Hugo treasures his Asian roots
The Roc Nation artiste relies on his Thai fans and his Asian values to tide through tough times
Text & Photos: December Liow
Video: Tay Yixuan
Additional Photos: Sony Music
Performing for the first time in Singapore, Roc Nation artiste Hugo opened the gig with his latest hit Mekong River Delta. The 30-year-old explained that his choice was "purely a musical decision," but later quipped, "maybe part of me wants Mekong River Delta to start first is just to go 'hey bitches, I'm Thai.'"
The singer-songwriter was in town over the last weekend to perform at the Timbre's Rock & Roots festival. Despite his Caucasian features, Hugo is actually a great grandson of King Chulalongkorn under the Chakri Dynasty of Thailand, and had a successful music career in the Land of Thousand Smiles prior to his debut in America.
While speaking to xinmsn in an interview, the singer called the Southeast Asian country his true home, and thanked his Thai fans for staying with him throughout his entire musical journey.
Hugo's story is that of a typical talent-meets-opportunity tale. Prior to his contract with Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, he left his wildly successful career in Thailand, and also his rock band Siplor, to travel to London in hopes of being signed to a major record label, which proved to be a futile effort.
Describing his early career in the British capital, Hugo jested, "When I was signed onto a record label and thought that I had a shot at the big time. I started making a lot of compromises and trying to write pop songs to please the record label. That route got me nowhere and it got me dropped eventually."