Pedro Barbosa talks about his new EP, the highlights of 2019 and his plans for 2020
Singer-songwriter Pedro Barbosa has had a great year; his single ‘Crazy Love Is’ has received first and second place in the USA International Songwriting Competition and he released a brand new EP, ‘Journey To Reborn’.
Pedro released his debut solo album, ‘Reborn’ back in 2018 to much critical acclaim. He has since carved his way in the South African music industry with plenty of live shows and new music. I caught up with him to chat about his new EP, the past year and his plans for 2020.
Let’s start with your single ‘Crazy Love Is’ that did fantastically well at USA InternationalSongwriting Competition! Tell me a bit about that journey. And did you know this was going to be a hit when you released it?
Yes, the single did great! Well, we didn’t know it was going to do so well in the competition, but we had a feeling it was one of the strongest songs on the album. The minute I tracked the vocals, Mark Beling said this is going to be big, but being a ballad I was a bit like ‘hmm I’m not so sure’. And then all the attention came into the song and I was like ‘okay, you were right Marky’. Recording the songs was a process though, it was easier to write it! I had to record the vocals nine times and apparently he took the third take. Which is what is mastered. But I could hear I was very emotional while tracking the song.
Wow, what a journey! You’ve also released a brand-new EP, ‘Journey To Reborn’. You’ve mentioned that this is quite an emotional piece of work; what is the theme around this and what do you hope people will take from it?
Yes, it’s a very personal EP, and it was songs I wrote through the years prior to ‘Reborn’ and never released them because they were too personal for me. There were only two songs on that EP that were written after ‘Reborn’, but they matched the emotion that was going onto the EP. Most of these songs are really deep and talk about my personal battles with life, loss and love. And I guess I was hoping people would find some kind of comfort and feel that they are not alone if they feel the same.
This work represents the ten years before your debut album, ‘Reborn’. How are these two periods, and ultimately the two albums, different and why did you decide to release these songs now?
Well, I’ve decided to release it because I finally had the balls to do it after ‘Reborn’, hehehe. ‘Reborn’ was a testing ground to see if this style of music, that I always liked, could be something and how people would react to it. I really wasn’t sure how it would be received, but I wanted to release it. ‘Reborn’ was also more of a love album, it fell in a period while I was going through a divorce and it was more focused on relationships. ‘Journey To Reborn’ is more diverse in that sense. It’s still an emotional album, but it’s not so focused on love per se. It was all these different emotions through the years instead of being a phase in my life.
And what else have you been busy with this year? Any personal highlights or stand-out shows?
I’ve been playing a lot of shows. I was nominated for an International Portuguese Music Award and went to the States for that. There I met Nuno Bettencourt that was definitely a highlight and a great experience. I think the launch of ‘Journey To Reborn’ at Atterbury Theatre was also a highlight for me. I have been wanting to play that venue for a few years and to launch the EP there was an amazing feeling surrounded by great musicians.
Wow, amazing! Your music is doing very well internationally. Do you have any plans to tour internationally soon?
Well, there has been a lot of talk to do so. China, Portugal and Spain, but nothing has been properly finalised yet. I do believe it will happen soon, though.
And where can we catch you live next?
The best is to follow me on Facebook; we update the gigs there on ‘Pedro Barbosa MUSICIAN’.
Finally, what are you planning for 2020?
There will a couple of releases, but with my other project, The Barbosa Experience, and I are mainly focused on the overseas market and releasing new videos next year.