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Mart’nália: The Art of Love and Beauty in Music

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Mart'nália photographed by Marta Azavedo

RdG: Does your father have a big influence on your music? I’m sure it helps to have grown up in a house with so much music.

M’n: Yes, he was a major influence in my music and I love and cherish all the experiences with him. At home, growing up there were other influences as well and I love them all. In my teenage years there was a lot of listening to music from Motown… And there was also a lot of Caetano and Gilberto Gil, and, of course, Djavan…

Mart'nália and Martinho da Vila photographed by Cristina Granato
Mart’nália and Martinho da Vila photographed by Cristina Granato in December 2014 at Academia Carioca de Letras

RdG: As for yourself, where do you think the music comes from? The heart, the head or the whole body?

M’n: I love dancing… and so for me, I am going to say: ‘from the whole body… [Now she lets out a long and melodic laugh].

RdG: I asked that question because you are a creation of samba… no?

M’n: Yes! You got it! See… I still play percussion, right… [more laughter]

RdG: Is it more difficult or less difficult to make music today [since your father’s time]?

M’n: No… It’s not difficult at all… Making music… the creation… that is never difficult. I mean, look at my father; he just keeps composing even today!

RdG: Does the environment in Brasil make things difficult?

M’n: To begin with I think Brasil has an excellent geography. I mean we are blessed; we don’t have earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanoes… We love life and live according to the times. It is true that there are a lot of bad people responsible for directing the country right now… that’s so true!

RdG: Besides your father, who do you most admire?

M’n: There is a long list of musicians, but to mention a few: Djavan, Gilberto Gil, Caetano, Steve Wonder, Ella [Fitzgerald]; and then there’s also Nana Caymmi and Alcione… as far as people outside of music I do admire Pope Francis and Dr. Martin Luther King.

For me Vinicius means love. He idolises and praises the woman in his lyrics. Our sufferings as women is translated and transformed into beauty! His poetry is life-giving to me!

RdG: How is the record being sold today? [Too bad you can’t travel a lot to promote it because of COVID-19 …]

M’n: Right now, there is almost no sale of CDs, but it still managed to fulfill my every expectations in terms of awards* and the public’s response. I even managed to tour a bit to promote it.

RdG: Are you already thinking about the next project? Or is it too soon?

M’n: It’s a bit soon right now; we still have to see how this one works out. This one still has to have its time to be studied and so on… Maybe release a few tracks on an EP… we shall see.

RdG: I want to acknowledge that you are also a brilliant percussionist. Will you make someday make a recording where you are singing and playing percussion?

M’n: First of all, thank you for your kind words. Yes, it’s true – I do play percussion and I love to. I have already done so on several of my CDs and DVDs of live performances.

RdG: Abraço, Mart’nália… Abraços ao Mestre Martinho também… [Hug, Mart’nália… Hugs to Mestre Martinho too…]

M’n: Muito obrigado vou dizer a ele… [Thank you very much I will tell him …]

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Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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