Simple intensity

brasilobserver - May 15 2015
Photo: Bernard Benant

(Leia em Português)

With her new album out, Flavia Coelho performs in London this month and tells Brasil Observer, “When we do things with heart, determination and passion, we influence people…” 


By Gabriela Lobianco

Brazilian singer Flavia Coelho, who has been based in France since 2006, returns to London with her band to celebrate the release of her second album, Mundo Meu (which roughly translating means My World), on 18 May at Rich Mix.

The album was officially released in the UK on 11 May. But the first single, ‘Por Cima’, is already a hit on iTunes. “It’s a song I wrote thinking about a woman with all these impossible loves,” she tells Brasil Observer by telephone from her home in Paris. “But on a positive note as this woman does not destroy the wall, she jumps over it,” she laughs with a sweet tone.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Flavia Coelho wrote almost all of the songs on the new album over two years while touring for her first record,  Bossa Muffin – which was very well received by the European public, including the British. “I needed to go back to the boom boom beat from the Brazilian baile funk, from the American singer’s styles that I listen to, and only realised this while touring, writing and experimenting.” Mundo Meu differs completely from the previous album because the artist increased the electric sounds and focused more on frantic beats. “I needed more simple things, but with greater intensity,” she said.

Flavia Coelho left Brazil to discover and find her musical style, and in her words “find out the woman I am”. But she is proud to be Brazilian, frequently talking passionately about the country. She honours her homeland mixing rhythms like samba, bossa nova, rap, reggae and the unmistakable beat of the Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. “My heart asked me to leave my country to discover my musical future. But I love Brazil.”

Flavia also has great gratitude for her success abroad. “My first album rolled really well in London and people started to follow me. I toured Africa to New Zealand, played in various places.”

She proudly talks of collaboratios, thanks to “natural encounters of life.” In addition to the producer Victor Vagh, responsible for both the studio work for both her albums, Mundo Meu features renowned names, such as Patrice, the German singer from Sierra Leone, the rapper Speech, from the Arrested Development group, and the legendary drummer Tony Allen. This last one indeed has worked with many contemporary Brazilian artists, such as São Paulo trio Meta Meta, who also recently performed in London. “Tony Allen is one of the greatest artists in the world. I heard all that he recorded and did a lot of research. I wrote the afrobeat song and producer played it to him and he was really receptive. In a natural process, we recorded together.”

To finish off, Flavia Coelho, shows conviction that Brazilians shines anywhere. “When we do things with heart, determination and passion, we affect people… We Brazilians influence others.” She also reveals her need to revere her home country just by singing in her native language. “I grew up in that melting pot of Brazil and that is also revealed in my language. I have to sing in Portuguese.” However, she is reticent when asked about a possible tour in the tropical country: “I would love to! But nothing is in sight. Various comments on Twitter and Facebook, but nothing scheduled. I think there’s a good crowd. Let’s see”.




When: 18 May

Where: Rich Mix (35-47 Bethnal Green Road)

Tickets: £15