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Lucky Bamba: From Noflag to Solo Career

Lucky Bamba: From Noflag to Solo Career
Jim Olin By

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Lucky Bamba is a young Argentinian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who just released his debut single "Let You Go" on October 27, 2017, and well-regarded as a musician of worldwide acclaim. In fact, many will recognize his work as a producer and musician for the Christmas album Las Mejores Canciones De Navidad, which ranked No. 6 on iTunes Spain's list of the 10 best-selling albums in December 2016 and topped the Christmas album charts at No. 1. As a relevant musician familiar in various international music scenes, Lucas Noguera, also known by his stage name Lucky Bamba, has performed at Jazz en Ville (a distinguished jazz festival held annually in France with corporate sponsors which includes Air France, BMW, and MINI). He also has made a name for himself in Buenos Aires' flourishing music scene, frequently performing at festivals, government-sponsored events, and art galleries, including being a member of the jazz group Noflag.

All About Jazz: Was a career in music something you always aspired to do?

Lucky Bamba: Yes. Since a very young age I realized that music needed to be inside my life. Not as a hobby, but as a way of living. I remember I started learning how to play music from a very young age, and since day one I felt a strong attraction towards it. I began playing piano at the age of six and that was the kick start for my love and passion for music. I started connecting more and more with the music, beginning to understand this universal language and developing a strong passion. As years went by I learned several instruments, and I developed a noticeable need towards this art form. I felt a strong connection, especially towards the guitar. I knew by then that music needed to be in my life forever. By my early adolescence I was very clear about my passion. I knew that if I chose to be faithful to my dream, I should follow a career in music. And here I am!

AAJ: What are you most looking forward to about this next phase of your career?

LB: I just released my debut single entitled "Let You Go." I'm also working on finishing recording many other songs and planning to release them soon. So basically I'm looking forward to start sharing my original music with the world, trying to connect with as many people as possible. I'm also planning on playing live much more because I think that's the best way to show who you are as a musician and what your artistry is about. I'm also very looking forward to learn as much as I can from every step and to start consolidating my career as a singer-songwriter.

AAJ: Where do you want your guitar skills to be a year from now?

LB: I'm a very big fan of the guitar, and it's by far my favorite instrument. Since I started playing it, I have always tried to learn as much as I could. I have played a different array of styles throughout my life, going from bossa nova and tango, to blues and jazz. I think that there is always room for improvement. There are always new things to learn and skills to develop. So, looking towards a year from now, I just plan to keep on learning as much as I can. Personally, I'm a very big fan of jazz music, too, and I think jazz guitar contains many enriching aspects for a musician like myself, so I'm very looking forward on growing my jazz guitar skills too.

AAJ: Who are your top three musical influences and why is that?

LB: One of my major musical influences is John Mayer. With his music and songwriting, he was one of my biggest influences towards following a career as a singer-songwriter. I always felt very attracted to his songs and his heartfelt guitar playing. I think he combines both the skills for a great guitarist and a genuine songwriter, and that's why in his artistry I found a lot of motivation. Although I started following his music recently, Bruno Major very rapidly became one of my greatest musical influences as well. Once again, he combines a very soulful songwriting with great skills on jazz guitar and composition. I love the feelings he portrays on his songs and I definitely feel inspired by his work. James Bay is also a great musical influence for me. He combines the skills of a great songwriter with an authentic guitar playing. Some of his songs and performances were very inspiring for me when I started my singer-songwriter path.

AAJ: Did performing covers teach you anything about the songwriting process? Explain how.

LB: Definitely yes. Performing songs from other artists is, without a doubt, very enriching. You get to learn from the different approaches other artist take to create, regarding their songwriting, vocal-phrasing, guitar-playing, soloing, etc. If you aspire to become an artistic creator, I think that learning and performing other artist's pieces is a very inspirational training.

AAJ: What is your new single like?

LB: Musically speaking, I would describe my new single "Let You Go" as a combination of a pop song, mainly regarding its structure and catchy chorus melody, with jazzy/bluesy guitar licks and an overall soul essence. I tried to look for an organic instrumental sound and a smooth spirit.

AAJ: Do you feel you can be defined by a genre categorization? Why or why not? Well. I would define myself as a pop/soft-rock singer-songwriter, but strongly influenced by blues and jazz guitar. Although my songs usually have that overall pop essence, mainly regarding their structure and melodic progression, I tend to mix and complement that with my blues and jazz guitar influence. I really like the energy and vibe usually pop songs portray, but I also like the enriching aspects jazzy and bluesy chords and licks can add to it, so I tend to look for a combination of all of that in my music.

AAJ: What is it that you do best in music?

LB: Well as a singer-songwriter, I think that one of my best skills is singing accompanied by my guitar. Either as a full band or as a solo acoustic act, by singing and playing guitar is where I feel really comfortable, and where I can best connect with my audience's feelings and emotions.

AAJ: What music gets you excited and why?

LB: I think in my case, that varies a lot from time to time. Sometimes you need something simple and groovy to get you up, like a straightforward pop song with a catchy rhythm. Other times you need something more complex and deep to generate that excitement. It all depends on the moment.

AAJ: Do you aim for the never-ending pursuit of perfection or is it better to strive for completion?

LB: This is a very interesting debate. I think the key is finding the point of equilibrium between these two. It's very enriching to continuously look for perfection, because you constantly learn how to improve your skills and overall musicianship, but you need to know where to stop, because if not it could start getting counter-productive. In my case, I think I went through a time in which I was kind of a hostage of that 'never-ending pursuit of perfection.' I always found a but on every take, on every recording, on every mix, and it was impossible for me to feel satisfied and say okay, its completed. That's why it took me so long to share my original music with the world, because I felt it was never ready. I therefore learned the importance of completing a work, and knowing how to identify a healthy point of equilibrium. There are many positive things you can encounter while looking for perfection, but as nothing is perfect, you should always know when to stop.
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