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Dino Brandão and the voice of angels

04.02.2022 – STÉPHANE HERZOG

Those who have had the good fortune to hear Dino Brandão live will not forget it. Here is an artist gifted with an extraordinary voice, immersed in a peculiar world. You can see for yourself by watching the video for “Bouncy Castle”, a hit from the Swiss singer’s first album. The five songs from this mini-CD make up a psychedelic and melancholy collage. “My psyche is a bouncy castle, I’ll let you jump in,” sings Brandão, alternating between head voice and low tones. The 29-year-old Zurich artist has notably worked with one of the most prominent Swiss singers of the day, Sophie Hunger. Brought up in Brugg, he is the offspring of an Argovian and an Angolan. His father was a child soldier, and it would seem that his son is still experiencing the shockwave of his father’s bloody past. His lyrics express suffering. Dino Brandão’s music perhaps serves to deliver him from a threatening shadow, a particular kind of schizophrenia with which he has been diagnosed. When he is composing, the artist hides away in his studio, amongst drums piled up to the ceiling. He works alone, compiling his recordings and his musical collages on his computer.

Dino Brandão: «Bouncy Castle», 2021, Two Gentlemen

This self-taught musician’s musical education is based on rap, but also mixed music, like that of Angolan artist Bonga, whose powerful and torn voice somewhat resembles his own. This would be a good time to listen again to the heartbreaking hit “Mona Ki Ngi Xica.” Dino Brandão speaks good English, but also likes to sing in dialect. The album “Ich liebe Dich”, released at the end of 2020, serves as proof. This creation is the result of his work with Zurich singer Faber, and Sophie Hunger, who were recording in the midst of the lockdown. Although a proficient skateboarder, Brandão moves as if he were possessed by a spirit, both on stage and in his music videos. The Zurich artist’s peculiar gestures evoke those of the late Joe Cocker. On his website, rudimentarily created, Dino Brandão focuses on the essentials, listing mainly just the dates of his next concerts across Europe. You may be able to see him somewhere close to you.