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The songs that make Brazil's musicians think of carnival

The songs that make Brazil's musicians think of carnival

Posted by Laura Zúñiga on March 08, 2014

Brazilian carnival began in earnest yesterday, so our man at the Brazilian record label Mais Um Discos asked some of the country’s best loved musicians which song represents carnaval for them:

Lovefoxx of CSS: O que é, o que é by Gonzaguinha

“I know all the lyrics to this song but I have no idea how and when this happened. I think every Brazilian is the same – at some point in their life they just know them. During the verses it has a steady drum beat in the style of Brazilian carnaval baterias, where the percussionists just go for it – very appropriate for samba dancing. The lyrics are absolutely wonderful: “To live and not to be ashamed of being happy. To sing and understand that I’m an eternal learner, I know that life could be better and it will be. But knowing this won’t stop me from singing: Life is Beautiful! Life is Beautiful! So Beautiful!” If you can sing it, it’s awesome. For me this song represents my country as a whole – not just at carnival. It’s nice to dance and surrender to such a beautiful song.”

Criolo: Que bloco é esse?’ by Ilê Aiyê

“I do not have so many memories of carnival. But something very special happened to me two years ago in Bahia when I met Ilê Aiyê – a group founded in Salvador who preserve African traditions in Bahia. I had the opportunity to visit the Ilê while recording a video and to meet Vovô Ilê, one of the founders of the group. By seeing his strong presence, simplicity and resistance I could understand that carnival is important for us to remember and celebrate our ancestors.”

Mixhell (Iggor Cavalera and Laima Leyton): A Felicidade by Antonio Carlos Jobim

“There is a mixture of happiness and sadness which we feel during carnaval. Brazilians love to party and to celebrate life in every manner, and we try to bring this into everyday life. However during this time of the year people in Brazil also become numb, forget their responsibilities and appear sedated by the media’s vision of carnaval. A lot of people spend the whole year working for carnaval for very little or no reward, and then for the rest of the year poverty and corruption carries on. A Felicidade is a popular song at carnaval because it expresses the short happy moments Brazilians experience, through its lyrics, melody and arrangement.”

Marcos Valle: Tristeza, written by Niltinho and Haroldo Lobo

“In my opinion, this song from 1966 represents the true soul of carnival. The melody is extremely gorgeous, and the theme of the lyrics is to send sadness away and be able to be happy and sing again. I love it!”

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