Ali Hugo
Influences: North American , West European , African
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7 times in the Global Top 40
June 2021 #28 - Global Top 40 Pita (video)
May 2021 #5 - Global Top 40 Pita (video)
April 2021 #6 - Global Top 40 Pita (video)
I Gotcha Covered Some indie music communities have a trend of disparaging major record labels. Today's musicians may shudder at the idea of receiving a 360 record deal; the label "sell out" is swiftly applied to independent musicians who give up their independence and join with a major label. 

Canadian artist Ali Hugo is still basking in the glory of "The Home Boy" album's popularity. A celebration of the music Hugo listened to while growing up in Canada. Hugo is following up that triumph with an album of cover songs on which he has remixed the tunes.

A major record label might encourage one of its signed artists to release a cover song album as a follow-up to a well-received tribute album. Salutations to radio stations and legendary musicians whose music has brought you such delight are one thing, but releasing a follow-up cover album as an expected Follow, Likes, Views, Streams & Comments booster on social media platforms is quite another. Commentators on the music industry might ask this question. Is Hugo selling out?

Hugo replies, "Not really," The fact that I work in the music industry and have worked so hard to create wonderful music makes it only natural that I would want the widest possible audience to hear it. It's one thing to have skills and create excellent songs, but quite another to archive your assets beneath your bed. When you have to make your own business decisions and realize that major labels are only there to assist you, putting butter on your bread, then following the trend of criticizing major labels doesn't seem feasible. Furthermore, How feasible is the idea of artistic independence? Hugo inquires.

Hugo says, "I mean I'm affiliated with Virgin/UMG Records through my distributor Intercept/INgrooves and with a high number of releases being uploaded to streaming platforms each day, using major label strategies to Ali Hugo releases helps me rise above the noise and also helps make it easy to get positive nods from my affiliation with a Major label like Virgin Records."

Hugo showed that the new album "I Gotcha Covered" is not just a follower of a major label strategy trend, My team used the exact same process as for my prior albums, which began with market research. The findings indicated that there is a large demand for this type of music album. The increase in the amount of cover songs being uploaded on social & music platforms every day is a reality of the times we're living in, particularly with the emergence of  trending cover songs on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reals.

Hugo continues by describing how the circumstances surrounding the release of albums like "I Gotcha Covered" have evolved. I don't think I would be interested in doing a cover songs album, if I had to involve my attorneys in order to obtain licensing agreements and deal with the hassle of releasing a cover album like in the past decades. Making an album of cover songs is less onerous today thanks to the ability to retain mechanical rights and the simplification of the procedure made possible by distributors and agencies like Harry fox.

Hugo has chosen catchy tracks to be included on the new album, including renditions of Belinda Carlisle, Bryan Adams, and Lionel Richie songs, to mention a few. 

Hugo claims that the difficulty in producing an album like "I Gotcha Covered" is remaining faithful to the lyricist's intentions while avoiding alienating fans of the songs' original versions. Hugo rejects the idea that musicians should take care their recordings of cover songs don't overshadow their original work. Whether it's an original song or a cover, I always give any song I select to record my all. Patti Labelle's cover of "Over The Rainbow" is a fantastic illustration of how many artists have adopted covered songs and made them a significant part of their careers.

 The first single “Love Never Dies” from Hugo’s new album “I Gotcha Covered" is available for streaming and download everywhere.

Changed World Miz Sally? Hugo senior, when he became a fan of the Beatles, never anticipated that one day Hugo Jr. would be composing music similar to the Beatle's songs. Even more incredible is the ability to master songs at Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded their biggest hits.

"Miz Sally" is the second single from Ali Hugo's new album "Home Boy." The song is a sort of ode to the musical sensibilities of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. "Miz Sally" might have easily been a smash on one of the Beatles' albums, and yet there is still a market for that style of Rock and Roll music in 2022.

In a survey titled "Rock Never Dies," respondents were questioned if "The Beatles are a perfect illustration of the adage "Rock Never Dies." and 62.9 percent of those polled agreed with the assertion. Given how the music industry has progressed, Ali Hugo believes it is genuinely incredible that the Beatles remain as relevant to today's Music buyers as they were back then.
Although "Miz Sally" has a 1960s vibe, it is entirely an original song written, arranged, and produced by Hugo. "There is a narrow line between recognizing the musicians that inspired the song and generating fresh stuff." I'd like to write a popular song, but I have no plans to join a Beatles tribute band anytime soon. Hugo exclaimed, laughing.

