Arts, Culture & Media

Global Hit - Beto Villares

In Brazil, when musicians want a producer who is knowledgable, artistic, and can get the job done, they know who to turn to.

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When Brazilian television and cinema want a composer to add edge and hipness to their productions, they know who to turn to.

His name is Beto Villares.

He's a music producer who has now stepped out with his own solo CD. Just from this track alone, "Rio da Bossa Nova", you can hear why Beto Villares is in demand.

It's a classic bossa nova. It thrives on lounge music nostalgia. But it speaks in the present tense.

And Beto Villares doesn't just have his finger on the pulse of Brazil today. Nor does he limit himself to the urban sophistication of Rio and Sao Paolo.

In his composition "Meio Dia Em MacapA", or my day in Macapa, Villares travels sonically to northeast Brazil. That's where the city of Macapa is located.

You could call Beto Villares Mr. Brazil. In the 1990s, he set out across his country for many of the same reasons that American Alan Lomax did. To listen to, and record, the full gamut of Brazilian roots music.

The purpose of Villares's travels was to research a documentary called "Musica do Brasil."

It was a user-friendly though scholarly survey of Brazil's music.

It helped Brazilians better understand that their country's sounds are more than Brazilian pop, bossa nova and samba.

It also didn't hurt that Beto Villares could interpret both eclectic and mainstream sounds. And now all those varied styles that Villares discovered on the road ten years ago are part of his production pallette.

One of the most seductive tracks on the album is "Lume." The vocalists have a whispery Swingle Singers sound. The music has both low-fi grit and hi-fi coolness.

It's Brazil today.

At least when the country's music is moulded by the hands of Beto Villares.

For The World, I'm Marco Werman.