LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Growing up in Brazil, Rafael Picoli always had a passion for the guitar. Starting with a love for classic metal bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Megadeth, he decided to start learning the guitar and never looked back.
Today, the acclaimed musician is lead guitarist in the alternative rock band Urban Escape and is busy in the studio working on a series of three EPs to showcase the band’s unique sound.
“We are planning to release three EPs before releasing the full album,” Picoli said. “The songs from those EPs are going to be the songs for the final album as well, and it will be called Urban Escape – the same name of the band.”
In announcing the three new EPs, Picoli is making his mark with Urban Escape, featuring a slew of his songs and musical sensibilities that lie in classic and grunge rock along with a hard dose of heavy metal.
“We are working with the five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Lamps (Lampadinha), who is accompanying us throughout this process and will be recording all of our material,” he said. “Best song we’re doing is probably a song called ‘Mary Lee.’ It’s about a girl that was the crush of the lead singer of the band, Eric Urban. It has a very cool chord progression with some great lyrics.
Another major song in the EP will be “Alone,” which blends dark lyrics with hard rock and a melodic sound reminiscent of the Beatles and other classic rock bands he grew up listening.
Born in Monte Azul Paulista, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, Picoli loved playing video games as a child and became enthralled with the game Guitar Hero which allows players to play a guitar shaped controller. But when the game abruptly stopped production, Picoli took up a real guitar to explore his own musical leanings.
After years of playing in local clubs with a number of bands he earned a scholarship at the prestigious Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and soon he traveled to the U.S. and became one of its standout students. Soon after graduation, he would meet some fellow Brazil expatriates to form Urban Escape and develop the band’s unique alternative rock sound.
But even as he began working with his new band, he was already in demand as a guitarist with a number of artists including Sonder City, Joe Abujamra, Kasia Lins, Julian Martel, Inessa, as well as acclaimed artist Larissa Basilio, among others.
“Playing live is one of my favorite things ever. It’s great to see the response from the public to the songs you have worked on. Also, you have a different energy when playing live that you don’t get anywhere else,” he said. “Playing in a recording studio you have to care more about smaller details and make sure everything sounds perfect, as in playing live, playing with attitude is more important than playing perfect.”
Meanwhile, as Urban Escape prepares to go into the studio, Picoli is looking forward for the band’s tour in support of the EPs. To learn more, follow Rafael Picoli on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/rafaelpicoli or on Facebook www.Facebook.com/rafael.picoli.1.