Alexia Bomtempo – Doce like Honey

I was browsing new Brazilian compositions when I found a great CD called Doces Cariocas and when I heard a song called Chuvisco on the disc, I had to find out who sang it. After I did a little digging, I pulled up a little info on this beautiful singer, which I’ll post below.

“Born in Washington DC, Brazilian-American singer/songwriter Alexia Bomtempo has lived most of her 23 years of age in Rio de Janeiro. After studying voice in New England for 3 years, Alexia returned to Brazil, where she has been performing frequently at well-known clubs in the music circuit. Her many songwriting partners include Pierre Aderne, Dadi and Mú Carvalho, among others. With a voice that has been described as a delight to contemporary Brazilian popular music, Alexia recently got signed to EMI for her first album called “Astrolábio”, which was produced by Dadi.”

I’ll post a few Youtube videos and a picture I found on the Brazilian internet portal UOL. She’s definitely one to watch out for!

Roxanne (Sting cover)

Quanto Tempo (partnership with Pierre Aderne)

Línox – Stop Stress

Línox is a 34-year-old Brazilian artist living in Rio de Janeiro who just launched his sophmore solo project named Positivo. A talented musician, he’s been playing the drums since he was 12 and writing songs since he was 22. His talents don’t stop there, Línox is also a producer and the owner of his own label Fibra Records, although he prefers to simply be a man well-connected to words and ideas. He took part in various musical projects along with other partners and eventually making his solo project out of his signature poetry and lyrics. A peaceful guy and a yoga enthusiast, he still takes time to be involved in social causes, such as the Movimento pela Gentileza (Movement for Kindness). Línox tries to incorporate some of this vibe onto his album Positivo, allowing a purely Brazilian state of mind to shine through in such a globalized world. In a simple musical language, influenced by Brazilian Popular Music (MPB), Rock and Reggae among other genres, Línox gets his message across while leaving in the mind of the listener, the sweet flavor of his music.

Here’s one of his hits, Stop Stress.

Tupi-Guarani – Tribes & Tongues

The Sound of Conquerers

There’s a book in Portuguese called “Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma” by Lima Barreto in which the main character (Policarpo Quaresma) is a nationalist who revolts against the Portuguese language, dismissing it as the language of the colonizers. His answer is for all Brazilians to return to their native linguistic roots, in this case, Tupi-Guarani.

A possible flaw in Policarpo’s reasoning can be found in the fact that the Portuguese, the Tupis and the Guaranis were all conquerers of “lesser” peoples and tribes. For all intesive purposes, Tupi-Guarani wasn’t the only native language of Brazil, but due to both the Tupi and the Guarani violent way of life, it was the dominant language of the time.

With the release of Barreto’s novel in 1911, there have been pushes by select groups of nationalists and linguists alike over the years to bring Tupi-Guarani back as the official language of Brazil. The issue has however only been taken as far as the educational system, where attempts have been made to get it accepted into the school systems as an elective class. The general marginalization of the tribes have taken their tongues with them making Tupi-Guarani virtually non-spoken among modern Brazilians.

The meaning of Tupi is “the great father” or “leader” and likewise, Guarani means “warrior”. Their language still can be seen in an extremely large number of geographic locations throughout Brazil. A few of these names were mentioned in the post on State Etymologies on this site. Tupi-Guarani is actually a sub-group of the Tupi langauges, which encompasses 53 langauges in 11 groups, of which Tupi and Guarani are the most widely used.

A Little History

When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, they found that wherever they went along the vast coast of this newly discovered land, most natives spoke similar languages. Jesuit missionaries took advantage of these similarities, systematizing common standards then named línguas gerais (general languages), which were spoken in that region until the 19th century. The best known and most widely spoken of these languages was Old Tupi, a modern descendent of which is still used today by Indians around the Rio Negro region, where it is known as Nheengatu, or the “fine language”.

In the neighbouring Spanish colonies, Guarani, another Tupian language closely related to Old Tupi, had a similar history, but managed to resist the spread of Spanish more successfully than Tupi resisted Portuguese. Today, Guarani has 7 million speakers, and is one of the official languages of Paraguay and Bolivia.

The Tupis, Guaranis and other tribes had many advantages over the Portuguese and could have put up quite a fight if they so desired, instead they aided in the founding and building of São Paulo (Portuguese for Saint Paul), or as it was known by the Indians, Piritininga (Tupi-Guarani for Dried Fish).

Some Tupi-Guarani Words

English speakers know…

– Jaguar

– Tapioca

Other examples include…

Capoeira – Old Forest

Carioca – White Man’s Hut

Tijuca – Mud

Guanabara – Bottom of the Sea

Ipanema – Bad Waters