We all struggle to find our identity and our voice, and Brian Fuente knows this firsthand. After years of trying to find his place in an up-and-coming band within Nashville’s saturated music scene, he was frustrated. “I found myself asking ‘what is my plan B?,'” he stated. That’s when he made a decision that would change the path of his career, auditioning for NBC’s vocalist contest The Voice. After laying down a rousing performance of the Grace Potter hit “Paris (Oh La La)”, Blake Shelton turned his chair around. And thus began what looked to be a new life for Fuente.
“Being on The Voice changed my life dramatically,” he said. “It took me to a completely different level and the opportunities have been bigger than I ever imagined. I went from being unknown with 120 followers on Twitter, to 5,000 followers in less than 24 hours.” But the airtime was short-lived. He was knocked out in the first round after being assigned an almost impossible song choice in Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”, to which Shelton, who assigned the song, voiced his displeasure. It was after that moment that Fuente realized he was yet again going down a path that was less fulfilling than it seemed.
“I learned really quickly that I’m not built for overnight success,” he told The 405. “I need time and space to build my sound organically. Freedom in creativity is everything, and being on The Voice only verified that for me. As soon as my time was done there, I knew I had to finally do this for myself… Music should be written for the heart and soul, not for the business.”
Out of this frustration emerges Fuente, a brand new alt-pop project which finds its roots in 70’s R&B and 80’s synthpop, and strives to be both heartfelt and authentic. “All new beginnings” are the first words you hear when you hit play on Fuente’s new EP, ‘The Water’, and none could be more fitting, as the project is an opportunity for the singer-songwriter to start anew and find his true self.
When creating the record, Brian put his head together with band members Ben Azzi, Daniel Johnson, and Mike McDonald with the hopes of creating something fresh, remarking “when writing and making this EP, I think it was more of a meeting of the minds situation. We all came from different backgrounds and, in turn, that created a unique sound for the record. From R&B grooves to heavy 80’s synth, we hinted at different childhood influences.”
The result, produced by Brian himself and engineered by Joshua V. Smith (Jack White, The Dead Weather, Beck), is a sonic landscape of alternative goodness. Undeniably catchy pop hooks and slick synth production are paired with raw, dynamic vocals and real deal instrumentation that create a unique blend of old-school homage and modern sound. But behind the polish, one finds the words of a songwriter who is not shy about sharing his struggles and path to self-discovery.
“I never knew who I really was,” he croons midway through the love-tinged “Mystery” (listen here), yet in ‘The Water’ and in his bandmates, he seems to have found his true self. “I’ve learned to stay true to myself more than anything,” he tells us, “and for the first time, I can say that this project is just that… one-hundred-percent me… Now that’s something to be proud of.”
We are proud to premiere this first effort ahead of it’s full release tomorrow (Friday, April 29), which you can stream on SoundCloud or find in the player above. The four tracks are the first half of a forthcoming release, of which the second half will be released in the future.
Regarding what’s next for the act, Fuente tells us, “we are focused on finishing the 2nd EP as well as continuing to write right now. No current plans to tour, but we’re looking into building a schedule for the Fall.” We look forward to watching these guys grow.
You can follow Fuente on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and find more on their website, fuentemusic.com.