Maria Gadú, intimate and voracious

Brasil Observer - Oct 10 2016

(Leia em Português)


Brazilian singer brings her most recent work to London


By Gabriela Lobianco

Maria Gadú agreed to talk with the Brasil Observer via Skype on a late Friday of September. The occasion is the show of her latest album, ‘Guelã’. The work, produced by her, brings a more mature sound with a lot of guitar effects and nuances. “This show has an intimate side, but has a very voracious thing too. Looks like there’s a poison… Something a little crazy,” says the Brazilian singer.

Smiling and friendly, surrounded by musical instruments in her office, Gadú tells she has done a lot busker – street shows – in the area of ​​the Temple Bar, ​​Dublin, when she find out that the interviewer is connected from the south of the island of Ireland. According Gadú, success was not planned and producing music, “making a sound”, was all she needed: “busking was wonderful and I did not have to do another thing.” The artist played on the streets in numerous countries, such as Ireland, Italy and France. “It’s interesting because you get to make a sound research of what people like. Do you see yourself in another culture and then you play.” She believed she would that forever. “I thought I was going to busker all my life.”

She hasn’t. Great revelation of MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) in recent years, Gadú ingratiated herself with renowned singers and composers such as Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso. Her first CD, recorded in 2009, sold 250,000 copies. Considered one of the best debuts of the musical genre, with poetic songs and a lot of lyricism, she emerged in a career that now has the CD ‘Mais uma página’, an album with Caetano Veloso and the collection ‘Nós’, with many other artists. “I had spent a time in Europe since 2006, and then I recorded the album [‘Maria Gadu’] and ended up in Brazil.” From there, everything happened.



The title of the new album comes from an indigenous tribe of the Northern state of Amapá, the Karipuna, and means “the seagull”. Gadú says it is an anthropological search she made in the last four years, when she didn’t launch any new material. “It was kind of how I was feeling, the seagull thing. The seagull is there alone watching the sea, with that immense concentration to catch the fish.”

The artist says she has undergone many changes, “making a lot of shows, meeting people and demystifying idols.” She stopped smoking, married Lua Leça, was able to study more and find her own identity. “This album was born from this, my search for silence, which came from this immersion to understand my musicality without those wonderful people who were with me at the beginning.” She proudly says the album exposes even its limitations, since she produced it at home, alone, learning to use the programs. “It’s raw, it’s very sincere and doesn’t have much adornment.”

Everything in the new project was calculatedly thought, from art and design, created by Gadú, Lua Leça and Luisa Corsini, to the release. The full content was released via streaming platforms such as Deezer, Spotify and iTunes. “My whole generation no longer knows what CDs are. We are the streaming generation”. Gadú ensures that from the time when people hear the music, they consume concerts. “Is this move to let things accessible and, if someone from a distant part of Brazil hears, you will have the opportunity to do a show there.”

Maria Gadú European tour passes through Luxembourg, Zurich, Paris, Dublin, Brussels, London, Barcelona and Madrid. With the artist rise to the stage Federico Pepi on cello, Lancaster Pinto on bass and Bianca Godói on drums. And the repertoire covers much more than the ten tracks of the new album. When asked, the artist ends the presentation with ‘Shimbalaiê’, her first success. “We close the show with it to leave that good energy, this almost childlike vibe, which is an untouchable thing.”

The flagship of Guelã is the song ‘obloco’, main reason for the Grammy Latino indication, a track bordering the carnival and indigenous rhythms. “I’m hearing a lot of this anthropological journey, tribal things, the ‘Txai’ album by Milton [Nascimento] recorded to capture the sounds of the indigenous with an instrumental footprint. Besides listening to Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Chico Buarque.” Some influences never change. Good for Maria Gadú. Good for the public.

“I like to make concerts because the show turns into a composition of everyone who is present; it is not a thing only from the artist to the public. The energy of the show happens as people give their emotions with their memories and so on.”


Maria Gadú

When: 23 October, 8pm

Where: Barbican Hall

Entrance: £15-35