Gig of the week: Fernando Aragones

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Brazilian singer-songwriter Fernando Aragones can’t wait to swap his surf and sand gear for a snowboard – in between Queenstown gigs.

The Sydney-based crooner is a splash-hit across the Tasman, providing soundtracks for cult Freesurf films with his regular band Dubbly.

Aragone’s latest solo EP Minds of Gold has also been making waves.

Its heady mix of roots, reggae and acoustic folk has been picked up by national radio stations Australia-wide and is getting rave reviews in the music press.

“It’s an exciting time for me work-wise,” he says. “But I’m just as thrilled at the prospect of coming to Queenstown for the first time because I don’t have much of an opportunity to go snowboarding.

“Back in southern Brazil, I did plenty of sandboarding on some big dunes and from playing with Dubbly I also have a strong connection with the surf scene in Australia, where I’ve also been on the ski slopes a couple of times too.

“But getting up into the mountains in New Zealand amongst some proper snow is going to be something else and I’ll be making the most of it.

“I’m glad I was able to swing this one and I’ve already been stocking up on some cool jackets and warm clothes.”

Aragones makes his NZ debut at the Christchurch Arts Festival on Sunday before heading south to Queenstown for a four-gig stint, which kicks off at Altitude on Tuesday night.

That’s followed by appearances at Dux de Lux (Wednesday), the Adventure Film Festival (July 31) and TYC (Aug 1).

“I believe there’s a big South American community in Queenstown and obviously I’ll be hoping a few Brazilians will turn out to see me perform,” he says.

“Back in Australia I have been using an eight-piece backing band for my music but this time I’ll be here on my own.

“Hopefully, I’ll get back to NZ in the summer with the full group.”

Aragones shifted from Porto Alegre, Brazil to New South Wales four years ago.

“I originally went to Australia just to travel and improve my English but I met the guys from Dubbly and somehow ended up staying.”

Next year he plans to tour his South American homeland, where he’s already a hit on TV and radio.

But before that, following dates on Australia’s Gold Coast next month, he’s heading for Europe for four weeks– with gigs already lined up in major cities like Paris, Amsterdam and London.

“The music is starting to get me about a bit and I can’t think of a better way to see the world.”