I feel like this month, my blog has been filled with posts about music. It wasn’t really my intention, but things ended up working this way. I’m excited to be sharing this one, nonetheless, because music is very important to me as I’ve stated multiple times before.
I do want to clarify, though, that I’m not an expert on this topic at all. I listen to very few Brazilian artists, and I’m not that much interested in Brazilian music in general. I’d be bothered by that, but my choices as far as music goes, are very conscious. I don’t feel like I’m only listening to American artists because that’s what everyone else is listening to, which is what matters the most, after all.
Today, I’ll be presenting to you five exclusive Brazilian genres (Brazil does have pop & rock & punk, but these genres weren’t originated here) and some of my favorite songs from it. Again, this is all from the perspective of a white 18-year-old girl, so take it with a grain of salt.
I also ask you guys to please share in the comments some of your favorite artists from your homecountry; I love listening to music whatever the language, but I never know exactly how to search and approach artists from different countries, so your recommendations will be deeply appreciated!
Even though you may feel like you’ve already heard this name before, funk is the most Brazilian thing I know. It’s very unique and exclusive to my country’s reality. It’s probably the most popular genre nowadays, especially amongst young people, and is the one to be played exhaustively at high school/college parties.
Funk is mostly associated with people living in favelas and poor conditions, even though nowadays it is consumed by people from all over the financial spectrum. In a lot of ways, funk allows young people coming from slums to breakthrough and become celebrities. Funk artists are called MCs.
The songs are typically associated with sexual content, using vulgar vocabulary or slurs, which is what makes it such a controversial genre. In funk music videos, you’re likely to find girls showing their bodies and twerking away in very short shorts.
If you want to get a grasp on funk music, I think this music video explains it pretty well. However, it’s important to note that this is by Anitta, who is a HUGE artist who has collaborated with Diplo & Snoop Dogg before. This is a representation of most funk artists and a glimpse on how Anitta first started as an artist, but it’s definitely not how she *herself* lives or produces her music anymore.
It’s definitely my least favorite music genre; not much because of the content, but because it is a genre for people to *dance*. There’s a lot of choreo and twerking and all of that and I am not a fan of dancing, so it doesn’t work for me in the slightest.
Country music is so great that it really is a part of every country’s culture, lol.
Sertanejo = country. It’s a genre popular in the countryside, and back in the day, the artists wore boots, high-waisted jeans and cowboy hats. A lot of the OG songs also talked about the rural lifestyle, with a lot of nature-based lyrics, the simplicity of the time, etc.
Originally, it was a very male-dominant genre, much like country in the US, I think. Only recently, women started to break through. There’s also a very big thing about two people singing together in sertanejo. It’s what we call “duplas sertanejas” (a country duo). They’re usually brothers, and at least one of them has to play either an acoustic guitar or an accordion.
Now, though, the genre has changed quite a bit. Even though it’s still more popular in the countryside, the lyrics are mostly relationship-related nowadays, with a lot of melodramatic love songs as well.
This is what sertanejo looks like these days. As you can see, very different from the picture I inserted up there. I still like it, though. Not every song and definitely not every artist, but there are still some great hidden gems.
MPB is a very OG music genre. It’s definitely more popular amongst elders – very few teens would listen to it. It’s also not a genre to have new artists or songs being released regularly. Its’ moment of most hype was around the 1960s, but there are still a few artists who identify with it.
MPB stands for Música Popular Brasileira – Popular Brazilian Music. The best way I can describe it is: very chill songs, with deep and meaningful lyrics and a lot of soft instruments – mostly the acoustic guitar. The genre was developed after Bossa Nova – a music genre from the 1950s, that put samba and jazz together.
The most iconic and internationally acclaimed Brazilian artists are all MPB artists: Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Jobim, etc. If you’re a teenager, then I don’t think you would recognize these names, but I promise they’re known worldwide!
Samba is how Brazil is known internationally, but not a lot of people listen to it nowadays.
Samba was first created as a derivation of African dances brought by African slaves. It’s definitely, still to this day, a more popular genre amongst black people, but it is appreciated from people all over. We listen to samba mostly around Carnaval, because it is the music layed in those massive Carnaval parades every year.
There are two different ways to describe samba: the more chill version of it and the *hardcore* one. By hardcore, I mean they add a lot of percussions intruments, such as loud drums and large rattles. Even though I do not listen to samba at all, I find this version very fascinating, because the sound of the instruments truly reverberates through your body.
This is a very interesting song, because it was written during Brazil’s dictatorship period, that lasted from 1964 to 1985. Back then, most songs were censored, especially the ones that tried to criticize the government in any way. This one was approved, though, because they used a lot of metaphors, but when you analyze it deeply, you realize it’s a big f*ck you to the government, lol.
Samba is not known anymore as a genre to express political opinions, but I think, in a lot of ways, every song has a bit to it. If you analyze funk, for example, even if most songs talk about sexuality, it is still a big political statement, considering so many of these songs were written by people from marginalized communities.
This is all I have to share for today, friends. Once again, please share in the comments below some of your favorite artists from your home country. I’d love more music recomendations! 💛