Singer Vânia Bastos:
‘When on stage I forget my shyness’
Vânia Bastos will launch her tenth album in August 2007: her first one on DVD and her first live album, but there were already nine records before this one. Vânia always knew she wanted to sing, even as a small child. “I have always been a timid person, certainly as a child, and I always liked to be quiet and observe. But when I go on stage I leave all that behind me and my passion for singing takes over.”
“I sing many styles of music, samba, bossa-nova, the songs of Tom Jobim, marchinhas, carnival songs and frevo. Also I sing some rock and an Armenian folk song. Nobody here in Brazil understands the song (except for some Brazilians of Armenian descent of course), but the song never fails to move the audience, not only here in Brazil, but also during my concerts in Berlin and Paris. It is fascinating to see how this song touches audiences everywhere, without the people understanding the lyrics. By the way, I also sang in English, among other things some Beatle's songs.”
“An absolute highlight in my career was a concert in Paris in the Jardin des Tuileries during the celebrations of 200th anniversary of the French revolution. It was almost dark, a full moon and there was a nice breeze. I sang the Armenian folk song a capela. Unforgettable!
Other highlights were my recordings with Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento. They were my idols when I was a youngster in Ourinhos (in the state of São Paulo) and I never had that I would make a record with them.”
“I adore doing live shows. I like all kinds of audiences. Big halls with an orchestra, small halls with a small band, or only with piano or guitar. Each venue and each audience has its charm and its challenge. I also like doing company show. They usually have an attentive audience that knows about music.
On August 21 and 22 I will give two concerts to launch my new DVD in São Paulo in SESC Vila Mariana. The DVD contains all facets of my musical career, including two songs I have been singing a long time, but had never recorded.”
“My professional career started after going to São Paulo to study. In 1980 I started as a singer with the band of Arrigo Barnabé. He really was ahead of his time then, using the twelve tone musical system and language from comic books. I did and learned all kinds of things with him as a singer.
In 1986 I recorded my first solo album, motivated to do so by composer, guitarist and singer Eduardo Gudin. After that he produced five more of my records: Vânia Bastos, Cantando Caetano, Canta mais, Canções de Tom Jobim and Diversões não eletrônicas. He is also the artistic director of my new DVD.”
“I love the music of Paul McCartney, Dianna Krall, Norah Jones, Caetano Veloso, Tom Jobim, Al Jarraeau, Marisa Monte, Gal Costa, Ella Fitzgerald, Gershwin, Nat King Cole, Djavan .... well, I like many styles and many kinds of singing voices. I also like orquestras. At the moment I am very impressed by the Banda Mantiqueira from São Paulo. Really great!”
“Samba is of course the most famous musical sound from Brazil. Samba started off in Bahía, but found its definitive form in Rio de Janeiro. From there it took the whole country. Rio was Brazil's capital during many years and is still one of its main cultural centres.
In various places local variations of samba sprung up. Here in São Paulo particularly by Adoniran Barbosa. He created a typically São Paulo samba with lyrics, which were strongly influenced by the Italian community in São Paulo. Others singing samba paulistano are the Demônios da Garoa and Paulo Vanzolini.
Eduardo Gudin is a composer from São Paulo, who makes ‘Brazilian samba’. His work has been recorded by cariocas (people from Rio de Janeiro) like Paulinho da Viola, Paulo César Pinheiro, Elton Medeiros and Guinga.
But let us not forget that Brazil has many more musical styles. Especially chôro is really unique. It is a mixture of European music, like for example the Portuguese fado, classical music (in particular Bach and Chopin) and maxixe and samba, which are typically Brazilian. This has led to a unique sound. There is nothing like it.”