It’s so awesome to be able to witness the omnipresent power of music; the way it weaves its sound-ful influences into seemingly every fabric of our human existence, in today’s world more obviously then ever. Music highlights and accentuates every colorful human emotion, and seems to walk along our side throughout our lives, like our very own emotional advocate and activator. Emotions are energy + motion right? So as most of us live, breath, move and groove to the pulses and beats of everyday life, both outside and inside us, music acts as a constant connector, whether we are continuously aware of its companionship or not. With the World Cup, it’s been much more apparent how sports has become even more heavily engaged in partnership with the music industry; probably realizing the impact it has to magnify and amplify the emotionally laden peak experiences we have as human beings. Sports can be considered one of those “biggie” experiences, and has become a significant satisfier in many people’s lives throughout the world, a welcomed escape, a way to engender feelings of unification with others, and although some may have a general disinterest or dislike for sports, it is abnormal to find anyone who has an overbearing natural aversion to music. Ask yourself, do you know anyone who naturally detests music? Therefore, music acts as a bridge or catalyst to connect cultures, people and nations, and drives people into participating in events (or use a product, brand, or service etc.) they normally would not gravitate to. After all,
“Music is the Universal Language of All Mankind”.
Brands like ‘Beats by Dre’, shows us the very powerful and electrically emotive connection sports (in this case World Cup soccer i.e. futebol) has with culture and music. Have a look and listen at how they represent that in the video, “The Game Before the Game” showing Brazils beloved soccer star, Neymar Jr. and others, listening to “Jungle” by Jamie N Commons & The X Ambassadors.
As in the case of the World Cup, a sporting event more massively popular and globally unifying, than any other sporting event, you can be sure that our ever present escort ‘Music’, wouldn’t dare miss this show. The show being, the opportunity to illicit “energy in motion”, remember?Kinda like an amuse-bouche served at the onset of a fancy din-din, meant to stir up your senses, elevate and enhance your appetite, and get you wanting (what ever it is you are wanting) much much more. This “Motion” begins stacking up to create a surge of human emotional electricity that expands by feeding off all the kinetic Co-motion, kind of like friction creating fire; and in us, that fired up feeling we get in our gut. When we all get going in this together, it can be quite an exhilarating and fiery vibe!
So, it all starts with a spark right? Sure, and in a culture as exuberant, vivacious, and passionately inflamed as Brazil, sparks are natural and ignite brightly, and easily. FIFA’s decision to highlight the pageantry of the 2014 World Cup with a duo performance by American artists; Pitbull and Jennifer “Jenny from the block” Lopez, also featuring brazilian born Claudia Leitte, seemingly as a side note, was ample fuel to fire up a united musical protest. In an ironic sort of twist, “We are One” (Ole Ola), did create oneness and unity, perhaps just not in the way the performing artists and record company backers intended it to. The following statement was highlighted as the general Brazilian sentiment according to the associated press,”
“Although Brazilian Claudia Leitte is also featured in the official theme, critics say they don’t understand why Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and Bronx-born Puerto Rican singer Jennifer Lopez were chosen for the song when there are so many other great musicians in the land of Bossa Nova.”
Brazilians where also put off that the song is mostly in English and Spanish, leaving only a few seconds at the end for Leitte to sing in her native Portuguese. Watch the video yourself, to see if you share this opinion.
American Pop Star, Shakira is no stranger to controversy as she sparked some up herself when her song ‘Waka Waka -This Time For Africa’, was the official FiFA (the sport’s governing body) World Cup song hosted by South Africa in 2010.
Interestingly enough, in the midst of this year’s FIFA music controversy, Shakira stepped up and took the opportunity to work it out in her favor, releasing her own unofficial 2014 World Cup song. When Brazilians where given a choice between American performers, Shakira seems to have come out on top; with a vibe, background, and artistic influences that seem to share more synchronicity with the people of Brazil than say ‘Pitbull’ or Jennifer Lopez did. Your own ears and hips will have to be the referee on this one.
