Animal Ventura is Brazilian artist Fernando Aragones. He exploded onto the international scene in 2009 and has toured with music legends such as The Presets, Art vs Science He’s also been a festival regular performing at the likes of Christchurch Arts Festival, Queenstown Adventure Film Festival and the Australian Open for Surfing.
Last week Animal Ventura released his new single Animal (click here), taken from his debut album Forrest St. (click here), which was recorded in the US in 2016 with renowned producer Pat Van Dyke.
How would you describe your journey in the music industry so far, and where do you want to go from here with your music?
It’s been an amazing journey so far. I started playing music quite young in noisy garage bands back in Brazil. I moved to Australia in 2005 and since then music pretty much became my profession, my main source of income and livelihood – I’m still pinching myself! I think from here on I just want to keep releasing new music and chasing it around the world. I would love to collaborate more with artists, producers and talented songwriters.
When did you know you wanted to make music and perform as your career?
Music has always been something very natural for me, but I think it was when I realized that music has the power to break any language or cultural barriers. It moves people and there’s an exchange of energy. It’s also one of the few professions where you get free beer 🙂
Who have been your musical influences through life?
There are so many influences in my musical journey. I have an older brother and he always had a great musical taste. I used to listen to all the records he would bring home – a lot of blues, reggae and soul music. Later on, I was really into punk and hardcore with bands like Sublime, Bad Religion and NOFX. Then I dived into Brazilian music with the likes of Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil. When I moved to Australia I was listening to a lot of folk/singer-songwriter stuff like City and Colour, Fink and Ryan Adams. I also love the New Zealand reggae-soul scene like Fat Freddy’s Drop and Katchafire.
Are there any artist’s or musicians that you have been so impacted by that it changed your view on life or mentality?
Definitely Californian band ‘Sublime’. My brother’s friend brought back a cassette tape of ‘40oz. To Freedom’ from California, and I was shocked when I heard a cover of Bad Religion where they’re mixing all my favourite genres in one song. It was so fresh and extremely visceral. I made a few copies of that tape and took it to my bandmates and we started covering that version of the song. Eventually, it changed the whole sound of the band. It was so revolutionary.
How would you describe your sound, and why is it unique from other artist’s sound?
I would describe it as soulful, indie-folk with a jazzy modern feel. You can definitely hear some influences from Brazil and Latin music too. I think what sets it apart is this melting pot of different cultural influences. It has a different spice to it.
What can fans expect from your current Australian tour?
I’m testing out a few new songs on this tour and a lot of live looping with beats, bass lines and percussion. It’s a one-man band show.
After touring Australia what is next for 2018?
Brazil and Europe, I’m releasing a new single in early 2018 and will be heading to Brazil and the European summer.
If you weren’t working in the music industry, what else do you think you would be doing with your life right now?
I can’t see myself doing anything else, I’ve tried in the past but always go back to the main source. I do play around with graphic design though, doing work for myself and other people too, so I guess that would be my plan b.
What’s one song fans might be surprised you really like?
Gangnam Style – I downloaded it once for a wedding gig and found myself dancing alone in my living room. It’s a catchy tune 🙂
Do you have one performance that stands out so far as being your favourite, or most memorable?
There’s a few, but one that stands out is playing alongside Paul Kelly in the Christchurch Arts Festival at The Spielgelt Tent. Such a magnificent venue.
Lastly, just for fun – If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Only one!? Probably my mum’s signature dish – chicken with corn cream and rice.