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Updated by Charlotte Markham on May 04, 2018
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Butt-Shaking Brazilian Music

Brazil is renown for samba, but few people know that there are incredible genres of music specific to Brazil. This is a list of the best of Brazilian legends to give you a taste of the tropical paradise and musical genenius that is Brazil.

Brazilian Music Playlist – including Musica Popular Brasileira, Ska and Forró

Brazil is renown for its party vibes and lively musical scene. This selection of Brazilian music is the crème de la crème of contemporary Brazilian Legends. Use this list to your hearts content: blast it at a rave, lay some smooth background tunes at your dinner party or use it to work up a sweat on your jog.

Brazilian Music Playlist – including Musica Popular Brasileira, Ska and Forró

Brazil is renown for its party vibes and lively musical scene. This selection of Brazilian music is the crème de la crème of contemporary Brazilian Legends. Use this list to your hearts content: blast it at a rave, lay some smooth background tunes at your dinner party or use it to work up a sweat on your jog.

Legião Urbana – Indios

The lead singer of this 80s rock band Renato Russo was a lyrical genius. If you listen hard you’ll see that the lyrics tell stories, that can last up to 10 minutes never repeating a verse. Sadly, Renato died of HIV in and his band broke up, however, the songs and their messages still resonate today.

Caetano Veloso – Meia Lua Inteira

This guy has the remarkable voice and his story adds to his compelling music. Exiled in the dictatorship, he now performs with his son’s band to a more hipster crowd. Anything he sings is transformed, injecting life into even mundane songs. Check out album Fina Estampa, an album of  Spanish songs he covered flawlessly and just fall in love the continent. Then try to put your credit cards away as you try to buy a plane ticket over here… or don’t.

Paralamas do Sucesso – Ska

Another immensely popular Brazilian rock band that mixes Latino and ska beats with an impressive variety of instruments that plays sweet music to your ears. The lead singer suffered a plane crash in 2001, which left him in a wheelchair, though that could never stop him jamming away and now the band is as popular as ever performing to sold-out crowds.

Marisa Monte – Gentileza

Marisa has an impressive voice like a silver, samba harp, whatever you imagine that could be. Nowadays, she has formed a new trio band with other renowned Carlinhos Brown and Arnaldo Antunes called Os Tribalistas, that took Brazil by storm a few years back.

Novos Baianos – Preta Pretinha

Bahia is a state that just keeps popping out musicians (Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa). They have a flavourful, raggae-hippie-tropical sounds that will have dreaming of the laid back beaches.

Skank – Garota Nacional

I was split between putting up two songs for Skank, but it’s my blog so also check out Vamos Fugir, you’ll recognise a little inspiration from Bob Marley in there. Skank have been going strong since the 90s and the video for Garota Nacional will give you a pretty accurate taste of what Brazil was like then, oh so very free.

Gilberto Gil – Maracatu Atómico

One of the founders of Tropicália, him and his best buddy Caetano were exiled during the Brazilian dictatorship. They went to London and got a wee bit depressed with the weather and their over whelming saudade (nostalgia) for Brazil. Check out this adorable gig they performed together in 2015. Gilberto also has a superstar daughter Bela Gil – check out her endeavors and other great Brazilian women here.​

Milton Nascimento – Para Lennon e Mccartney

Hailing from my favourite Minas Gerais, Nascimento was adopted as a child and grew to be one of the most beloved classics. He plays Brazilian music that often tinges on social issues in Brazil. He was even known to write lyrics against the dictatorship, hidden within word puns.

Elis Regina – Como Nossos Pais

This gal was an extremely talented singer, who gave spine chilling performances. Her voice is stunning and you can see some of her feminist ferocity captured in video recordings. Sadly, Elis died of an overdose at just 36.

Luiz Gonzaga  – O Xote das Meninas

Brazilian folk music at its best. Accordion, deep northeastern voice, feijão, arroz, fórro and I’m ready for a night of nostalgic countryside Brazilian music.

Roberto Carlos –  Eu Te Amo

This king has reserved forever the prime New Years Eve concert, that seems obligatory for Brazilian fam-bams.He also sings gospel tunes, is a bonafide silver fox and has one leg. What a legend.