Monday, 03 December 2018 16:31

Interview with Tiê Alves

Written by Geisa Fernandes

The urban troubadour: why Tiê Alves is one of the most interesting artists of the new Brazilian popular music.

Tiê Alves updates the concept of the troubadour blending the best of the MPB (the Brazilian popular music) tradition with a urban touch, which in this case means the mega metropolis of São Paulo. The cultural melting pot of the city and its oppressive immensity are the background for inventive melodies and original lyrics performed with a blasé-yet-shy allure simply impossible to resist.

(GF) When did your contact with music start?

(TA) I began when I was a child. My mother played guitar and sang to me and my father was always very musical. At home, we heard a lot of music, mainly Brazilian music, but also The Beatles among other genres. My sister plays, as well: flute, percussion and double bass, but she works with graphic design. By the way, she developed the cover and all the artwork of my first album. I was 16 when I became interested in playing the guitar and decided to take classes. By that time, I was a huge fan of rock bands such as Nirvana and Pink Floyd. So I set up a band with my high school friends, started playing and never stopped since then. The guitar seduced me right from the start because of its versatility, but also because it is a very intimate instrument that must be kept very close to the body. It is said that the guitar “searches” for the most introspective personalities, for the shy people.

(GF) How about your musical education? Who were your mentors and influences?

(TA) I went to college and got a degree in Music at the Faculty of Arts Alcântara Machado. I also studied singing and Brazilian folk guitar, that we call “viola caipira”. I did this training as a musician, but in parallel I composed regularly. Creation has always been very important to me. Gradually, I joined other partners and developed my composition, but it all started in a very intuitive way. I was mainly influenced by Brazilian musicians, such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento. After I have built a repertoire of original songs, in 2014 I recorded my first album: O Rio e a Lua (The River and the Moon).

(GF) And how was the production of your debut album?

(TA) It was a great learning experience. Since it was my first one, I literally learned by doing. Fortunately, I had a super talented producer named Ana Rodrigues, who understood my concept and brought a lot of information in terms of arrangements.

(GF) Any coming projects?

(TA) I'm producing my second album, “Tá Osso” (Tough Break, on a free translation) produced by guitarist Luiz Cláudio Sousa. This album has been crowdfunded and it has a strong influence of Jazz. The idea for the name came from an idiom usually used in Brazil to describe financial problems, but in the song, it describes a person who is head-over-heels.

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Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

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