Discussing Brazilian Music with Quadron

By 14 June, 2011

Quadron are a danish duo making soul music. With their tight arrangements (evoking Willie Mitchell’s for Al Green) and honeyed vocals, they often shine as bright as The Supremes at their finest, but yet also offer the odd jazz lick which brings them closer to the modern soul of Jill Scott or Erykah Badu.

Quadron will be appearing on the upcoming Red Hot + Rio 2 compilation, re-imagining some of the best songs from Brazil’s past, and so we thought we’d ask them a few questions about Brazilian music. First though, here’s a little taster of their music, via this video for “Slippin”, one of the highlights off their self-titled 2009 debut album:

First off, when did you become interested in Brazilian music, and what were the artists that first made an impression?
We are both big fans of Latin American music, especially brazilian music, and were exposed to it growing up through our general interest in music. Especially Bossa Nova has a big place in our hearts. It started with the bigger names and got deeper and deeper. Some all time faves to list a few are Caetano Veloso, Marcos Valle, Jobim, Jorge Ben, Elis Regina, Gal Costa, Arthur Verocai, Joyce.

What was it about the music that appealed to you?
The emotion of it and the fact that its advanced musically but feels so accessible.

As well as the songs and the music are there other aspects, such as the production, instruments, attitude, etc., that you found particularly interesting?
The chord progressions are amazing. Next Level and so emotional and beautiful. The vocal harmonies too.

Do you think any of these have had an influence on how you personally create music?
A lot in the way we think of songs and development in chord progressions, harmonization and voicing.

On Red Hot + Rio 2 you do a cover of Samba De Verão. Why did you decide to cover this particular song?
We were offered some different ones, and some of them seemed almost impossible to make new versions of, but “Samba de Verão” offered a chance to take a song that everybody knew and make it into our own. They say when doing covers, you should always give back with interest, and make sure you contribute something new to it. We hope that we managed to do that.

Here is “Samba de Verão” in it’s original format, as recorded by Marcos Valle:

Would you be able to name one particular album that you would recommend to someone as an introduction to Brazilian music?
Yes the Arthur Verocai album [his 1972 debut album recently reissued by Ubiquity Records]. Stunning Orchestrations.

Have you been to Brazil or have any plans to go?
We are still waiting for it to happen, but its on the top of the list !

Red Hot + Rio 2 featuring Quadron’s cover of “Samba de Verao” will be released on June 28th. We also recently spoke with Mia Doi Todd regarding Brazilian music and her answers are here.

You can find out more about Quadron at these sites:

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