Lisa Hugo

Born in Melbourne in 1969, Lisa Hugo discovered her passion for music at an early age. Encouraged by her musical family, she began piano lessons at the age of six. At the age of eight she gave her first solo performance to an audience of 400 people. From here on Lisa knew that her life would be music!

Today, wherever she performs, she dazzles her audience. Although only 164cm (5' 4") tall, Lisa has a big voice which covers 3 Octaves and she is also a trained pianist, actress and dancer. Following her comprehensive training at the “Australian College of Entertainers”, Lisa worked in television, film and theatre, including a  performance in the musical “Cinderella.”   Lisa was also a member of the well known “Swing Sisters Trio”, was a regular guest on the Television show “Good Morning Australia” and was also active as a singer/pianist in the renowned hotels of Melbourne. In 1994 Lisa travelled extensively on cruise ships presenting her own solo show. In 1995 she released her first CD with the Title “Don’t Let Go” featuring a number of her own compositions.

In 1996 Lisa began a tour of Europe, performing predominantly in the piano bars of 5 Star Hotels in Germany, Switzerland and Istanbul, Turkey, ultimately living, recording, and performing in Hamburg and Belgium for several years.

Lisa is currently based in Dubai in the Middle East where she has established a reputation for her voice coaching. She has recently released her newest album It’s Time which is receiving great reviews and radio play from stations around the world.   Together with her Belgian band, Lisa performed at the Dubai International Jazz Festival 2009 and she still performs in Europe on a regular basis.

How do you describe your music to people, Lisa?

A blend of acoustic pop mixed with elements of jazz and soul.

Tell me more about how you originally got into your craft.
I always wanted to be a performer from a very early age. My parents tell stories of how I would convert the living room into a theatre and put on shows for family and friends. I started learning piano from the age of 6 and always loved to sing.  Once I was competent enough to be able to play and sing at the same time I started to compose songs and that's how it started.

For many years I’d had my sights set on being a singer in musicals. When I was 19 I took on a full-time job as a secretary so I could pay for my education in entertainment. I did night classes at the Australian College of Entertainers, which is where I learned to sing, dance and act. As I matured and developed as a musician and artist, I also developed a love for jazz music and this began to influence my style and songwriting. Gradually I noticed that my career was beginning to take a different path to that of the ‘musical singer’ that I had originally foreseen. I’d still jump at the chance to play the lead role in a West End or Broadway musical, though.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Hanging out with family and friends at the beach and on our boat.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Doing everything myself. I find I spend too much time marketing my music and don't have enough time to actually be a musician, practice my craft and be creative.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
When are we ever grown up?  I'm still trying to find my path.

Like every kid, I went through phases of wanting to be a doctor, nurse, flight attendant, actress and musician, although I also went through a phase of wanting to be an Olympic gymnast.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
I have travelled a lot throughout my career and lived in many different countries and cultures. I spent a long stint in Germany and Western Europe performing as a solo artist.  This time really developed me as an all-round performer.  I also found my style changed during these years as I became more influenced by jazz.
The Middle East is not the place to be if you are serious about performing regularly. There are limited venues to play in and strict licensing laws for performers. However, being here has allowed me more time to focus on writing and recording.  I also had the chance to perform at the Dubai International Jazz Festival as a featured artist together with legendary performers like John Legend, James Blunt, Peter Cincotti, and Liz Wright in 2009.  This was a great opportunity for me and my music.

What other artists out there do you love?
Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Eva Cassidy, Diana Krall, Adele, Duffy, Jamie Cullum, Michael Buble, Barbra Streisand

What does your future hold?
More songwriting and recording, a new album by 2011, and I would like to break into the Australian Market and hopefully get some performances in my home country.  Although I am from Australia, I have been out of the country now for some 15 years and most of my success has been overseas.

I am also a vocal coaching to up and coming talents, so I will continue to pass on my knowledge to others to help them succeed. I would like to write a book and accompanying CD in this field to assist past and present students in their practice routines