Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova began on the tropical beaches of Rio de Janeiro in the late 1950s, when a small group of mainly middle-class students, artists and musicians came together to create a new sound. Bossa Nova was a soft samba based on traditional Brazilian music and rhythms, American jazz and a new style of Portuguese lyrics. It was a youthful celebration of romance, beach culture and sensual pleasure.

Whatever happened in Rio, Americans latched onto Brazil’s ‘New Beat’. In 1962, there was a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Bossa Nova craze had arrived. In 1964, American Stan Getz recorded ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ with João Gilberto and his wife Astrud on vocals, along with Tom Jobim, the song’s co-composer, on piano.

The album Getz/Gilberto spent 96 weeks in the US charts and ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ would become the world’s second most played song behind the Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ (ABC 2011).

So with that background on how Bossa Nova came about let’s look at some artists, particularly how Bossa Nova has adapted to other cultures.

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Bia Krieger Is a Brazilian born singer who lives in France and Quebec. She sings in French, Portuguese and Spanish and currently has four albums. She creates mixes between bossanova or samba rhythms and French language, pop flavours sung in South American style, and some very Brazilian or afro-Brazilian songs.

Fast Pace

Slow

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2raumwohnung is a German pop duo founded in 2000 in Berlin. The two members have had 6 albums with the last being released in 2009 so hopefully they will have some new material out soon. Some of their songs do steer clear from the Bossa Nova style but this song below is a unique example.


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Amanda Martinez is known for her trademark warm vocals, and melodies rich with her Mexican/South African heritage bring a wonderful spin on Bossa Nova. On a side note she has just given birth to two beautiful babies, Sofia and Oliver. A big congratulations to her. In this song below I really like Amanda’s gentle yet rich voice. For more information on her you can visit her website, (Click Here).


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Paulo Corrêa de Araujo, also known as Moska or Paulinho Moska born in Rio De Janerio in 1967 is a Brazilian singer, composer and actor. His song Admiracao whisks me away to somewhere far from the Australian cold winter. The rhythmic beat and talented guitar playing evokes the imagery of the song and Paulinho’s gentle story telling voice carries it. A really lovely example of Bossa Nova.

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The whispy gentle voice of this next artist from South Korea is perfect when you want to relax with a warm drink on a lazy afternoon. Na Heekyung sounds just as beautiful performing live as she does in this recording below. Initially debuting in Korea as part of a duo called Bossa Dabang, her passion eventually led her to Rio De Janeiro. Accompanied with merely her guitar and her music, she convinced the house musicians of the infamous Vinicius Bar (notorious for their Bossa Nova music scene) to allow her to perform in front of the harshest critics of Bossa Nova music, the people who had created the genre in the first place – Brazilians. The mesmerising quality of her voice in combination with her determination and passion for Bossa Nova music has granted her acceptance into the local Brazilian music scene, with recognition by no less than one of the founders of Bossa Nova: Roberto Menescal (and Bossacucanova). The album ‘Heena’ is the product of collaboration between Na Hee Kyung and the finest Brazilian producers and musicians. It is a product of collaboration between two distinct cultures united by a passion for Bossa Nova.

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This song from South Korea is by Ubare’s Picnic and serves as a nice little break from some of the slower songs. It’s cute and up beat and accompanied by a very creative music video. Though not exclusively a Bossa Nova artist, some of Ubare’s Picnic’s songs are certainly influenced by the genre.

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Though this story certainly isn’t as dramatic and uplifting as that of Nee Ha Kyung (which let’s face it, should really be eternalised in some sort of movie or mini-drama), Sorri is bass-player turned Bossa-Nova singer-songwriter with a lot of firsts under her belt. I would write more, but this lovely interview of Sorri (Click Here) does her much more justice than I could. One of my favourite songs would have to be this one. A perfect mixture of pop and Bossa Nova to create something that is entirely Sorri.

Feel free  to highlight any Bossa Nova that you love from around the world in the comments below.. 


Just a small credit and thank you to Khammy for helping me with this post.

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