Let me tell you about a guy from New York City. He is a singer/songwriter and self-proclaimed hopeless romantic – a species of which there are quite few among the city’s 8 million souls. Like most people, this guy once went through a crazy love story which would drastically change his life. And, like some other inspired artists, this guy used music as an outlet for his emotions. In the end, he came up with an idea: he would give the love stories of others from around the world their own voice by using them as inspiration for new music, and hence, the HUSH project was born. The guy behind the music is Brad and this is his story.

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HUSH stands for “Have U Seen Her” and dates back to the origins of the project, when Brad was coming to terms with his very own story.  Now the personal experience has developed to something bigger and yet the concept is simple: equipped with a round-the-world ticket and his guitar, Brad will travel in search of love stories to turn into songs. The tracks recorded will be collected on a record that will also feature the story behind each musical piece. So far, Brad has visited the Philippines and Spain with Melbourne, Tokyo, Berlin and of course Paris still on his itinerary.

A Travelette obviously loves going places and usually enjoys a good soundtrack along with her trip, so intrigued by this concept, I spoke with Brad about his expectations and experiences so far:

When you started the project, what did you hope to find?
When I first started the HUSH project, it was just a blog, documenting my own relationship experiences in a fun and creative way, in hopes that one day I would be able to share those songs and stories with the girl. At some point I thought if something this crazy could happen to me in New York City, surely there must be other stories out there that aren’t being heard.  So it is my hope to find and give voice to stories that can remind people of the magic of the every day.

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Did anything turn out completely different from what you had planned?
Absolutely. The project was initially going to be a collection of songs and stories and nothing more. But being a filmmaker, it made sense to capture the adventure of it all [Brad keeps a video diary online]. But that’s the beauty of making art – you can start with an idea and wrestle with it until it takes a life of its own and you just run with it. That’s how my project ended up turning into a massive documentary.

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How did people react to your plans?
If I’m just casually explaining what I’m doing, most people don’t believe me at first and then respond with something like “wow, that’s a great idea!”, which is really encouraging for me. It’s not always like that, though. I was walking down La Rambla in Spain when I saw this beautifully old, gray-haired woman running a flower stand. So I approached her and explained to her what I was doing, then asked her if she had any stories to share and she immediately waved me off. But then a few minutes later, I was able to stop an adorable old Spanish couple and they gave me an impromptu 10 minute interview right there on the sidewalk. Those are the kinds of people I’m after.

So you can’t really guess who is more likely to respond to your call?
At this point, I’ve only been to Barcelona and Manila but it seems like the girls have a lot more to say about it than the guys. For me it’s just fascinating to hear the diversity of opinions on what love is, and if true love really exists. The younger ones tend to be sceptical, while the older ones say it does exist, but it’s nothing like what you think it is.

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What else did the journey teach you so far?
Right now it’s just a whirlwind of planning so it’s hard to really reflect on everything. I would say the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you can only plan and control so much.  Once you’re there, you have to let go and just enjoy the ride and see where it takes you.  And I think this applies to making art, travelling, relationships, everything, really.

If you have any love stories you’d like to share, feel free to contact Brad via his website or follow his travels on Twitter.

 
Cordula Schaefer Cordula Schaefer is a photography enthusiast who loves to venture out to explore new places and hardly ever leaves the house without a camera. A New Yorker at heart, she is especially fond of city trips and has a soft spot for beautiful beachscapes. She currently bases herself in Berlin and keeps the visual documents of her travels at Cordugram.