"I can't deny that I come from a long family of Beatles enthusiasts, and we even wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to master the song at Abbey Road studios, but my team was concerned that doing so would be crossing that fine line," Hugo explained.

"We have huge plans for Miz Sally, and we're hopeful that the song will do well, especially in the UK." Hugo stated that "Miz Sally" will be released on July 12th, 2022.
\ Belief Records, a boutique independent record label, is gearing up for the release of songs from Ali Hugo's upcoming project. Following the success of Ali Hugo's Afrodisiac EP, the Belief Records research team set out to create new marketing strategies for Ali Hugo's forthcoming album. Hugo has already finished recording tracks for his upcoming rock-oriented album, "Home Boy". "The inspiration for "Home Boy" came from Belief Records' use of video-based marketing techniques to promote Hugo's Afrodisiac EP, which received a lot of attention" (ROAS). "Home Boy" is inspired by the MTV years when rock reigned supreme, and Belief Records wants to emphasize that "Rock Never Dies." According to Belief Recording artist Ali Hugo, it's absurd that rock bands and solo artists who are still actively producing music today are referred to as "That 90's band!". As a result, the Belief Records team believes that the "Home Boy" album provides an opportunity to introduce Ali Hugo fans who aren't buyers of rock music to the world of rock & roll. "Apart from Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to Mars, there hasn't been a charismatic, successful rock star since Kurt Cobain." said a belief records team member. Hugo fans in Europe, North America, and around the world are hoping that "Home Boy" will satisfy their cravings for rock & roll music. Especially those who took part in Belief Record's "Rock Never Dies" marketing research survey. The concept of the "Home Boy" album piqued the interest of the participating fans.
"Home Boy" will also include a country song and an instrumental song, both of which are staples of Ali Hugo Belief Records' formula. The decision was motivated by a desire to increase downloads, according to the Belief Records team. Hugo's country and instrumental tracks are popular on DSP. And it makes financial sense to continue releasing original songs in those genres for download.

According to Belief Records, having an artist on the label's roster like Ali Hugo, who has generated 2 million streams in 2021, adds significant value to the bottom line. We realized the value of working with an artist like Hugo on the "Home Boy" album, Hugo started writing and recording up to three songs a day for the project. Hugo began to sing, and when we asked where these songs were coming from, he replied, "All I can say is that I thank God for the gift of music.

" Belief Records' current goal is to create innovative and effective marketing techniques for "Home Boy" in order to gain access to new markets. The "Home Boy" sound, for example, has a distinct "Maple Leaf" flavour to it. As a result, working with agents who can help us get the music into small-town stores across Canada and the United States is critical. Streaming music is essential. However, the Belief Records marketing team hopes that the "Home Boy" album will be the recording with the most downloaded songs in Belief Records history. Belief Records is also planning to release the album on CD and vinyl.

Given that highly compensated artists make most of their money from live performances, the music on the "Home Boy" album is well-suited for stadium, arena, and Amphitheatre concertgoers who purchase advance tickets, and the same Home Boy songs can be customized for virtual concerts and paid online performances. The "Home Boy" album arrives at a critical juncture where rock music is trending globally, as the hottest ticket for the summer is for the sold-out Stadium Tour featuring rock legends Def Leppard, Motley CrÜe, Poison, and Joan Jett. "I've seen many groups bring back DISCO and traditional R&B arrangements to a new generation of listeners, and I believe that same success formula can work with rock music," Hugo explained.

According to a Belief Records team member, "Home Boy" songs can reach a wider audience with the help of many of our friends at radio and generate more sync and licensing opportunities with Belief Records." "We are going all the way with this record, and we are determined to use all the tools at our disposal to create a hit record," says Hugo of the "Home Boy" album.
Along with the release of a new album, Belief Records and Intercept Music/Ingroove/UMG have formed a new partnership. The collaboration will assist Belief Records in expanding the Ali Hugo brand while increasing album profitability prospects through innovative marketing, catalogue management, distribution, and merchandising methods. The first single from the Home Boy album There's a light out there" will be released on June 16th, 2022. more
Swahili Opera Ali Hugo’s third single from his Afrodisiac EP is charting new territory once again. Hugo is no stranger to experimenting with different genres of music, with this new song titled “ Bora Ninywe Sumu” or “The Poison Song” being a first of its kind in the genre of Swahili opera. The song was penned by Hugo’s grandfather Iddi Farahan. The poison song has a similar theme to that of Romeo & Juliet except in this opera, love is not reciprocated and poison seems like a gracious solution to ending the pain of heartache Hugo explained. Hugo is under no illusion that he has succeeded in convincing critics that he is an exceptional Opera singer. When asked why the song was included to be part of the afrodisiac project, Hugo responded with “ there are a few reasons why I wanted to do poison. First of all, I know that I’m a pop singer and not opera but I think that opera is such an important genre that non-European cultures should seriously think about adopting it. Belief Records research team shows that no such attempt has been made by any musician from the Island of Zanzibar where Taarab music originates and I was ecstatic to be the first artist to lay the groundwork for others to follow. So when recording the vocals I was more interested in setting a standard for Swahili operatic phrasing instead of doing vocal acrobats”. The second reason Hugo chose to experiment with opera was to take advantage of the technology provided by PreSonus and experience what it feels like to use the PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra expansion package.

