In 2007 Kiko Loureiro was voted “The world’s best Guitarist” by respected Japanese music publication BURRN!, quite an achievement for a guitarist from Brazil whose meteoric career has spawned numerous studio and live albums with the band Angra, with his trio Neural Code as well as solo albums “No Gravity”, “Universo Inverso” and “Fullblast”.
Beginning his musical studies at age eleven, Kiko has never stopped evolving both as a musician and as a composer. Today, at age 37, he is in the enviable position of being respected, well-known and influential worldwide.
Kiko was just 19 years old when he was invited to join the newly-formed ANGRA. Before then he studied with Mozart Mello and played with various local groups in his hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Kiko’s solo career has developed parallel to that of Angra.
In March 1993 Kiko filmed his first instructional video, shortly thereafter he travelled to Germany to record Angra’s debut album “Angels Cry”. The album’s overwhelming success opened many new markets to the band, such as Europe and Japan where it was rewarded with a Gold Disc Award.
Two years later the band recorded the album “Holy Land” with production handled by Charlie Bauerfeind. This record strenghthened the band’s position as a leading heavy progressive metal act on the world music scene. On this record Kiko demonstrates his innovative styleof playing; mixing his talented rock phrases with his latin jazz skills.
Prior to the 1998 release of Angra’s third studio opus “Fireworks”, they issued two EPs “Freedom Call” and “Holy Live” the latter recorded in Paris, France. “Fireworks” was recorded at major UK studios Abbey Road and Power House, and produced by Chris Tsangarides. Its concept was different from their previous work, more focused on a organic heavy rock band and giving a lot of space for Kiko to demonstrate his excellent sense of improvisation and creativity.
In 2001 Angra presented the new album “Rebirth” to the world. Recorded in Germany, but this time produced by Dennis Ward. Both the record and the new line-up’s live work received unanimous worldwide acclaim. Following the success of “Rebirth” both Angra, the band, and Kiko, the guitarist, who was from this time on in charge of keyboards and arrangements, garnered many rewards from numerous Brazilian and Japanese publications.
The album “Hunters and Prey”, once again produced by Dennis Ward, was issued around the same time. It included eight songs and a multimedia track. 2003 saw the worldwide release of “Rebirth World Tour – Live in Sao Paulo” DVD and double CD.
At the same time Kiko released two more instructional DVDs “T?cnica e Versatilidade” and “Os Melhores Riffs e Solos do Angra”. Both videos show the guitarist at his best, in a clear and easy-to-learn way, with many tips and advice to enrich the musical repertoire of any guitarist.
September 2004 saw the release of Angra’s highly-anticipated concept work “Temple of Shadows”. Kiko and all the musicians are at their technical and creative best. Once again produced by Dennis Ward with Kiko arranging keyboards and percussion, the album features Brazilian musician/composer Milton Nascimento on the track “Late Redemption”.
During his live work with Angra Kiko always found time to highlight his musicianship by giving guitar clinics or workshops around the world. His debut solo album “No Gravity” was recorded in Germany and produced by Dennis Ward. Kiko plays all instruments on the thirteen instrumental tracks except drums, handled by Mike Terrana. “No Gravity” had a worldwide release in 2005. Both a “No Gravity” songbook and a play-along CD were also issued and are highly sought-after by musicians and fans alike.
2006 saw the almost simultaneous release of Angra’s latest opus “Aurora Consurgens”, yet another concept album, and Kiko’s solo work “Universo Inverso”. This second solo album took an entirely different direction from the first one. Kiko is joined by three respected Brasilian and Cuban musicians for a creative ten tracks of Latin Jazz instrumental music. Whereas this new direction may have surprised some of Angra’s and Kiko’s diehard metal fans, it has received positive critical acclaim worldwide and only serves to consolidate his musical ability and incredible versatility! After releasing two more instructional DVDs in 2008 which included performances and interviews , the year 2009 produced two brand new works from Kiko. The Neural Code album, featuring Thiago Espirito Santo on bass and Cuca Teixeira on drums, two of the most acclaimed musicians from the Brazilian jazz scene, gave a totally new perspective to Kiko’s playing. Once again Kiko surprised fans and followers with his musical versatility and his capacity of non stop searching for new directions in his music career.
The other masterpiece of the year 2009 was the album “Fullblast”, his third solo album. It is a well-balanced rock guitar versus tribal organic latin album. It shows Kiko on an upper musical level, regarding compositions and performance, and with a new approach to heavy latin rock textures.
Despite his recording and live performance obligations to Angra, not to mention his own highly successful recording and performing career and the occasional guest appearance on other artists tours (such as Tarja in South America and Europe), Kiko continues to actively participate in workshops or clinics around the world. This allows him to keep his chops up, to meet his fans on a one-to-one basis and to perhaps derive some inspiration from the music of the world.