I grew up fascinated with the music played late at night on the radio. As a kid, when times were tough and I couldn’t get myself to sleep, I would tune the radio to my favourite FM station and dream on.
This was back in the late 80’s and lasted until the mid 90’s, a time when I was getting hooked by Hall & Oates, Loose Ends, Maze, S.O.S. Band, Soul II Soul, and other artists that used to rule the dial in the wee hours. So this music didn’t only comfort and nurture me at the time, it also shaped my music personality.
When Renata approached me in order to work on the first ever compilation for Hello Sailor, I knew the selection would end up reflecting this side of me. It had to come from the heart. It also had to bring to the table something different than what’s already associated with Brazilian music, and exploring our own take on the street soul genre sounded good. It was never done before and it’s also faithful to Brazil’s musical heritage.
Back in the 80’s and into the 90’s, it was very common at parties to have a slow dance moment in between the more uptempo sections. A timeout from all the frantic dancing, when people could cool off and flirt in a more romantic way. (It does sound like a great idea to have this intimate just-the-two-of-us moment in the middle of a party; maybe it explains the number of marriages at that time.)
This is a tradition that goes back to the black music balls in the late 70’s, which helps to explain why the majority of the early rap acts from Brazil used to have a couple of romantic songs in their albums. When you add to this recipe the power of the mellow pop acts during the aforementioned period, one can realise why it extended its tentacles to deeper depths of pop music in Brazil.
This compilation features some of my favourite music ever, songs that I’ve crossed paths with in different moments of my life. Fernanda Abreu, for instance, is a longtime crush – I have been in love with her music since the mid 80’s when she used to sing in a band called Blitz, which my mom loved. Afrodite Se Quiser, on the other hand, created some buzz while the group was active with the minor hit “O Que Que Ela Tem Que Eu Nao Tenho”, from their first album (1987), but I didn’t know about “Fora de Mim” until 2015. My point is: even if it took me 25 years to find this track, I had a reserved spot in my brain for it and it laid there perfectly as if it innately belonged there. It’s a built memory, and I love playing with this idea when presenting music to people.
Street Soul Brasil is part mellow pop, part R&B, part rap. One can surely feel a lot of street energy from the B Side. The music reflects the influence of international pop at the time, but it also shows how Brazilians are talented in making any sound their own!
This compilation is supposed to be a mixed collection of songs, something that might trigger the feeling of flipping through an old photo book full of tender memories. These are songs that should speak straight to the heart, music to comfort and heal, music that deals with joy and pain, feelings that I always liked being transmitted through music.
It’s among the best forms of therapy. It worked for me and I hope it works for you…