Seu Jorge battles against Brazilian stereotypes

By 18 August, 2010

There is no doubting the influence that samba has on Seu Jorge, it has been present in his solo albums, his covers of David Bowie and now with the Seu Jorge & Almaz album. There is no musical style that is deemed as unequivocally Brazilian, despite the fact it is not even the most popular style in Brazil (that dubious honour goes to Musica Serteneja). It is the image that surrounds this style that sometimes gets Seu Jorge’s goat, as he explains in an interview for Spinner, when asked how he felt about reviving samba:

I don’t want this. I just want to make music for everybody — not just for Brazil, or Brazilian people. There is so much more to our country than Caipirinhas, Carnival and capoeira. The new generation is not happy with these stereotypes.

Someone probably should have probably told the Southbank Centre as their summer festival featured Brazil!Brazil!, a show that united carnival, capoeira and football [Caipirinhas were also involved at all the bars by the river]. In the interview Seu Jorge goes on to talk about how his career developed:

I spent five years at a school at school for the arts, studying music and acting. I had a few special appearances but nothing major. In 1997, I formed my first band, Farofa Carioca, in 1998 we recorded our first album. In 2001, I made ‘City of God’ — and then everything changed.

Now with the Seu Jorge & Almaz he has begun to find a way in which Brazilian music can be universally popular, and not simply due to the fact that he is singing in English too. The album bridges many genres such as samba, US soul, jazz and soft rock, yet does it in a terse, rhythmic style that feels uniquely their own. You can read our full opinion of the album from our review here.

More from the interview with Spinner can be read here.

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