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João Selva sails the black Atlantic on single

Set sail for Brazil, Cape Verde, the Caribbean and Angola for a neo-tropicalist voyage on the eponymous single from the forthcoming Navegar, by this son of a pastor from Ipanema. 

Driven by the winds of creole sounds and tropicalism, this second album by João Selva mixes funk, jazz and disco in a Brazilian spirit cadenced by the irresistible rhythms of forró, kompa, funaná and semba. He invites the brilliant Flavia Coehlo and the talented producer Patchworks (Voilaaa, The Dynamics, David Walters, Mr President, Taggy Matcher) to sail on the mythical shores of the Black Atlantic, where the cultural ties forged in the past seem as strong as ever.

This exuberant travel diary, carried by the ambassador of Brazilian music in France João Selva, has something nostalgic about it – close to “saudade” – that melancholic feeling of dreams and the desire for happiness that is simultaneously sweet and bitter. It must be said that the current context in Brazil has something to do with it: in view of the catastrophic political and social state of his country of origin, João Selva is betting on a message full of resilience and tolerance. Songs like “Tudo vai dar pé,” or “Camará,” are odes to a better future while denouncing the tyranny of the current president. Love is sung in a carnal (‘Devagar,’ ‘Meu Mundo’) and universal way (‘Meu mano’ featuring Flavia Coelho), but what most characterises the tone of his songs is the great poetry of fantastic realism, a literary movement that was born at the beginning of the 20th century in Latin America and whose peculiarity lies in the addition of magical elements to realistic scenes. It is a way of enchanting everyday life, ridding it of its mechanical feel, and the music marks a great way to rediscover this period. “Love is a velvet cape that covers the imperfections of humanity,” said the writer Jorge Amado. Recorded after a joint trip to Brazil at the end of 2019, João Selva and Bruno Patchworks have combined their love for the music of the Black Atlantic on this album, inspired by music that has left an indelible mark on humanity.

The album Navegar will be released on February 4 via Underdog Records.

Listen to João Selva in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.