India’s best selling English recording artiste, Luis Remo de Maria Bernardo Fernandes was born in Goa to Goan Catholic parents was exposed to a lot of Portugese and Latin music early on. When he was 8, he started listening to rock and roll after a cousin gifted him Bill Haleys record “Rock around the clock”. For his graduation, he had to travel to Mumbai, a city where a considerable amount of rock music enthusiasts lived.
Thus, he often bunked classes and played at concerts and college campuses.All through the late 1970s’ he travelled all over Europe and North Africa, performing and collaborating with various artists. Coming back to India, he began to write songs intended to raise the collective consciousness of the country and concerned the socio-political scene of India then. He recorded “Goan Crazy”(1984) and “Old Goan Gold”(1985) which featured his then-controversial track “Hello, Rajiv Gandhi”. Remo would play all the instruments, sing all the songs and mixed the tracks himself and then sell them from shop to shop in all of Mumbai. Shyam Bengal approached Remo to compose music for his film “Trikaal”(1985). The following year he co-composed music along with Anand Chitragupt for the Pankaj Parashar movie “Jalwa”(1986), for which Remo is still praised. Following this success he released “Pack That Smack”(1986), an album raising awareness against drugs. He sang these songs for a concert to raise money for the Bhopal gas victims, an event that was shown on Doordarshan, which was a boost for his career. His politically themed albums became a major success with “Politicians don’t know to rock and roll”(1992) which went Gold within three days.
His hit number “Humma Humma” (“Bombay”, 1995) put him on the list of names to reckon with. Remo’s unconventional voice and A.R. Rehman’s prowess as a composer played its magic in this peppy number. Another such track was “Huya Ho” (“Khamoshi: The Musical”, 1996), where he used his knowledge of Goan folk music. Some other songs of his during the last part of the decade were “Daud” (“Daud”, 1997), “Manzil Na Ho” (“Sangharsh”, 1999), “Main Hoon Aflatoon” (“Aflatoon”, 1997) and “Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha” (“Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha”, 1998). His only private album “O Meri Munni” (2000) was to be the first Hindi song released by a solo artiste only over the internet. Some of his later films include “Ankhen” (2002), “Bhagam Bhag” (2006) and “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves” (2008).
Remo Fernandes received the Padma Shri Award in 2007. Later that year the Goa government proposed to present Remo with an award, which he rejected outright, firm to his long standing protest against the governments policies.