CONNECT BRAZIL’S TOP PICKS FOR EARLY SUMMER – WITH THE STORY BEHIND EACH ONE
Brazilian Hits: Spring Into Summer ’21 is our early-summer video list for top tunes and personal picks from Connect Brazil’s 12 streaming music channels, and our ‘always live, always free’ streaming station. Lockdowns are over. Turn up the music!
Get Ready For Summer With Brazil’s Top Tunes
Finally! The Sunshine Season is here, and with it comes Brazilian Hits: Spring Into Summer ’21, our video list of the best new sounds plus classic hits for early Summer.
Which ones will make it to your personal playlist? Celebrate your musical freedom! Gear up and download these 10 top Brazilian songs for a summer no other, with Connect Brazil.
But wait, there’s more!
Watch for our Hot Brazilian Summer Sounds ’21 list after the long 4th of July holiday weekend!
Scott Adams, Midday Host
The Sounds of Brazil’s streaming station at Connectbrazil.com
Brazilian Hits: Spring Into Summer ’21
Gilsons with Mariana Volker | Devagarinho
Who are Gilsons (JILL-sons)? In typical Brazilian fashion, here’s a bit of clever wordplay, because this talented trio of young singers is made up of the son and grandsons of Gilberto Gil.
Pointing to the rich traditions of MPB as their strongest musical inspiration all three mention Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben, and of course, Papa Gil who had a hand in the creation of the group’s debut album last summer.
How this Rio-based group came by its name is a perfect example of a Brazilian jeito. “For the longest time, we were actually a group with no name, rehearsing and together and writing music and finding our sound,” said Francisco. “In fact, we still didn’t have a name by the time our first gig came along, so my mom, who is also aunt and sister of Jose and Joao came up to us and said ‘You’re Gilsons!’, and that was pretty much that!”
Mama Preta Gil explained. “They needed to promote themselves with a name, and I thought: the three of you are all Gils. What do you think about mixing the family name with the Portuguese word for ‘sound’? Well, they hated it at first, but then the name stuck. The public really likes it.” They love the music, too.
Get to know Francisco Gil, João Gil, and José Gil. You’ll love their style. Listen to Gilsons on our streaming channels below.
Cecy Santana & Hugo Ferreira featuring Gabriel Datcu | Um Amor Assim
Midway between Laguna Beach to the west and Miami Beach to the east is Chicago’s Oak Street Beach. This summery third-coast strip of sun, surf, and sand is where you’ll most likely find Cecy Santana on any given day.
Or not. Because Cecy Santana stays busy.
Somehow, this ‘on the rise’ singer from Sao Paulo who’s made the Windy City her home manages to squeeze more life into every day than most Chicagoans. And that’s saying a lot for the city that never sleeps.
Santana, who counts Gal Costa, Take 6, and Lady Gaga as musical influences might be rehearsing a weekend gig with Lotus Kings, working on her upcoming debut album or doing a fashion shoot as part of her next YouTube drop. Take her new single ‘Um Amor Assim’ with Hugo Ferreira, the Angolan-born lead singer of Tantric.
“Um Amor Assim” has three versions because Hugo and I decided to donate the song to an organization that uses music to collect funds for kids who need help with an education,” says Santana.
“Suddenly, we had so many people involved, with different visions for the song. Mine was always just guitar and vocals. Hugo’s vision added a trumpet with reggae undertones, and the organization wanted a dance version to match the rest of the songs they selected for their fundraising album. So, we decided to do three versions and everyone was very happy.
“We recorded Hugo’s softened reggae version featuring Victor Garcia’s trumpet first. So, I guess you can call that version the original.”
You hear all three versions of ‘Um Amor Assim’ on our streaming channels and our ‘always live’ streaming station at Connect Brazil.
More: Read 10 Questions with Cecy Santana
Antonio Carlos Jobim | Batidinha
It’s true. Brazil’s greatest composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim didn’t have an album released under his own name until he traveled to New York’s A&R Studios in March 1963. He was there to record the Getz/Gilberto album with producer Creed Taylor.
Eight weeks later, the American and the Brazilian returned to the same studio to record The Composer of Desafinado, Plays, righting a wrong from Jobim’s most productive songwriting years in Brazil.
Jump ahead to ’67. Both Jobim and Bossa Nova had changed zip codes, leaving breezy Ipanema for New York to put down roots with the jazz world. Creed Taylor had moved on from Verve too, with a new startup label called CTI. And Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Wave was the label’s very first release.
