By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Achieving initial success with an English language version of a popular Rio football (soccer) team anthem and with traditional samba marchas covered in English for foreigners, Brazilian musician Le Andrade will soon debut his first EP of original material.
“I see myself basically as a guy who loves ‘strong-flavored’ music,” Andrade told The Rio Times during preparation for his self-titled first release. “I love samba and its variations (samba rock, samba funk) blues, rock’n'roll and funk.”
He continues, “These would be the raw material that I use to write most of my songs, I see them all as ‘spicy, strong-flavored music’. I’ve been trying to give an extra bluesy feeling to Brazilian music, what I’ve been calling in my mind ‘samba blues.’”
Born and raised in São Paulo, Andrade began playing and writing music as a child. “First hook was rock’n'roll, when I was twelve,” says Andrade who also plays the guitar and drums, adding, “but before that I had already written a samba just for fun, as a kid. About three years later, when I was fifteen, I discovered Carlos Santana and that had a huge impact on me.”
At the same time, Andrade was also developing a love for languages, both Portuguese & English. His second love lead him he to earn his degree in literature with an emphasis on translation. Andrade eventually made his way to Rio where he lived and absorbed the music scene for thirteen years.
It was a time period that Andrade told The Rio Times affected his way of making music “profoundly.” “Syncopation is taken to another level in Rio,” he explained. “The place grooves so much.[...] The thing about Rio is that the city breathes music, you can feel it in the air.”
Andrade took that feeling in and made it his own by translating traditional samba songs into English versions. He had first received international attention after releasing his English language cover of the Flamengo – a Rio de Janeiro football (soccer) team – anthem. The online videos for the song have over 500,000 combined views to date.
Andrade says after the song’s success he realized, “this was something I could do that I could take a lot of pleasure from, because it naturally agrees with the things I like the most and many people felt connected to it.”
Andrade perfected his live act by playing with numerous musicians and bands, including Jorge Ben Jor while simultaneously writing and performing original music.
“Working with Le has always been a pleasure,” Rio musician, friend and former bandmate, MarthaV told The Rio Times. “The same charisma he has on stage, he has in life.”
During a trip to New York for a show that turned into a five month stay in 2011, Andrade meet TV Presenter Edgard Picolli and played for him in his home. “The result was so good, the band played so tight and well that I decided to use three of the songs we did and put them on a CD,” says Andrade.
“After that I thought about including a song I recorded with a top New York producer, Darren Solomon, during my stay in NY and two other tracks I had already recorded in Rio, so it’s a 6-song EP.”
The song that Andrade recorded with Solomon is one of his original Portuguese songs entitled “Não Tem Pra Ninguém” and it was also included with songs by Brazilian artists Gilberto Gil and Elza Soares in the award winning soundtrack of the Brazilian film “Elvis e Madonna.” Its video will be released for the upcoming EP, scheduled for distribution in mid-June.
The EP will also feature one track in English entitled, “Gonna Get You” and is scheduled to be released in mid-June. The first show in support of the CD will take place in Campinas.