Gaby Amarantos’ days are hectic as ever. In addition to having debuted as a technique for The Voice Kids, the singer from Pará launches her second album of her career this Thursday night (2) and is in the cast of the new 6 pm soap opera.
To get to the 13 tracks of “Purakê”, an album that comes out nine years after her debut with “Treme”, the singer took a few days in January last year to stay in the middle of the Amazon and compose alongside Jaloo, the album’s producer, and Lucas Estrela.
Exalting Northern culture and showing peripheral artists are Gaby’s main goals with this work, so much so that each song will come out with a clip. See interview in the video above.
“It’s not an album for people to just listen to, it’s an album for people to watch, it’s to see the Amazon, the sound system, the forest,” he explains to G1.
“We want to bring all these emotions, because Brazil needs to know this new Brazilian music produced in the North, which is not stereotyped and is already there in 2050”.
Gaby Amarantos releases ‘Purakê’, second album of her career — Photo: Divulgação/Rodolfo Magalhães
“Purakê”, a name that alludes to the electric fish in the Amazon, shows Gaby Amarantos that she is already known, but also new paths that her nearly 10-year career opened up in feats or tracks she sings alone.
The album begins with “Última Lágrima”, with the participation of Dona Onete, Elza Soares and Alcione. The track is described by the singer as a “blessing from the holy trinity of music”.
“Arreda”, a track she shares with Leona Vingativa and Viviane Batidade, is a “sound of sound system”, as the artists sing.
“It’s a scream. It’s the same scream that Caetano gave when he said that ‘Bossa Nova is awesome’. Bossa Nova is awesome, bregafunk is awesome, funk is awesome, tecnobrega is awesome and the styles of the periphery are the styles that feed this country”.
In the interview below, she talks more about the album that was inspired by Beyoncé’s “Black is King”, the new phase in television as a judge for “The Voice Kids” and the first impressions of the recordings of “Beyond Illusion”, upcoming 6 pm soap opera.
G1 – It’s nine years between “Treme”, his debut album, and “Purakê”. Looking at it like this is a long time, but you haven’t stopped working in these years. When did the desire and focus to make this 2nd album appear?
Gaby Amarantos – It came from the moment I found the right person, which is Jaloo. I wanted to show more than what I had already done, but I also wanted to have a little bit of what I’ve already done.
When I say that I want to make a song with a sound system party atmosphere in Beiradão or another one with a river beach nature sound, by Alter do Chão, he knows what I’m talking about, so that makes a lot of difference.
Gaby Amarantos spent days in the middle of the Amazon to write songs for ‘Purakê’ — Photo: Reproduction/Twitter/GabyAmarantos
G1 – It’s true, you can clearly see these two sides, one that is more root, let’s say, with tecnobrega, but you also go along other paths throughout the album. What do you want to show with these new songs?
Gaby Amarantos – It’s a lot of the whole range that is the Amazon, the music of the North. We have to understand that this music is plural, modern, branches and is avant-garde. There’s ‘fuleragem’ music, there’s music to cry on, there’s music with poetry, there’s music to shake your shoulder. It also says a lot about what Gaby is, because I understand myself as many and I have to give vent to all of them.
The album starts with a blessing from the “holy trinity of music”: Dona Onete, Elza Soares and Alcione. For me, they are three great icons that bless us and are also there to remind us of the importance of older women, of experience, of living.
Gaby Amarantos launches ‘Purakê’ — Photo: Publicity/Rodolfo Magalhães
G1 – There are several partnerships on this album, in addition to the opening track: Ney Matogrosso, Urias, Luedji Luna, Liniker, Viviane Batação, Leona Vingativa, Potyguara Bardo. Was your initial idea to make an album with a lot of guests or did things get rolling?
Gaby Amarantos – It was happening. In fact, we even thought a lot that it was the “back album” and it had to be “Gaby’s 100% Gaby album”.
But when the songs were ready, I listened and thought “Opará” is the face of Luedji Luna, it would be so good to have her singing. Then I said: have you thought about Liniker singing “Amor pra Recordar”? It was going to be amazing. I had to have someone from Pará to sing that tecnobrega [“Arreda“], because I have to open doors for other artists. And then things happened…
G1 – When you broke out in 2012, there was a lot of regional music label. Do you feel that somehow it still exists or are you in a language that people understand as pop these days?
Gaby Amarantos – The language has always been very pop, so much so that you saw that Pabllo Vittar recorded several tecnobregas, several songs from Pará. I think we’re in a moment to feed back on these movements that come from the periphery, but my commitment is not to make this periphery forgotten, erased or made invisible.