Even with so much stunning production value invested, Brazilians seemed generally dismayed by the simple fact that while their country is overflowing with so much zest, lushness, and flamboyantly flavorful music culture than almost anywhere, no native Brazilian performance acts where selected to represent at this spectacular sports occasion. It makes little sense to many, when there is such an over pouring of auditory sunshine in Brazil, to fill up all the ‘ear cups’ in the world.
Brazil has always had an abundant of music and entertainment culture, bursting forth with intoxicating beats, that intersect perfectly among the fantastical exotic displays and voluptuous eye feasts. Even the most stagnant of hips must move to ‘wiggle it just a little bit’, in the throng of such musical magic, majesty and amusement. It takes more than a collection of samba dancers, capoeira performers, or South American drum masters, to woo the discerning ear of the Brazilian people, a culture steeped in a deep luxurious richness of natural rhythm and colorful diversity; one that seems to mirror its very own fertile Amazon, full of its own deep flow, mysteries, magnificent sound creators, and passionate protests. In fact, Brazilian people are so entrenched in a sort of “collective vibe” that even when they protest they must “dance it out”. And during a sports victory, …well that’s a given
Just take a look at Brazil’s national team SuperStar – Neymar doing the Tchu Tcha Tch
So, if there is a silver lining to the official FIFA song controversy (and there always is), it’s that it will light a spark in all of us to move, to “explore the more” and go beyond needless boundaries, musical or otherwise, and to not forget to dance to the beat of our own drums along the way. What may have come off as just another example of the commercial music industry, attempting to connect to “place and people”, and perhaps coming off as culturally out of touch instead, can actually be an invitation to work through the controversy, and discover the essence that brings us all closer to some sort of victory, connection, and real “oneness”. We have got to venture “outside the box” to get there, and that may be the only rule to really follow.
In a shift to do just that, and in honor of the opportunity this music controversy has created, here is a collection of songs by Brazilian artists (an alternative World Cup playlist ). After fully diving into the local culture; it’s pulse and authentic music creations, I discovered amazing exotic sounds from some of the most legendary, to some of the freshest emerging Brazilian music creators ever heard. Enjoy, or as I believe they say in Portuguese, Desfrutar!
This is the Classic of Classics. ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ was inspired by a real Brazilian girl, and is the 2nd most recorded pop song in music history. So, you’ve probably heard it, but this timeless (100 % Brazilian) sonic beauty never gets old.
Authentically lovable Brazilian artist, Roge, expresses beautifully the interconnectivity of soccer, music, dance and Brazilian culture, in his recent interview with ESPN.
“I love soccer and I’m looking for the art in soccer, like I do in music”
“The samba and the way the Brazilian people are moving, it’s like playing soccer”
“I’ve been watching life, my words, through my lens, ‘The Music.’ All my words come from music.”
Cheating here a bit, but if it made hips move and grove, I’d say it’s in line with the spirit of Brazil.
I’m sure there are many artists left to discover and share with the live Radio DJs on RadioFlag, so if I’ve missed some amazing ones, please let me know. For now I will probably tune in to 2 local Brazilian radio stations that I have recently found: MPB fm and Beat 98, and most definitely spend time exploring the best South American music blog I’ve found so far. It’s called sounds and colours. There are actually a lot of Brazilian music lovers on RadioFlag, who love to find new emerging artists from all over, to share with a worldwide audience. Just check out some of the Live Radio DJs who do Bossa Nova and Brazilian music themed radio shows, and play song requests for their listeners via RadioFlag.
Now that Brazil has gone undefeated in the World Cup games thus far, we should keep our ears open for a fresh harvest of beats and ballads to come pulsing out of the hearts of energized Brazilian futebol (soccer in Portuguese) fans; ones that will do honor to the local vibe perfectly. So go, make music, and take notice of how music never misses out on the energy and motions of Life, because it is Life!
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