Gothenberg Sweden may not be known as the mecca for writers and performers of the classic sounds of big band and swing, but when a young rocking piano man named Carl Beluga, who hails from this working class town, came to terms with the fact that he could no longer turn his back on the music that TRULY moved him... the determination to write, arrange, produce AND record an honest-to-goodness big band record became the mission of this blue-eyed Swede.
CARL BELUGA & HIS ORCHESTRA AND "STARSWINGER" WAS BORN
"I spent some years touring with rock bands and enjoying some success in both making records and touring all over Europe, as well as a few trips to New York City, where I lived on and off for a couple of years. I remember seeing a Tony Bennett show at Carnegie Hall and experiencing a great sensation that THIS was what I wanted to do!"
Beluga has spent the past few years working as a pianoman in various lounges, hotels and glitzy nightspots throughout Sweden, working the graveyard shift and weekends. Long nights of serving up requested tunes and singing the timeless standards penned by his heroes always sound fresh, fueled by sentiment and nostalgic energy that Carl Beluga thrives on.
Beluga's writing inspirations are many, but the old songwriters like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer are closest to his heart he says. He also finds inspiration in the famed collaborators such as Burt Bacharach & Hal David along with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. "I also find the work of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Xavier Cugat, with their sensual Latin rhythms, extra brilliant. The European in me tends to find the styles of Jaques Brel, Rod McKuen and Edith Piaf, VERY appealing as well."
"I grew up in a home full of music and old time classics, especially singers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Elvis Presley and many other crooners. At the end of the day these were the voices that spoke to my soul and touched me. I also found the ingenious arrangements of Count Basie, Hugo Montenegro, Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins.. just to name a few... VERY inspiring. The way the writers put words and music together seemed like magic to me, and when you add the arrangers, the musicians and the singers - well that's just heaven. I wanted to live and breath in that elusive, I guess what some folks would consider corny, but to ME always a beautiful dreamland of romance & evergreens. Deep down I knew this was the music I wanted to devote to."
The "STARSWINGER" recording sessions took place at Nacksving Studio 1 in Gothenburg throughout 2007 and 2008, off and on, and features many of Sweden's finest musicians such as Magnus Johansson, Stefan Sandberg, Lars Kallfelt, Stefan Wingefors and Peter Johansson. The classic studio approach of old school analog recording engineered by Kasper Hard indeed shines throughout "STARSWINGER"... a sound reminiscent of the unforgettable Capitol Records Studio A that is known and loved!
Being without the assistance of a supportive record label that would truly believe in Beluga's work, while striving to create a quality recording, made him realize that it would simply be best to launch his own record label... Carbel Records. He feels this to be a good move, especially with the marketing power of the internet.
"Making "STARSWINGER" become a reality was an uphill climb for me, very time consuming and very costly, but I felt it had to be done. I was excited and very concerned all at once! Writing the scores, finding great musicians and coordinating with the studio and engineers is really taxing... it was ALL on my shoulders! But at some point I realized it WAS becoming a fact... everything was falling into place! And the result is a recording that I am extremely proud of. "