for this early exposure: “My mom also played Elton John and Frank Sinatra on the piano all the time and I’m very grateful now that she introduced me to “the greats.” As a teenager, I went through a lot of different phases where I only listened to music from the 50’s and 60’s for months, then discovered The Smiths and fell in love with the 80’s sound. All of the music I grew up listening to still influences me a lot today.” Germano found himself listening to Amy Winehouse and the Beatles who ultimately would inspire him greatly in his own songwriting. “These guys (The Beatles) were geniuses – I mean, the entire “Back to Black” album, “Yesterday,” “Your Song,” those are some of my favorite records of all time.” Germano also looks up to the songwriting styles of current fellow artists/bands such as Lady Gaga, LANY, HAIM, “I listen to music all the time and listen to a lot of different artists and genres.”
The Making of Lost Crowd
Songwriting for Germano comes in spontaneous moments of inspiration where he writes his melodies and lyrics ideas on a daily basis. There are special moments where the ideas immediately flourish into a great song just like what happened with his single “Lost Crowd”. Germano describes the birth of the song as a effortless moment of inspiration before a shower, “I wrote the verses for Lost Crowd in the shower – I was actually getting in the shower when I sang the melody and I ran back and grabbed my phone to record it. I don’t remember for sure, but I think I just sang the lyrics that ended up in the song right then at the spot.” The gluey song chorus took sometime to develop, coming back to it a few weeks later, “I kind of just sang the melody – I usually sing gibberish first when I’m writing and a lot of the times I’ll grab a word that I sang at random and keep it or build the rest of the song around that. For “Lost Crowd” I remember mumbling the words “American dreamers” which I kept for the chorus, and everything else kind of pieced together after that.”
The track wasn’t planned to see the light but fate would have it Germano would revisit the track a year later after he completed a body of work, an EP. Germano recalls being surprised at the reaction of his demo of “Lost Crowd“ received, “I wrote most of the song in my bedroom almost two years ago. Then a year later, when I wrote the last song on the EP, and realized I had a little body of work, I decided to record the “Lost Crowd” demo. I sent out that demo to a bunch of producers and they actually ended up using the original demo vocals, which I recorded sitting on my bed. It feels weird to share something that I created by myself, at home, with no intention to put out for anyone to hear.”
The song is a empowering anthem for his generation, embracing the feeling of being unsettled, having anxiety for the future and knowing everyone around you is feeling the same way bringing a sense of community to those people who feel alone in this internal battle. Germano wrote the song when he was going through a period where he felt lost, feeling the pressure of not achieving his life goals at a timely manner. “I wrote this song at a time in my life when I felt completely unsure of what my future would look like. I wasn’t nearly as close to achieving my goals as I wanted to be – I was only 20 – and yet I felt an immense pressure coming mostly from myself to succeed, and fast. I felt lost by not being in control of my own life, but somehow found comfort in knowing that most of my friends were going through the same thing in their own way, and this song is a celebration of that contradicting feeling.” Germano hints his forthcoming EP will move away from the celebration phase and dive deep into the direct consequences of feeling lost, exploring the darker themes of anxiety, self destruction and heartbreak. Germano emphasizes the subtle hints “Lost Crowd” displays for what is coming up next, “There are hints of those in “Lost Crowd,” which is why I think it’s the best introduction of the message behind the EP.”
Self Directing and Producing Music Video
The music video for “Lost Crowd” is an incredible visual treat with an impeccable balance of robotic like choreography and close up face shots of vulnerability. The video leaves you curious to why the cult like group of friends going through daily life make you feel equally unnerved as it does optimistic perhaps Germano intentionally created this conflictive emotional reaction when he envisioned what his music video should be about. Germano recalls his own pleased reaction to viewing the music video, “I still can’t believe the video turned out okay. It was my first time producing and directing a project so I didn’t really know how it was going to turn out. But I had all these ideas and I drew a little storyboard with every shot that I wanted, and at the end I was very happy with the execution. It’s really exciting to envision something, put it to paper, and then make it happen – brings my creative spirit the most joy.”
It was vital for Germano to make a video that would bring out the same feeling of the track to the scene,” I wanted the video to encapsulate the feeling of the song. We were playing back some of the footage during the shoot and one of my friends said, “We look like we’re in a cult.” I was like, “YES!” That’s what I wanted it to feel like, to capture a sense of togetherness. A nice cult, though – not an American Horror Story-type cult.” One of the high points of the video is the scene when the group of friends are wearing their “Lost Angeles High” doing their highly synchronized hand movements placed over their heart bringing a moment of togetherness and unity. Germano describes his intended vision for that scene,”I told the producers of the song that I wanted the chorus to feel like an anthem, and in the video we’re wearing our “Lost Angeles High” uniform and singing along with our hands over the heart – that was intentional, to reinforce the message. In a way I’m taking myself and the message very seriously – both in the song and in the video – but at the same time, not really. So you’ll see a shot of me and my friends sitting back to back singing to In-N-Out burgers, and a minute later, I’m holding back my tears. I think that’s an element that will always be present in my work, it’s a reflection of my personality and how my brain works. In film, even in the saddest, most tragic dramas will have moments that make you laugh – otherwise it’s just unbearable to watch.”
Music is a universally therapeutic experience for the artist and it’s listeners. Music heals you internally whether by escapism or relatability of the song’s lyrical content. Germano hopes his music will be a source of encouragement and take listeners on a journey to another dimension of hopefulness “Honestly, I just hope they can connect to it and feel represented somehow. Music has been so present in my life and has helped me go through so much just as a listener. It sounds so cheesy but it’s true. When I listen to my favorite records, it’s like they take me to a different place. They’re either an extension of or an escape from whatever I’m feeling. I hope I can create that other world for people. I think everyone has either felt lost or is experiencing that right now to a certain extent – we go through it no matter how old we are, no one has everything figured out, and that’s ok. And if you do, please, reach out and share your secret.”
As we conclude our conversation Germano teases on what we can expect in the near future with a promise of new music and upcoming new music video. “I’m working on the production of the other songs on the EP, which will hopefully be out in a couple months, if everything goes as planned. I also just started planning my next music video which I’m really excited about. And like I said, I’m always writing – I already have the first song that will be on my next project.”
Photo Credit: Marlee Forsyth