Artists Worth Checking Out: Ceu Might Be the Taylor Swift of Brazil
Born on April 17, 1980 as Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças, Ceu’s name simply means “sky” and “heaven” in Portuguese. Her father was a composer and arranger who helped Ceu learn and appreciate classical music at an early age.
In a 2007 interview by Adriana Garcia and translated six years later by the Reuters news agency, she said:
“I have a passion for black culture, from Jazz divas to Afro beat(s). Everything comes from Africa. With samba, I have a very strong connection to the old school that we call “Samba de raiz” (Root Samba). I am a vinyl listener…mixing it with modern things like rap or even “Brega”, which is the newest thing in Brazil (popular culture).”
By the time her teenage years ended, she spent some time in the United States learning the culture and learn under the guidance of Antonio Pinto. In 2006, Ceu was nominated for a Latin Grammy as Best New Artist and would later win a Multishow Award for Best Disc Burning (I kid you not).
Tropix is her fifth album released on March 25, 2016 and the music definitely has her placed in a similar way shadowing the popularity of Taylor Swift when the release of her uber-popular 1989 album and subsequent tour can also be matched in terms of the voice and her marketability in her home country.
The album shares some synthpop beats like what you would hear in a dance club, along with some nice slow beat songs perfect for cuddling up with your lover on a Friday or Saturday night.
My favorite songs are on Track 5 titled “Etilica/Interludio” and “Sangria” on Track 9. The beats flow like a running wave and the tone of her voice feels both easygoing and good-natured. Prior to this release, she released a greatest hits DVD in the popular Ao Vivo series which is available online in some parts of Brazil for easy shipping to any home or apartment in the United States.
It has been a full decade since Starbucks customers noticed her as the first non-American artist to be featured in their jazz compilation CD’s. And all indications are in what limited news comes out of Brazil, Ceu is definitely on her way to super MPB stardom.
Come Valentine’s Day, more romantic vibes will flow across your smartphones and computer screens. Look for a nice album review just in time for the most romantic day of the year. And if you are lucky enough to enjoy it with that special someone, I hope you can find the album and stream it online for some pleasurable tracks that both tug on the heart and stir up the soul.
See you all then. Please make this a great weekend.