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The punk intellectual who talks to the animals

The current political crisis in the EU and the mass protests on the streets in his home country throw light on what a vital voice Lazlo is – not just for Hungary, but for all of us. The European dream is fast coming apart, and if we want to find out what might lie in store for us here in the UK, no other artist out there comes close to his unique mix of apocalyptic comment and razor-sharp humour.

There is a good reason why most big European singers don’t export well to the UK: we Brits don’t do foreign languages, and when they try to version their songs in English to please us, it never adds up – sounding more like a dodgy voiceover on cable TV than a serious artist with something to say.

Lazlo took a smarter route: writing his English lyrics together with London production team Lemez and Fridel – who’ve worked for singers like KT Tunstall and alongside big name producers like Mike Spencer (Jamiroquai, Rizzle Kicks) and Bacon & Quarmby (Sugababes, Finlay Quaye). “Lazlo is a great artist who has a string of hit records behind him in another language. It’s not enough to translate his Hungarian lyrics into English,” says Lemez. “The trick with artist like Lazlo is that you need to be in the studio together, and only then, after hours of discussion about the song, can you re-write something natively for someone as if they were writing it themselves. His unique voice is so strong that I don’t want my voice as a writer to interfere. It could only dilute what is so strong about the original.”


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