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Caetano Veloso

The Best of Caetano Veloso

Caetano Veloso (Caetano Emanuel Vianna Telles Veloso) was born in 1942 in Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia. One of Brazilian music's most highly regarded singer-songwriters of the last few decades, he is famous in part for his participation in the iconoclastic Tropicália movement with Gilberto Gil and others.  As a singer, Veloso is heavily influenced by his idol, João Gilberto. As a composer, Caetano has an extraordinary ability to weave poetry and melody together so seamlessly that it is difficult to imagine them separately. He is always ready to try new musical paths; for example, he was the first Brazilian artist to incorporate reggae elements into a song, which he did in 1972 in a rock tune called "Nine Out of Ten." Veloso's work has ranged freely from iconoclastic compositions to romantic, lyrical ballads. His songs frequently focus on themes of self-renewal and expanded possibilities. "My role is to change people's minds," he has said, and his lyrics are often provocative and discursive. Caetano has used rock, bossa, afoxé, frevo, reggae, and many other genres to counterpoint his inquistive words and delicate, Gilberto-influenced vocals. Veloso, recently seen performing at the 2003 Oscars, is heard on "Cucurrucucu Paloma" on Talk To Her, the soundtrack to the Pedro Almodovar film.

--excerpted from The Brazilian Sound © Chris McGowan & Ricardo Pessanha 1991

Caetano-Veloso: L'ame bresilienne
(a biography of Caetaneo Veloso in French)

by Ricardo Pessanha and Carla Cintia Conteiro


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