Photo Credit: Edward Félix
Written by Kelly Holm
Five-member Brazilian pop outfit Up N’ Go affectionately refer to their fanbase as “GoGos,” and it is easy to understand why upon listening to one of their freshly-dropped tracks, “In My Veins.” Fast-paced and upbeat, this hymn to music is a life-driving force and a perfect anthem to groove to in the animated, no-holds-barred fashion characteristic of the 1970s go-go scene. The band is influenced by the likes of modern pop icons such as Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift, Up N’ Go also credits soul and funk as inspirations for their sound, much like the go-go subgenre itself.
Originally formed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2013, Up N’ Go consists of lead vocalist Luccas, guitarist Romeo, keyboardist Paddy, bassist Gabe and drummer Phill. Together they’ve gone on a journey in discovering their true sound and target market throughout the past few years.
“We knew we were a pop band, but we didn’t know what audience we would speak better to,” Luccas said, “but with [pop] we found our GoGos… they’re the sweetest people ever. We released a 30-second snippet of [our song] “Set Me Free” for our YouTube release and they went crazy with it.”
Up N’ Go connects with their fanbase on a more personal level as well, conversing with them through Twitter and Instagram group chats and emphasizing the power of reaching out as a helping hand.
“We always check if they need to talk,” Luccas said. “They are so special and amazing; it just makes us feel like the most lucky, humbled and thankful guys on earth.”
Their first live performance took place at a college party, and according to Luccas, “We didn’t have a clue what we were doing.” The group had no sound engineer and no stage to play on, and the venue’s sound technician spilled vodka all over the sound table.
“It was a complete mess,” Luccas said, “but it’s a good story!”
Well, Up N’ Go has come a long way since that story. “We left… literally our entire lives [in Brazil] to chase our dream,” said Luccas. In January, the band took the stage at the Springboard West Fest in San Diego, where they encountered a plethora of music industry gurus and legendary songwriters.
“There was a workshop where we got to show them our most radiophonic song. We got up there and played ‘In My Veins’ for them,” Luccas said. “It looked like magic. All the professionals and artists came up to us and told us so many incredible things about our song.”
Later, Up N’ Go got to perform a 20-minute set of original music. Of course, before the live performance, they went through their normal backstage routine of screaming out loud, “HEY! HO! UP N’ GO,” also known as their battle cry, before getting on stage. Later, the band received praise from acclaimed wordsmith Alan Roy Scott, who wrote songs for pop and R&B greats such as Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton.
“It just felt like a dream,” Luccas said. “All the sacrifices we made at that time were worth it.”
Describing the experience as a dream is fitting, since the subject of those accolades, “In My Veins,” first came to Luccas in one.
“I remember waking up in the middle of the night with the melody in my head, and desperately recording it on my phone,” he said. “When I wrote it, it was from a very true place in my heart… I was feeling kind of hopeless about living this dream, but music saves my life every day and I know it has that power to save others, that’s what gives us fuel to keep us moving forward on this path.”
Another one of Up N’ Go’s favorite tunes to showcase is “La La Love,” which they describe as being all about having fun and the freedom to live for oneself rather than for others’ expectations.
“We had the most fun writing it and it reflects when we’re performing it as well,” Luccas said. “We’re all about freedom to be who you are or want to be.”
Above all, it is the message of “In My Veins” that Up N’ Go best defines themselves with and hopes to communicate to the world.
“We all live and breathe music,” Luccas said. “If music wasn’t in our veins we wouldn’t be able to go through everything we’ve been through.”