Gabe LopezThere are no easy breaks in the music business. Competition is fierce, not to mention, now more than ever before, prolific. The ladder to the top is lofty and many-runged and, if you can stomach another metaphor, slippery.

But if you’re an aspiring musician you probably already know this. Actually you’ve probably thought about giving up on more than one occasion. The only advice I can give you is: don’t. But for some guidance that’s a bit more useful you could do worse than look to Gabe Lopez.

Producer, singer, songwriter and all round talented musician, Gabe has worked with, among others, Belinda Carlisle, New Kids on The Block and James Brown. But it’s his boundless energy for the industry that’s so infectious and if you’re in need of a pick me up, you could do a lot worse than listen to Gabe enthuse over his art. Come to think of it, the best tonic Gabe offers is music itself. Try his latest release, California Blues and I think you’ll see what I mean. Speaking of which…

“The song is not so much a love song, but a thank you song,” Gabe replies when I asked what inspired California Blues. “It’s about three people who have inspired me or help to keep me balanced.”

Which any interviewer worth their salt knows is sacred ground, so I don’t ask for identities, but I’d hazard a guess that the aforementioned Belinda Carlisle has offered both inspiration and stasis at various points throughout Gabe’s career. Currently on his second US/UK tour with the gold and platinum selling solo performer, Go-Gos singer and Hollywood Walk of Famer, it’s fair to say Gabe Lopez keeps good company.

“We seem to always be on the same page musically,” he says. “The connection was strong right from the get go. She is incredibly insightful and creative, and very, very easy to work with. We have similar musical tastes, too, so our visions are usually aligned. She’s very supportive of my career as an artist, songwriter and producer. She has always inspired me, so it’s really special to me to get to work with such a pioneer in pop/rock.”

Same page, same stage in fact. Not the smallest of which will be Indigo at the O2 here in London this October, which I for one am planning to attend. Hopefully no one will accuse me of being Brit-biased but London is on my doorstep so I’m interested to know how it compares for musicians when they perform here, versus back in the States.

“I feel very musically at home in the UK. I heard Madonna once say that U.S. audiences are interested in “the single” and U.K. audiences are interested in “the art.” I think that’s true a lot of the time.”

The last time I spoke to Gabe he told me that his proudest moment as a musician was performing with Belinda Carlisle. When I ask him now it’s nice to hear that some things, at least, remain constant.

“I think it would be the same answer. I really like touring, and opening for Belinda is such a gift for me.”

It’s a gift that Gabe makes the most of too. I wonder what he does after a concert because I like the idea of all-night parties and that after-show buzz. In reality of course it’s not all champagne fountains and revelling till sun-up. Somehow, though, it’s something more fulfilling.

“If there is a show the next day I don’t go out the night before. It’s too hard on my voice. If there is no show the next day, sometimes I’ll go to a club in the city I’m in, or I’ll get to bed soon after the show and get up early the next day to explore. I love exploring cities.”

From his words I assume the relationship with Belinda will continue – at least I hope so because good things have come from it – but does he have any other boxes left to tick?

“I have a list of artists I’d love to produce or write for/with. I’d love to work with Sheryl Crow, Alanis, Tori Amos, Cyndi Lauper. The list goes on. Haha.”

In the mean time, happily, it’s all about Belinda Carlisle. UK tour dates as follows:

October 1st – City Hall, Salisbury
October 2nd – Brighton Dome, Brighton
October 4th – UEA LCR Norwich, Norwich
October 6th – Manchester Academy, Manchester
October 7th – Liverpool Olympia, Olympia
October 9th – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
October 10th – The Sage, Gateshead
October 12th – Leamington Assembly, Leamington
October 13th – Indigo at the O2, London

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