Neguinha Te Amo

Daúde

Released 13 October 2003

  1. Muito Quente (Really Hot)
  2. Alá-Lá-Ô
  3. Uma Neguinha (Little Black Girl)
  4. Sans Dire Adieu (Without Saying Goodbye)
  5. Crioula (Creole)
  6. Canto De Ossanha (Chant Of Ossanha)
  7. Ilê Ayê (Que Bloco É Esse?) Ilê Ayê (What Bloco Is This?)
  8. É Foi Mamãe Que Me Disse (My Mother Told Me)
  9. Naja (Serpent)
  10. Dora
  11. J'ai Rêvé (I Had A Dream)

Liner notes

Though this may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with Brazil’s music scene, Daúde is a rare find: a black woman in Brazil’s eclectic pop-roots music, known as Musica Popular Brasileira (MPB), and the first to fuse MPB with African roots and modern production values, setting the whole thing alight with sensual, driving dance beats.

While many of her peers have been abandoning Brazilian music to undertake rock, hip-hop, techno and dance, Daúde takes the opposite tack. She looks to see how these forms can be brought back to enhance Brazilian music, not to replace it. The mix is all her own and the style she has created is unique.

After a four-year break between albums of new material, she returned with her first album on Real World Records. “Neguinha Te Amo is really an homage to the Brazilian woman and her strength,” says Daúde, “And to the legacy of mixed races, the happiness, humour and knowing tolerance of the Brazilian people, and, finally, to Africa, expressed naturally and in a modern style. I never doubted what I was doing. Even with the world in such a mess, this is what carried me through the making of the album. Throughout, my challenge was to show another side of Brazilian music.”

Photo credit: Emanuelle Bernard

The word neguinha is a term of endearment in Portuguese and means little black girl, the album title being therefore ‘Little Black Girl, I Love You.’

The stories she tells on Neguinha Te Amo are richly varied, and they’re told in the language of the music as well as in the lyrics. Through the percolation of loops and beats, Daúde seeks to re-emphasise the African soul of the music while she bolsters the innately Brazilian. “The African element is natural to Brazilian music,” Daúde explains. “It’s expressed through rhythm and often directly in the singing style, vocalisation and improvisation. It doesn’t need flourishes and vibrato.”

Daúde has collected songs that treat romantic topics, but so, too, social and political ones. She explains, “‘Muito Quente’, for example, describes how black brothers and sisters can feel about themselves, with positive imagery that’s also full of humour. ‘Crioula’, a duet with the great Jorge Benjor, is a celebration of black Brazilian womanhood. And ‘Uma Neguinha’ describes a personal experience that all women of colour will recognise. They will also identify with many other things on the album. The need to make the album went way deeper than just wanting to further my professional career.”

None of this is to say that Neguinha Te Amo is some intellectual exercise. Far from it. Daúde’s voice and attitude sail over a music that’s got a sensual, funky swagger, that’s very earthy, rhythmic, danceable, sexy. “I like songs that move me,” Daúde says. “This emotion isn’t linked to place, it could be Brazilian it could be from anywhere. With the best Brazilian music, there can often be a perfect marriage of harmony, melody, rhythm and lyrics.”

Daúde was born Maria Waldelurdes Costa de Santana Dutilleux, hence the opportune switch to three syllables (it’s pronounced Dah-oo-jee). She was born in Salvador, Bahia, the pulsing heart of African Brazil, and spent her first eleven years there. “I was born in a blessed place,” she says. “I grew up in a favela where the song of the crickets and the noise of the swamp were pure symphonies. It might have been this that gave me a soul so full of music.”

A loving and musical family helped as well. Her father introduced her to the great Brazilian interpreters and popular traditions, her mother and aunts to the romantic singers and those of the great generation of Brazilian popular music (MPB) stars like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania, Chico Buarque and a host of others.

When Daúde was eleven, the family moved to Rio de Janeiro. It was there, on radio, that she heard American soul artists and British blues rockers for the first time, mixed in with her beloved Brazilians. She would dance and sing along —and right then and there decided to become a singer. She started learning technique. When the family moved away again, years later, she stayed, studying singing professionally. Then she took a university degree in Portuguese and Literature.

Her career began in theatrical musicals and in nightclubs throughout Rio de Janeiro, through which she came to record her first disc in 1995, the eponymous Daúde. Already forging the link between traditional and modern that Daúde continues to this day, her debut met with critical raves. She won a Brazilian Grammy, the Premio Sharp, in the new artist category. Her second disc appeared in 1997, Daúde #2, this one co-produced by Will Mowat (Soul II Soul, Angelique Kidjo, Chico Cesar) and Celso Fonseca.

“She was the first of the younger generation to get into fusing MPB with beats and loops,” Will explains. On that album, their first collaboration, the roster of songs helped add an international audience to Daúde’s already impassioned Brazilian one.

Daúde’s work with Will Mowat has come to full fruition on Neguinha Te Amo. “One of the reasons for working with Will,” she reveals, “is to reach out to the international public with a different vision of Brazilian music, a vision that goes beyond the established cliches, beyond the tropical stereotype.”

Will explains that “to get the maximum energy out of a song I manipulate its arrangement and chord structure to come up with a fresh statement. These songs are like brand new, even the better known ones, like ‘Ile Aye (Que Bloco E Esse?)’ and ‘Canto de Ossanha’. I completely pulled them apart and rebuilt them for Daúde, to shed new light on what’s already there.”

Daúde filmed the video for 'Muito Quente (Really Hot)' in The Big Room at Real World Studios.

