My first discovery of Brazilian music
|I quickly realized working at HMV that my tastes and desires were very different to all my colleagues or at any rate a lot more varied. In addition because of the brand we weren't allowed to play much of the music we sold during store opening hours. I at least had the privilege of working upstairs on the audio floor where we didn't generally put on commercial pop which was playing downstairs Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, The Saturdays all the rest of that kind of music.
The floor was more or less divided into two sections: Popular music on the right hand side and Specialities on the left. Popular music included Pop/Rock sections, Metal, Dance, RnB, Soul and Reggae. Specialities included all the other cool music. Classical, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Country, Musicals, Easy Listening, Rock and Roll and World Music. Basically we were allowed to put on for customers generally indie/alternative rock with occasionally some individual variety as long as it came under the right hand side of the store.
When I was a new employee I didn't choose much music. If I did it was fairly conservative by popular music standards, so I would not incur the disapproval of my colleagues and boss. I also didn't work as many morning shifts until I was familiar with the store and comfortable. A few months into my employment I started working a lot more on Sunday mornings on my own. This meant I had completely free range to play whatever I wanted until customers came in three hours later.
This is the story of my first time.
Up until this point I had not listened to much foreign non English speaking music. This is with the exception of Gipsy Kings who I have loved since I can remember. I have always loved a wide variety of music but sometimes I can only focus on discovering and learning about a specific type at one time. When I was a teenager it was Classical music, when I was twenty two it was rock and until around October 2012 it was jazz.
When working at HMV I knew at least for now I had exhausted my desire to discover popular music. I kept meaning to listen to different music but I had no idea what it would sound like so maybe I was nervous to try something new. I'm not anymore, not in terms of music anyway.This October morning I was feeling really lousy and suffering from extreme sleep deprivation. I was brave however, I took a chance. I went upstairs to work and picked six CD's from the Latin section of World music that I had never eve heard of and put them on.
1. Musica Para Churrasco by Seu Jorge, Brazil
2. Indio de Apartamento by Vinicius Cantuaria, Brazil
3. Desesperanza by The Meridian Brothers, Columbia
4. Yo Diga Baila by Mexican Institute of Sound, Mexico
5. Hard Bossa by Joyce Moreno, Brazil
6. Fire Away by Ozomatli, American Latiin
Hearing the first track of Seu Jorge I was instantly lifted. I had no idea what it would sound like and it just hits, a wall of joyful, party music it's phenomenal. I loved it from the the first and within seconds I was dancing all around the store while working. Bearing in mind that before I was barely awake before I put the CD on, my eyes were drooping every other second and I was struggling to concentrate. That was amazing and the first Brazilian CD I had heard in entirety. I loved every single second of the album and bought it that day I was so excited. By that album I was hooked.
The weird thing I noticed was that I loved every single song on the album and up until that point it was rare for me. With most popular music albums I like one or two songs and that is it, whereas most other genres I have since discovered I like entire albums and most, if not all the songs on them.
The rest of the CD's that day didn't quite hit me as hard as Seu Jorge. Vinicius Cantuaria is much smoother bossa nova jazz grooves. I needed loud party music that day to keep me awake but the album is beautiful, calm and sweet. The other CD's didn't stand out although I'll probably check them out sometime down the line. Often I need a certain type of music to satisfy my mood, whether I need to be woken up, cheered up, calmed down. Sometimes it's all about timing when a particular song will register in my head and take control of my heart.
That was the start of my forays into Brazilian music which lead to a journey all over the world of sounds. Pure magic!