I have other projects that I intend to do to show this and Purakê is an opening. “Arreda”, which says “open the wheel”, is a cry, it is the same cry that Caetano gave when he said that “Bossa Nova is awesome”.
Bossa Nova is awesome, bregafunk is awesome, funk is awesome, tecnobrega is awesome and the styles of the periphery are the styles that feed this country. We have to build a lot, that’s why “Purakê” is not an album for people to just listen to, it’s an album for people to watch too.
I’m going to bring this Amazon, the sound system, the forest and it’s all very modern. What we are proposing for the guys to see is very beautiful.
At a certain point, you will get up and dance, when you play “Rolha”, but when you play “Rio” you will think of the forest.
We want to bring all these emotions, because Brazil needs to know this new Brazilian music produced in the north, which is not stereotyped and is already there in 2050.
Cover of the single ‘Tchau’, by Gaby Amarantos with Jaloo — Photo: Publicity
G1 – Nice when you say you want to bring other artists from Pará with you. Who do you highlight in the new scene in Pará?
Gaby Amarantos – There are a lot of people. The composers who are with me on this album, Arthur Espíndola, Renato Rosas, Lucas Estrela, Jaloo. They all have solo work.
Laboyoung, an artist who already has publications in international magazines, campaigns for big brands, Lucas Gouveia who does animation, Romário, these boys are all from the periphery. Some gays all boiled, a crowd that is out there that people who are Brazilians don’t even know yet, you know?
Many of these people are on the album, because I believe that “Purake”, very inspired by what Beyoncé did on “Black is King”, where she brought many African artists from all walks of life to be part of the process with her.
It is an album that has many artists who are not from Pará, the North and the entire Brazil. Many LGBT artists, peripherals. There are a lot of hands I want to help give visibility to.
Cover of the album ‘Purakê’, by Gaby Amarantos — Photo: Disclosure
G1 – The cover has an image that refers to the land, to the forest. What message do you want to send her?
Gaby Amarantos – I want to convey the idea that this land, this origin, this Purakê is 50 years from now. It is there for us to reflect: How will this forest, this world, this planet, our loves, our relationships be 50 years from now?
Are we going to burn everything? Are we going to end our rivers? But the songs don’t talk about Rio, they don’t talk about burns. How are we going to reflect this Amazon of the future, this Afro-Amazon riverside?
G1 – It’s a good questioning even more with everything we’re going through.
Gaby Amarantos – But we give back with art, beauty and intelligence, because we need to be strategic.
There is an indigenous philosophy of life that says that while half of the tribes are on the front lines with their bows and arrows, preventing this forest from being burned or trying to put out this fire, while the other half are partying, they are sleeping, resting and dreaming.
It is only through the replenishment of energy that the party, that art, that food gives us, that we can get the strength to continue fighting, and this relay is extremely important.
“Purakê” comes to bring this, to bring this ability to have fun, to reflect and to dream, to be supplied with so much beautiful content that we are preparing, beautiful, breathing and talking: “Damn, it’s necessary to keep fighting, dreaming, living and loving”.
Carlinhos Brown, Gaby Amarantos and Michel Teló are judges of ‘The Voice Kids’ — Photo: Globo/João Miguel Júnior
G1 – Now talking a little about television, how is the experience as a judge of ‘The Voice Kids’ being?
Gaby Amarantos – Is too beautiful. How nice it is to see those professional children already knowing what they want and with so much talent. I learn a lot, I feel very privileged and I am exercising a very loving side of myself.
People have told me that I am very affectionate with children, that I have a lot of musical knowledge. It’s delicious.
G1 – After having participated in soap operas, you are in the cast of “Além da Ilusão”. Tells a little more about the expectation, the first days of recording. Acting was already an old desire, right?
Gaby Amarantos – I already have jobs, I’ve done series, there’s a movie of mine that I hope comes out by next year. But this telenovela dynamic is something I really wanted to do even to understand the structure.
My first impressions of the novel are that I have a lot to learn. It’s very early, I know very little about the structure, but I’m being welcomed. I want to learn, I am very willing to learn.
IT’S [preciso] a lot of professionalism, a lot of preparation. I’m like that in a moment of fullness, because I never imagined that all these wonderful things would happen at this moment, when our country is so badly treated, when people are so discouraged, without hope.
Gaby Amarantos talks about career news and expectations for The Voice Kids