New York City, NY — In this playlist, I tried to compile a comprehensive list of my favorite songs growing up with my Brazilian family. It features a range of styles from very old classic songs that families still listen to, to the more modern sounds that are influenced by Brazil’s rich musical history of Samba, Bossa Nova, and other Latin and Caribbean sounds like Cumbia and Reggae.
Elis Regina - So Tinha de Ser Com Voce
Elis Regina was one of Brazil’s most popular Bossa Nova singers. This piece was made in collaboration with one of Brazil’s most famous composers, Antonio Carlos Jobim for this easy going, classic Brazilian jazz
Adoniran Barbosa - O Trem Das Onze
This song is one of my mom’s favorites that she played around the house when I was growing up. It’s an old samba song from 1964 but Brazilians still listen to this legend today.
Joao Gilberto - Chega de Saudade
This is another classic Bossa Nova song from 1959, meaning “enough of missing you”.
Toquino - Canto de Ossanha
This famous collaboration between singer Vinicius de Morais and guitarist Toquino blends some of the mysterious and melancholy tones of bossa nova being played at that time with more cheerful vocals, creating a very interesting contrast.
Linha de Frente - Criolo
With this song we start moving into the more modern part of the playlist. Contemporary artist Criolo blends classic aspects of samba and guitar to tell a modern story of love, money, and other issues that continue to affect his community.
Instituto - Dama Tereza
This song from 1999 by the group Instituto keeps classic samba guitar and drums but starts to incorporate aspects of Brazilian hip hop that was starting around that time.
Casa - Thais Morell
I had the pleasure of hearing this song for the first time live last time I visited my family in Brazil. My sister took me to a small concert in somebody’s backyard. Thais stays true to classic Brazilian samba roots but transforms it into her own modern story.
Sai Da Minha Aba - Só Pra Contrariar
My mom would put this on whenever somebody was in a bad mood or she wanted to clear the house of negative energies. This samba-ish group talks about shaking off bad energies and focusing on living life.
Chamegado - Baile Chamegante
I also was able to see this group live last time I visited my older sister in Brazil. Chamegado is from the northwestern part of the country, where the amazon flourishes between the borders of Brazil and Colombia. Their sound is a beautiful combo of modern samba and cumbia.
Natiruts - Presente de Um Beija-Flor
I listened to this song when I was small and my older siblings were teenagers. This famous Brazilian-reggae group sings about love and happiness despite the tragedies that continue to occur in many Brazilian communities that the government doesn’t pay attention to.