“ I may feel apprehensive as an opera singer but when it comes to arranging the symphony orchestration, I stand proud by my arrangement of this beautiful piece of work” Hugo stated. In addition, Hugo said “It’s unbelievable what PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra 2022 has enabled me to create! A sound similar to that heard from the Vienna symphony orchestra, for example, it would be nuts for me to pass up an opportunity to do something like this. The PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra package contains an amazing 14 gigabytes of content including a library of various instrumentation, for example, a contemporary strings library that offers a different ambient character for modern productions and all of this is fully integrated into Presence XT.

“Bora Ninywe Sumu” release date is Feb 24/2022 and is available everywhere.

Bouquet de talents The Ali Hugo Fanclub hopes that its members have started 2022 thriving towards achieving their high-fly ambitions. That's how the new year began for Hugo. Hugo was determined to increase radio airplay of his music and fans subscribing to his music in the French Canadian city of Montreal. However, the fact that the Montreal music market is highly competitive and Hugo's non-instrumental music is anglophone has made it difficult for Hugo to achieve those two goals. But in 2022, things look positive. Hugo's song "Land of Confusion" has started receiving airplay & Hugo was recently interviewed by Jaqueline St. Clair, host of the art-centric French podcast "Bouquet de talents" blow is the English transcript of the Interview.

[Dear listeners Welcome to another episode of the “Montreal Talent Bouquet" morning show with your host Jacqueline Saint Clair. In previous years we have featured musicians of different music genres and from all over Canada. We start our first episode of 2022 with our interview with Canadian singer-songwriter Ali Hugo. Many people in Quebec and perhaps even Canada may not be very familiar with the success Ali Hugo has achieved for himself. That is because Hugo is one of those rare artists who have achieved international success outside of Canada and although his music rights are protected by SOCAN, Ali Hugo fans still need to order vinyl copies of his music as imports.

Q-Welcome to the show Hugo
A- Thank you for inviting me, Jacqueline

Q-You've mentioned that the last time you were in Montreal was in 2005, what has kept you away for so long?
A- I love Montreal and it's one of my favourite cities in the world, but as you mentioned in your introduction, I have a large following outside of Canada, which means that I’m always travelling abroad trying to increase the numbers of subscribers to my music, recently I have been based in the Middle East doing promotional work and building a loyal following one fan at a time through the Anghami streaming platform.

Q- I read an article where you compare yourself to artists like the Backstreet Boys, Tina Turner and Randy Crawford, there’s a generation gap between these artists, what do they have in common and how do they fit into that comparison?
A- Well Tina and Randy started their careers in the United States but no one could have foreseen the kind of success both these artists would achieve in Europe where the Uk and Germany have been the recording hub for Randy Crawford, for example. I personally refer to Randy as a silent gainer because, throughout her career, she has built a loyal following that will consume anything she puts out, and although she hasn’t released any new music or done any tours, in 2018 her Spotify streams were at 18 Million streams and, according to online celebrity net worth sources, her net worth for 2021 without releasing any new music or touring was 2 Million Dollars, and that's not bad for a lady who topped the Billboard charts in the late seventies with "street life" by the Crusaders.

Q- No that's not bad at all
A-On the other hand, Tina’s European success propelled her Global stardom and packed stadium tours, like her world record concert in Brazil.

Q- Okay and how do the Backstreet Boys fit into this explanation?
A- Well, by launching their music career in Europe before the US, the backstreet boy redefined the term “ British Invasion” reserved for British artists invading the American music market, for example, the Beatles. What the Backstreet boys did was make a European-sponsored invasion of Americans invading the American music market similar to the French, coming to the Aid of the Americans during the American Revolution.

Q- And is that what you see yourself doing in the long run, creating an invasion of the Canadian music market?
A- Well It's no secret that I want to be big in Canada. Winning a "Juno" would be great, but I have always had this vision of going back to my high school reunion and sharing my success with people I grew up with. It would be great to say to my friends in Toronto" hey guys, I'm playing skydome or the Rogers Center and you all have front row complimentary tickets."

