This feels like a good follow-up to the Lusofonia post. Pedro Lima was the “people’s voice of São Tomé e Príncipe”, the most iconic singer on the island. This release was originally recorded in 1985 and is a reissue from the Switzerland-based Bongo Joe (Les Disques Bongo Joe) label. The album has been hard to find, commanding high prices. It features Lima with his backing band of 20 years, Os Leonenses, on 2 Puxas (upbeat) and 2 Rumbas (mellow), all nearly 10 minutes long. Lima passed in 2019, after a long career that started in his teenage years and spanned up until his death.
If you’re a vinyl person, there are still some copies available via Bandcamp as of this writing. Probably worth picking up!
The Soul of Black Brazil (2004)
I realized some people may be coming to this site from Discogs….I’m not so sure you’re interested in the new music and artists I’ve posted about lately, I figure you’re into Brazilian funk from the 1960’s and 1970’s…I love that stuff, don’t get me wrong. But I’m restless by nature and there’s so much good music to explore throughout the “Brazilian Diaspora” and Lusophone world, that I can’t just focus on that genre and time in this blog.
If you’re looking for specialists, check out DJ Greg Caz, DJ Questlove’s dedicated set (April 2020), Epic Vinyls from Brazil (they also did a special Afro Brazil Orixa mixtape series that is dope), Mayer Hawthorne’s Christmas Caipirinhas mix, and “The Soul of Black Brazil“, a podcast from Afropop Worldwide that first aired in 2004.
Martinho da Vila, “Lusofonia” (2000)
I’m tempted to skip ballad “Vasco da Gama” (ft. Mart’nalia) and slow march/marchinha “Viva Timor Leste” (ft. Luis Represas), which recount significant histories pertaining to the Portuguese empire. One covers exploration/conquest, the other revolution, so I guess I appreciate the balance there. Taking the album as a whole I can dig that those songs were included for their slower tempos and rounding out the variety of rhythms. Besides, I’d rather learn history via song than read it, and I always appreciate a larger historical context for the music I enjoy.
Favorite track: “Carambola (São Tomé e Príncipe)”.
Horace Silver Quintet “Song for My Father”
I just realized my recent posts all have Cabo Verde in common…hmmm!
Horace Silver’s dad was Cape Verdean, and the melody for his well-known “Song for My Father,” was inspired by Cape Verdean folk music. This live performance by the quintet in Copenhagen in 1968 is beautiful — Horace Silver dripping sweat onto the piano keys, the musicians’ masterful solos, the drummer in the pocket expressing pure joy and reaching freedom within the song, and everyone’s perfect chemistry. It’s around 18 minutes long and absolutely worth the watch.
Afro House: Danykas DJ “Uma Das Ilhas”
My favorite so far by Seres Produções (Angola) label manager and pioneering female Portuguese afro house producer and DJ, Danykas DJ, who has roots in the Cabo Verde islands.
New single from Cape Verdean-Portuguese artist Nenny. The 18 year-old singer, songwriter, and rapper is making big waves and enjoying success and critical acclaim in Portugal since 2019, following the release of various singles including “Dona Maria” (about her mother) and “Bússola” (a catchy and literal f*ck you to general haters set to a mellow and infectious afrobeats track), and major festival performances there. A proponent of mental health and self-love, Nenny refuses to be boxed in by genre and categories, singing and rapping genuinely and unabashedly about personal experiences, and embracing trap, reggae and afro rhythms in her music. It looks like Nenny is about to win over more of the world with her Colors performance.
If you read Portuguese, check out this March 2020 interview.
If you understand Portuguese from Portugal, this interview is worth a watch.
A Luz de Yayá (Melodiesinfonie Remix)
Laid back electronica kind of vibe…takes me back to the late 90’s/early 00’s…
Henry Wu “Just Negotiate”
I put this here partly for the cuica…