‘Batidinha’ (A little drink) comes from that legendary album. Wave’s success far exceeded impressive sales and chart performance by virtue of its impact on three generations of fake books: Both the title track and ‘Triste’ became jazz standards, but our personal favorite remains ‘Batidinha.’
The difference between Spring and Summer is more than a dozen iffy weather weeks. Summer says: ‘We’ve arrived”, and we can’t think of a better kick-back tune to enjoy it
Jorge Vercillo | Song 4 U
Jorge Vercillo has climbed and conquered just about every musical mountain in Brazil. He’s one of MPB’s biggest stars, able to deliver Platinum- and Diamond-selling albums time after time. He’s been nominated for the Latin Grammy’s four times, winning twice. Vercillo holds the record for songs featured in TV Globo’s popular primetime Novelas and he has more than 20 songs to make it to the top of Brazil’s radio charts.
But the Vercillo brand has yet to record a hit song in English. Until now, perhaps.
Jorge Vercillo has seen the potential, so in late winter 2018, he tapped guitarist Sandro Albert and quietly floated out two YouTube videos in English, ‘Closest Friends’ (Final Feliz) and ‘Leve’. Nearly two years later both songs appeared on Vercillo’s album Nas Minhas Mãos. But hidden away in the middle of the album is a real gamechanger, ‘Song 4 U’.
Let’s begin with the songwriting credits. Jorge shares them with his son, Vini. Albert returns, laying down a smooth Brazilian jazz guitar line to set a welcoming vibe. Vocals are shared in Portuguese and English by Jorge and Vini respectively.
The lyrics also hint at Vini’s rising talent as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. A generational shift for the Vercillo brand, no doubt. What do you think? Give ‘Song 4U’ a spin here, and on our streaming channels where you can rate every song you hear.
Roberta Sa | Outra Coisa
Roberta Sa first appeared on our streaming radio playlists back in 2017, but it was the title track of 2019’s Giro that really caught our ears, After all, it’s not often that Gilberto Gil surprises a rising star singer like Sa with a song written especially for her to record.
Uh, we meant album, because Gil loved what he heard from Roberta Sa, offering to guide Giro from beginning to end, as a songwriter and musician. Sa (who hails from the far northeastern city of Natal), saw this as a gesture of friendship and accepted.
A year later, Giro had quickly found fans on our streaming channels, yielding a trio of tune-worthy entries. First to be noticed was the uplifting vibe of the title track. Next came ‘Ela Diz Que Me Ama’, a soulful, horn-driven samba featuring Gil and Jorge Ben Jor) and now the throw-back style of ‘Outra Coisa’, co-written with Gil, featuring a flowing 30s style arrangement layered over a quirky samba beat that’s hard to resist.
More so than many Brazilian Millennial pop singers Roberta Sa keeps close ties to the traditions of MPB while forging a distinctive contemporary style that will serve her well. Get to know Roberta Sa’s music below. And when the time comes for her next album to be released, you’re sure to hear about it on our homepage.
Pedro Santos | Summer Breeze Bossa
When it comes to semi-precious stones, Brazil ranks right at the top. Everything from Imperial Turquoise, to sapphires, rubies, and diamonds can be found in Minas Gerais (“General Mines”). That’s the Brazilian state that gave us the music of Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, and Paula Fernandes, to name three.
What does that have to do with this song? Just like the fortune-seekers of Minas, Connect Brazil goes mining for new music every chance we get. Most of what we come across are fool’s gold, but occasionally, we’ll hit on a gem. For singer and guitarist Santos, creating client-based music pays the bills. But songs like ‘Summer Breeze Bossa’ reveal a passion for beautifully crafted arrangements and flowing melodies.
It reminds us of how important it is to let the world pass us by for a while, every chance we get. And isn’t that what summer is all about?
Listen to our streaming station and music channels (below) for an exclusive, extended version of this song. It’s an added bonus for reading our stories for our list of Brazilian Hits: Spring Into Summer ’21!
Sergio Mendes featuring Joe Pizzulo | Love Came Between Us
More than two years in the making, In The Key of Joy by Sergio Mendes is the Brazilian’s most ambitious project to date.
The album has two versions, including a double album featuring a brace of ‘best of’ favorites. All of this is window dressing for a world-class documentary which in turn spawned a made-for-TV bio-doc, to be seen on PBS in America and various outlets throughout Latin America and worldwide.
