“It’s great to be back in Austin. I spent this last year working a day job in my hometown of Oxford in England so that I could come back to my favorite places like Austin”, Chad Valley admits to the crowd. “What was your day job?” an audience member asks. “ I mixed paint…and sniffed it too!” Chad jokingly quips.

Hugo Manuel, aka Chad Valley, is a down to earth guy with an otherworldly talent for making electronic pop beats and laying beautiful vocals over them. Valley headlined a dynamic bill at Sidewinder’s in Austin on Thursday night that began with Houston’s, Children of Pop, and also featured New York’s electro songstress, Computer Magic.

Children of Pop began the night with a precocious performance that warranted praise from Valley himself, claiming they were his “favorite group out of Texas”.  Computer Magic, aka Danielle Johnson, came on next and entranced the crowd with a range of emo pop-fusion songs that evoked a range of emotions. Computer Magic, of which the name is a reference to Spinal Tap, is a synth-pop solo project that has gained traction through the blogosphere and broken into mainstream outlets like commercials and various brands. Johnson sported an Air Force jumpsuit while she intimately sang into the mic and rolled through her hits like “Fuzz”, “Dimensions”, and “SECRETS”.

Chad Valley capped off the night to a captivated crowd, oscillating from grandiose dance pop to intimate and morose love songs. The commitment and overt emotion on Valleys face when he sings, is contagious because of his undeniable love of making music. Valley played new songs as well as old hits like “Now That I’m Real”, “Shell Suite”, and “Fall 4 U” and the crowd was with him at every moment.

After the show, Valley greeted and chatted with every one of his fans. While Chad Valley’s talent has opened doors to music stages around the world, the humble and caring persona keeps him grounded and accessible. It goes to show you don’t have to be an underwear model with a bag of gimmicks to gain an audience these days, as talent and perseverance can be enough.

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