Some time ago a good friend of mine introduced me to the musical genius that is JosÃ© GonzÃ¡lez.
It’s not that I haven’t heard his music before. I previously heard his critically acclaimed rendition of ‘Heartbeats’ on the Sony Bravia Bouncy Balls advert, while ‘Crosses’ was featured in the final episode of The OC.
Heartbeats, by the way, is a remake of the original sung by Swedish band, The Knife on their album Deep Cuts.
Regardless, both songs are featured on the Swedish-born minstrel’s debut album Veneer, which has been rocking the European charts. The single ‘Heartbeats’ has also been playlisted on the UK Top 10 charts .
Not bad for a 27-year old, born into a family teeming with musical variety. Apparently his father, also a singer, has a natural taste for Latin American music along with American and UK pop classics.
It’s also interesting to note that his minimalism in his music (his voice and acoustic guitar) is echoed through his production of the first album. As the write-up on his website quips:
Itâ€™s uplifting then, in an age of spin, hype and wall-to-wall hyperbole, to note that JosÃ©â€™s music has required no lavish production (he records on basic equipment, at home) no exotic packaging or gimlet-eyed marketing strategies, to make it cherished by thousands. For once even the Sun got it right: â€In a world of musical clones, the Argentinean Swede is a thrillingly original new talentâ€.
B-Sides Completed, his exclusive South African mini-album, features JosÃ©’s reinterpretations of Kylie Minogue’s ’Hand On Your Heart’ and Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.
Unfortunately though, we missed his exclusive one performance only show in Joburg earlier this year, but from what I read over at The Muso, the Cape Town one was brilliant.
If you like artists such as Damien Rice, Jack Johnson and Nick Drake then this will definitely not disappoint.
I’m definitely looking out for more from this artist in the future.