But Daúde had clear ideas on it, too. It was her idea to insert the famous theme by the legendary Pierre Barouh and Francis Lai to Claude Lelouch’s film ‘Un homme et une femme’ (‘A Man And A Woman’) inside Sans Dire Adieu. The disc includes a beautiful French-language version as well, with lyrics specially written for her by Pierre Barouh.

There is an obvious passion and shared vision in this recording. “Will and I are two strong-minded people,” Daúde reveals.”I knew what I wanted and had my own convictions in terms of the work. Will had his in relation to his side of the production and the market, so it was a perfect match and therefore a dangerous one!”

Dangerous? “Yes, we fought almost daily, on the same side or opposing ones, to get the balance right,” Will agrees, saying that what ultimately saved the project was “our inner conviction that what we were doing was right —I rate her so much, I stuck by her through thick and thin, and she by me.”

“Her musical vision is her own,” Will says of Daúde. “She is urban, sophisticated, feminine and romantic and loves techno and dance and clubbing. Not for her the Brazilian cliches of sand and sun. She always felt her destiny was outside of Brazil, but with her feet planted in the Brazilian soil.”

Her fans await the new release anxiously. “Our Black Pearl of Brazilian popular music,” enthuses one on her website, “without doubt you’re the swingingest muse.” Her reputation at home is inestimable: “Daúde, you are the pride of us all.”

Photo credit: Emanuelle Bernard

Reviews

  • A spirited quest to find a new attitude and style for black Brazilian music The Guardian
  • A truly unique voice on the mainly white dominated Musica Popular Brasileira (MPB) circuit, Daúde effortlessly fuses her African roots with light pop sensibilities and funky dance beats... an extremely polished and hugely enjoyable album of MPB diversity and Brazilian sexiness. Songlines (UK)
  • Working closely with veteran producer Will Mowatt (Soul II Soul, Angelique Kidjo) Daúde has blended Brazilian music with pop forms in a fashion recalling the more attractive efforts of the Tropicalia movement of the '60s. Versatile and imaginative, she raps, she sings with a dark sensuous sound, and she brings a vigor and believability to the music that effortlessly sets aside stylistic boundaries. LA Times (USA)
  • This is Daúde's US debut, and it is a fascinating effort Billboard (USA)
  • Neguinha Te Amo reveals a mature, unique female voice... she manages to fuse the quintessential Brazilian languorous sensuality and innate vivacity with a muted dance beat of blips, beats, samples and 'deconstructing' rap-narratives...At her best this Bahian singer takes you to impossible beaches lit by fizzing neon, to retro 70s bars shimmering with beautiful people and onto Varig flights attended by demure Angolan stewardesses. BBC (UK)

Listen

Credits

Produced by Will Mowat for Pure Will. Co-produced & repertoire selected by Daúde. Creative concept by Daúde and Will Mowat. Musical and rhythm arrangements, programming and audio/MIDI editing: Will Mowat. Mixing engineer at Estudio Compasso in São Paulo: Flávio de Souza. Recording engineer and additional mixing: Márcio de Holanda. Recording engineer at Pure Will, London: Arabella Rodriguez. Additional mixing of Crioula by Marco Migliari at Real World Studios (assistant Claire Lewis). Mastered in São Paulo by Carlos Freitas at Classic Master.

Jorge Benjor appears courtesy of Universal Music, Brazil

Daúde thanks: Jorge Benjor, Júnior; Paulinho Moska; Pierre e Benjamin Barouh, Francis Lai, Rémy le Moel, Andrea Tournillon; Paulo, Roberta & Letícia; Brigitta, Hannah & Jerome; Eric, Bonnie, Caetano & Maya; François de Huberlant; Ana Almeida; Akio & Chris Nicklass; Jolia Backman; Jan, Dú, João, Antônio, Kátia & Neide; Dado & Alfredo; Fátima Lomba & todo pessoal da Novamente; Lucy, Bobby, Simone & Monique Boots; Luís Cláudio de Gang & Dudu Candelot; Renato Baracho; Emanuelle Bernard & Deby Engel; Rogério Wiltgen; Ton Hyll; Leandro Flandes; Rosana Ravanelli & Layana Thomaz; Mariana Baltar, Isná & toda Cia Aérea de Dança e Centro Cultural Carioca; Guilherme Gomes; Suely Aguiar, Leonardo Netto, Marisa Monte, Cíntia, Cleber, Claudia & Flávia; Andrea Zeni; Rodrigo Ravena; Raimundo da Silva; Flávio Augusto e todo pessoal do Studio Compasso; Carlos, Mag, Jade no Classic Master; Thomas Roth, Teco & todo pessoal da Lua Nova; Berta Freistadt; Arabella Rodriguez; Gerard Gerber; Júlia Rizzolo; Lena Santana; aos músicos que me acompanham (Eduardo Constant, César Botinha, Pedro Morais, Huldson Delduque) e aos que participaram deste album; minha querida mãe Lourdinha, minhas queridas tias Zenaide e Glorinha, muito muito obrigada pelas incessantes orações!! Um beijo em meus irmãos e sobrinhos; saúde para o meu pai; Christian, te desejo o melhor dessa vida; um abraço apertado em meus amigos do peito! Maximilien, o meu coração é teu… A voçê Will, todo meu carinho, a minha paciência, e o meu especial agradecimento, o qual não caberia nesta pagina! Aos meus Fãs: meu carinho, e minha música!

A Real World Design
Graphic design by Derek Edwards
Photography of Daúde by Emmanuelle Bernard
Additional photography by Will Mowat and courtesy of Photospin Incorporated © 1995 and Stellar Visions Incorporated © 1996

Translations by Danielle de Abreu Stewart, Luiz de Almeida, Will Mowat

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