In The Key of Joy also reunites Mendes with one of his favorite vocalists who is not a woman. Joe Pizzulo reprises his 80s mega-hits ‘Alibis’ and ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’ with this song, penned by Sergio Mendes and Paul Williams.
And because reunions are about looking back and catching up, this Bossa ballad opens with the familiar sound of Sergio’s electric keys moving you back in time, once again. Then Pizzulo’s voice carries you forward – one stanza at a time – as this story of love unfolds.
As just like the story, you’ll find yourself celebrating the best moments of any love affair: Reuniting with a nostalgic look back.
In addition to his own hit songs, Pizzulo has built a successful career as a highly in-demand session singer. And he enjoys a special friendship with Sergio beyond their recordings. Sergio Mendes is also the Godfather of Joe Pizzulo’s daughter, Sugar Jones, who is featured on In The Key of Joy‘s ‘Samba in Heaven’.
Emanuela Campana | Metti Una Ser A Cena
Getting summer off to a great start has to include tropical tunes worthy of repeat listening. Because after all, what’s a personal playlist for?
May we introduce you to Emanuela Campana? This Millennial music maker from Rome grew up listening to the Golden Age of Italian pop before moving to Brazil where her musical horizons expanded to include Eliane Elias, Astrud Gilberto, Rosalia de Souza, and Gal Costa. Her return to Roma a few years later fueled her desire to record an album of personal favorites, many with Emanuela’s own Brazilian flair.
Although recorded in 2017 and released ayear later, Italian label IRMA’s lackluster release of Fortissimo, meant that we didn’t come across this album until late 2019.
Produced and arranged by Papik, the renowned Roman producer of multiple musical projects including New Bossa’s Mario Biondi, it’s no surprise that this song made 2020’s Top Summer Sambas list with its irresistible melody and smooth samba rhythms. Plus, the song is a favorite among Brazilians and famous worldwide.
There’s even an Italian law the requires every naturally-born musician to record this song at least once during his or her career (No, there is no such law that we are aware of, but it’s not a bad idea – Ed.).
Just to be safe, Emanuela Campana included this Ennio Morricone song on her debut album. Let it be a debut for you, too.
Gregg Karukas | Travessia
Most Brazilian music fans can point to a special moment, a bond with a particular song or musician that made a lasting impression. For Gregg Karukas, it was this song by Milton Nascimento that made him a fan for life.
‘Travessia’ (‘Crossing’) is the opening track for his new album. Serenata is a heartfelt tribute to the music of Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi and several of Brazil’s best songwriters from one of the most creative periods in Brazilian pop.
‘Travessia’ debuted at io de Janeiro’s 2nd International Song Festival in late 1967. It didn’t win, but it led to Milton’s first recording deal, with Verve Records in the USA.
On the album’s 50th anniversary in 2017, Radio Brasil de Fato noted that ‘Travessia’ was the album that forever changed the sound of Brazilian music. In an interview with the station, a long-time friend, and member of Clube da Esquina put it this way:
“There was nothing like that in Brazilian music, in the vast Brazilian songbook, there was no such thing as Travessia. It wasn’t bossa nova, it wasn’t samba-song, it was a super original song, unprecedented, by a guy named Milton Nascimento.”
Recorded Live in his home sudio, Gregg Karukas plays ‘Travessia’ with the same sense of longing and passion found in Milton’s original recording. While the lyrics tell the story of moving on from lost love, pianist Gregg Karukas allows the melody to carry the story; capturing the uniquely Brazilian sense of Saudade throughout the song.
Intimate and romantic, you can learn more about Serenata and the Brazilian side of Gregg Karukas here.
Buy it here: Get a signed copy of Serenata
Scott Fivelson, Songwriter | Secret Entrance To Your Heart
Behind every great summer song is an equally talented songwriter. ‘Secret Entrance to Your Heart’ was written by Scott Fivelson, an award-winning Hollywood screenwriter and director. Romania’s Breeze BossaNova recorded it and the song quickly found a home on AccuRadio, in frequent rotation on Portugal’s RCP FM 92.6 and on Clube MegaHertz with its 20-plus international affiliates. Breeze BossaNova is the husband-and-wife team of Florin and Ioana Siia, who say “Bossa Nova is a state, a state that surrounds you and carries you into the most beautiful rooms of the soul.” Read more…
YouTube – Breeze BossaNova
Facebook – Breeze BossaNova
Facebook – Scott Fivelson
Brazilian Hits: Spring Into Summer ’21
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