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Interview with Ronald Barba from HEART U HEART

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Published on february 24th, 2022 | by Anthony Martinez

From Classic Christian Rock magazine 3 / June 9 2021

A few weeks ago, we learned of a very sad news for the followers of Christian rock in Latin America, Hugo Lopez, singer of the band Heart U Heart from Argentina, died after being infected with Covid19, but the news does not end there, days ago, his wife and one of his sons also died because of the deadly virus Covid19. 


The recent death of Hugo Lopez has caused commotion in the Christian rock scene in Argentina and many Latin American countries. The voice of Heart U Heart is gone.


But, who was Hugo Lopez and Heart u Heart?, for those who listen to Christian rock in Spanish speaking countries this is a very well known Argentine band that started in the early 90s, releasing three albums, and two other albums by their singer Hugo Lopez as a soloist. 


To learn more about the history of Heart u Heart and the singer Hugo Lopez, we talked to the guitarist of the band Heart u Heart, Ronald Barba.


Hi Ronald, thanks for agreeing to the interview. Tell me about the times before Heart u Heart was formed, where were you and the other members of the band?

Hi Anthony, thank you very much for keeping us in mind. Before the formation of the band (1990), with my brother Abel, who plays bass, we lived in Buenos Aires Argentina, with the vision of serving the Lord through music, there we met the evangelist Steve Hill and his wife Jeri, who came as evangelist missionaries to settle in our country for four years. They also had the vision of working with young people through music.


How did you meet Hugo and the other members?

My brother and I were called by the ministry of Rev. Steve Hill to go to the city of Neuquén to start a church, there we began to pray and think about the formation of a music group, in a short time we were rehearsing, the first singer called did not have time for the band, then a brother introduced us to Hugo López, who stayed to be part of the band as a singer. The drummer and the keyboardist also had to leave the band due to work issues, so they were also replaced.


When was Heart u Heart formed? Who were Jeri & Steve Hill?

In 1987, and we started playing in 1990. Steve & Jeri Hill were missionary evangelists from the Assemblies of God Union, sent to Argentina.


Why did you decide to name the band Heart U Heart?

We had other names, but finally it was Heart u Heart, which means from the heart of God to the heart of man, the middle u is related to Spanish speaking countries.


I know that Heart u Heart covered bands like Degarmo & Key, Mylon Lefevre and Broken Heart or Idle Cure, what other bands do you consider were musical influences for you?

Besides the ones you mention, Petra, Dallas Holmes, Stryper, White Heart, Rich Mullen, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Susan Ashton and others.


The first Heart u Heart album was released in 1991, was it the first real Christian rock album in Argentina?

Yes, it was the first album.


How was the reception of the Christian and non-Christian community with the release of your first album?

It was very good, thanks to God, we had many concerts in which we saw salvation, healing, restoration, besides the spiritual impact on thousands of young Christians.


Tell me about the second album “Fuego Extraño”, for many people, the best album of your band.

This album was the first album with unreleased songs and was produced simply to continue the evangelistic work of the band, with very good reception.


The music of Heart u Heart was played in many Latin American countries, how was the international impact that the band had in the 90s?

For us it was very good to know that the band was heard in other countries. We thank God for what He did and continues to do through the band and the many people who met Jesus at each concert.


Heart u Heart’s third album came six years after “Fuego Extraño”, in early 2000 you released Cuenta Regresiva, was this the end of Heart u Heart?

This album was recorded in the USA during the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida, where the main speaker was Rev. Steve Hill. We recorded with another singer because Hugo had already retired from the group. But Heart u Heart was not yet finished.


Who did the musical arrangements and lyrics, was it something that only one person did or was it a collaborative effort?

I had the privilege of doing the arrangements, lyrics, and production. A big responsibility but the Lord was there, without him nothing is possible.


How was the Christian rock scene in Argentina during the 90s, were there other bands besides Heart u Heart?

The music mobilized thousands of young people from different churches. The type of music bothered some but was widely accepted by others. There were other bands such as Logos, Puerto Seguro, Kiosco, Rescate, among others.


Hugo López is considered a rock icon in Argentina, was he part of other bands or just Heart u Heart?

After Heart u Heart, he went solo but of course he had his own band.


In 1999 Hugo released a solo album, “El corazón sigue latiendo”, was it an announcement that Hugo was looking for a solo career?

When he recorded that album, he was no longer in Heart u Heart.


Did the churches support you or were they against the use of Rock music to share the word?

Some pastors didn’t agree, but when they saw the results they wanted the group in their churches, and due to God’s move, the concerts in the churches were much more extensive. 


It’s been more than 20 years since Heart u Heart released an album, where has the band been all these years?

The only release was the album Cimientos. Each of the members has been working personally in the area of music, studying and teaching in churches through clinics and workshops. Eventually we get together for a concert. God willing this year we will continue with the evangelistic work.


Was there any intention to make another album?

We are currently working on a new album.


What is your opinion about the album Fuego that Hugo released in 2018?

I think it is very good, we pray that all the musicians of the world, who are inactive, wake up and go out to fulfill God’s purpose because the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. The Lord is coming soon


When was the last time you played with Hugo?

More than 15 years ago.


Hugo’s death has undoubtedly generated a lot of commotion in the Argentine rock scene and in many countries, what was your reaction when you heard about the death of Hugo and two members of his family?

Something surprising and of course very painful, we were just talking with him about doing something together, we are in contact with his family and we hope that the Lord consoles them and that they can continue on the path to which our God designed them.


What does the time of Heart u Heart with Hugo mean to you?

A time in which we had the privilege of seeing the Lord touching many people and in many ways, saving, healing, restoring, delivering, as He continues to do through our group and many other groups.


What is the legacy that Hugo Lopez and Heart u Heart leave in Latin American Rock?

Let’s go get them! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16.


Your final message to the fans of Heart u Heart and Hugo Lopez

The Lord created us with a purpose, which is our present and our future, let us seek the Lord, forget the past and follow with patience the race ahead of us, the Lord will supply all that we lack according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. May the Lord bless you all!!!

God is good!!!!


Thank you for your time, God bless you

Thank you very much to you, don’t forget that your life and your ministry are unique, very valuable and totally necessary

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