Q- So then impressing your Canadian family and friends is still important to you even though you have a big following in Europe the Middle East and Latin America?
A- Canada is always at the back of my mind no matter where I am in the world

Q- Hugo, in an interview with the Global podcasting network from the UK in 2015, you mentioned something about doing a French album. Is that still in the works?
A- I think I was a little naive about the realities of what such a project would require, I think I'm still naive about a lot of the demands of the music business.

Q- Do you mean that making a French album is naive?
A- Oh not at all, it’s just that; when I did the interview with the podcasting network, I was excited about the possibility of adopting the DIY approach to music because the tools available to indie artists were on the rise. Now I know that I have reached as far as possible as an indie artist and that I can’t go any further without the support of a records label, A Manager and investors, and all those entities will not support, a full French album which may be expensive to record and produce, without me having a large global francophone following. But maybe producing a french single if I can find the right team and studio in Montreal to back me, is more realistic.

Q- What other parts of the Music business were you naive about?
A- well, when I released my instrumental NGF album in 2015, I had maybe 2 listeners in every continent of the globe and if I wanted to stop making music, it would not be a big problem, but today; the Ali Hugo Fanclub membership has grown and I can’t just disappear. My fans are loyal and they are always waiting for the next release. It's great that we are in the electronic age because I would not have space in my house for all the fan mail. Direct messaging is the best invention for successful artists.

Q- let's turn to a question from one of our listeners, Jean-Marc Champonte from Sudbury asks on Meta: “Ali, I love the Afrodisiac EP concept and the first single “Pita”. Did you record that in Italy? The Mandolin was beautiful and when can we expect to hear some more music from Afrodisiac?
A- Thanks for your question Jean-Marc and thanks for supporting my music, the concept behind “Pita’s” music production and especially the Mandolin was inspired by the nights I spent feasting on great Italian food at La Taverna, a small Italian restaurant on the Island of Zanzibar, So no, I did not record the song in Italy but, I did have an Italian music consulting agent who was pushing the song and video promo in Italy and I'm certain that Fernando’s support helped me reach the number one spot on the Western European charts with that song.

Q- So Hugo When Can Jean-Marc Expect More music from Afrodisiac?
A- Jacquiline, the truth is that After the release of “Pita”, I was exhausted, I couldn't go on with the “Do it yourself” approach any longer, I mean, I wasn't getting enough sleep because Entertainment lawyers are expensive and I have a gift of dissecting contracts, so I was spending long nights dissecting and crafting up contracts and looking at the legal side of the business, so a vacation was necessary for me to continue to work effectively in the music business. So now before I can make any new music, I need to build a bigger team that can independently take care of the business side of things. That team will be making sure that I prosper financially, while I just focus on making and producing music. So to answer Jean-Marc’s question, hopefully soon and thanks for your patience, Jean-Marc.

Q Ali thank you so much for coming to our show, dear listeners. Join me next week when we look at how the French in France are trying to bring global attention to Marie Antoinette's garden in her private palace.

Interview fades out
Q- So Hugo, your next interview is in the states?
A- yes I’m going to be a guest on a show called “Rock never dies" ] more
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Ali Hugo is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Ali started his professional singing career at the age of eight when he joined the family “LEO” band as the lead singer. In his teens, Ali launched the “ Spin Around The Mall Tour” playing at various local shopping malls. After graduating from high school, Ali focused on developing his skills as a songwriter and studio recording artist. Ali successfully completed the recording of a 10-song demo. Subsequent to gaining the professional experience of recording at prominent studios in Toronto such as Metalworks Studios and Studio 9, Ali went knocking on the doors of every major record label searching for a record deal. Having been unsuccessful in securing a deal, Ali shelved the demo and pursued his academic studies obtaining a bachelorette in finance from the University of Bedfordshire UK where Ali graduated with Honors. By 2015, Ali had adopted the DIY approach to making music and released his instrumental album “New Generation Farahan” on the indie label HugoProductions Records. On this album, Ali takes credit for writing, arranging, playing all the instruments, mixing, mastering as well as producing “New Generation Farahan”. “New Generation Farahan” entered the indie charts top 10 at No. #8. Featured on the album is the No. #1 hit single “Tears of a Broken Heart” which reached No #1 on the Ethno Cloud North American charts and No#3 on the world charts. The video for that song also skyrocketed up the North American video charts to reach No.#3 Hugo is also known for his skills in the strategic marketing and promoting of his music.