Contemporary music –in Brazil, France and elsewhere- has been greatly influenced by social media, video sharing and music streaming, all trademarks of the 2000s and beyond. Specifically for Brazilian music, this globalizing phenomena has had positive, as well as deleterious consequences: increased foreign songs topping the charts on one side, but also Brazilian mainstream music massively available to the rest of the world. The proof: songs like Mc Fioti’s “Bum Bum TamTam” with more than 1 billion! views on YouTube, and Michel Teló’s “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” with over 800 million views…

Despite globalization, Brazil internal music market has seen a meteoric increase in popularity of regional rhythms during this period, mainly sertanejo. Actually, sertanejo is Brazilian audiences‘ preferred music genre .

No one can deny that Brazil is a country with a powerful musical history. Going through all its music repertoire while preparing this series of articles, I can’t help but admire even more its distinct and perennial beauty. Are things changing though? Is Brazilian music going through a phase of decadence? This is an ongoing debate in the country nowadays… Many music critics are definite: today’s consumer society –they believe- leads to “consumable music”; moreover, they blame the universal predominance of sertanejo as responsible for the lack of musical diversification nowadays. “We always had good music and bad music in Brazil -says one critic- but there was a balance. At this time, at least 90% of what record companies release is totally disposable”. Some go even further and state that pagoda, sertanejo and electronic forró are “a tsunami of musical trash unprecedented in the history of Brazilian music”. Other critics are more optimistic. Véronique Mortaigne, writing an article in The Guardian, states that: “Brazil is surfing a musical new wave that is now reaching Europe”, making emphasis on the quality of certain musicians’ work “not afraid to mix the old and the new, irritating a few purists along the way”.

The debate could go on forever. What is certain is that there are still many bright examples of fine Brazilian music. Check out my list with some of the most remarkable songs of the 2000-2010s, go ahead and Brazilify” your playlist!

87) Bebel Gilberto – “Samba da Bênção” (2000) 

Bebel Gilberto is an extremely talented bossa nova singer, and it couldn’t be otherwise: she is the daughter of Joao Gilberto and Miucha, and the niece of Chico Buarque

She became worldwide known after the release of her amazing album Tanto Tempo.  This particular song was written by Vinicius de Moraes and Baden Powell; it was featured in the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Read more here.


88) Pato Fu – “Ando meio desligado” (2001) 

This psychedelic anthem was composed by the iconic band Os Mutantes in 1970; it was listed by Rolling Stone Brazil as the 50th greatest Brazilian song.

Of the many re-recordings the song has had, I like this one, by the Belo Horizonte band Pato Fu.


89) Gabriel o Pensador – “Até Quando?(2001) 

Known for his intellectual and controversial lyrics, rapper Gabriel o Pensador (“Gabriel the Thinker”) stepped into the limelight with his provocative composition “Tô Feliz (Matei o Presidente)” [I’m Happy (I killed the President)]. He has had a highly successful career since then, topping often the charts with his gold or platinum-certified albums.

Até Quando? (“Until when?”) was released in the album Seja Você Mesmo (mas não Seja sempre o Mesmo) (“Be Yourself (but not always the same”). Its compelling lyrics address the issue of conformism. It was highly praised by most critics and received an award at Brazil’s MTV Video Music Awards.


90) Cássia Eller & Nando Reis – “Relicário” (2001)

Cássia Eller is one of the most successful pop singers/composers in Brazil. Owner of a distinctive contralto voice, she was rated as the 18th greatest vocalist by Rolling Stone Brasil.

This beautiful song was composed by Nando Reis and was included in the live album Acústico MTV, where she sings it together with Reis; it is Cássia’s final album before her death on December 29, 2001 at 39 years old.


91) Tribalistas – “Velha Infancia ” (2002)

Tribalistas is a Brazilian musical supergroup consisting of Arnaldo Antunes (ex-Titãs), Marisa Monte and Carlinhos Brown (Timbalada). Their debut collaboration resulted in the popular album Tribalistas, which attained considerable popularity in Brazil and Europe. The curious thing with this popular group is that, despite their great success, they have rarely performed together, deciding to go on a world tour just now in 2018.

Among their most popular songs are “Já Sei Namorar” (included on the video game FIFA Football 2004), “Passe em Casa“, “É Você” and “Velha Infância“, played on the Brazilian soap opera Mulheres Apaixonadas.


92) Paulinho da Viola & Marisa Monte – “Carinhoso” (2003)

Alfredo da Rocha Vianna Jr. was not yet Pixinguinha when he began to be called a prodigy, enchanting with his unusual musicality and facility for instruments and improvisations. Considered till nowadays a musical genius,  Pixinguinha is regarded as  one of the greatest Brazilian composers of popular music, particularly within the genre choro. “Carinhoso“,  was recorded in 1928 and has remained as one of the most famous melodies of Brazilian popular music. Incredibly enough, he received heavy negative criticism at that time, with complaints that it was “too Americanized.”

From Marisa Monte to Elizeth Cardoso, from Paulinho da Viola to Francisco Alves, from Elis Regina to Marcelo Camelo, dozens of artists made their impassioned interpretations of “Carinhoso”; one of my favorites is this one, by Marisa Monte and Paulinho da Viola.

93) Zeca Pagodinho – “Deixa A Vida Me Levar” (2004)

Zeca Pagodinho is a singer and songwriter considered a great name of the genre samba and pagode. He has recorded more than 20 albums and has become immensely popular, not only due to his irreverence and jocosity, bur mostly due to his rare talent, praised by critics and consecrated artists.

This song gives name to his 2004 album Deixa A Vida Me Levar (“Let life take me”), it was extremely successful, becoming double-platinum certified.


94) Sergio Mendes feat. Stevie Wonder & Gracinha Leporace – “Berimbau / Consolação ” (2006)

The berimbau is a single-string percussion instrument. Originally from Africa, it was eventually incorporated into the practice of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira. The instrument became worldwide known for being the subject matter of this song, which belongs to Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes.

Maybe one of the most famous versions of “Berimbau / Consolação ” is the one performed by Toquinho and Maria Creuza in 1970; nevertheless I love this version, featured in Sergio Mendes’ 2006 Album Timeless, with the participation of his wife, Gracinha Leporace and iconic American artist Stevie Wonder.


95) Vanessa Da Mata & Ben Harper – “Boa Sorte/Good Luck ” (2007)

Award-winning, chart-topping singer, composer, and novelist, Vanessa da Mata got her start writing songs for artists such as Maria Bethania and Daniela Mercury. Despite the strength of her voice, it took her several years until she finally decided to record her own material, releasing her self-titled debut in 2002. It was her next album, Essa Boneca Tem Manuel, however, that really pushed her into the limelight, aided by the strength of the single “Ai Ai Ai“. Three years later her third album, Sim, was released. Sim spawned the hit single “Boa Sorte/Good Luck“, a duet with Ben Harper, which peaked at number one in both Brazil and Portugal and was the most played song in Brazilian radio stations in 2008.

96) Criolo – “Subirusdoistiozin” (2011)

Criolo is a rapper and soul singer. With a career starting in 1989, he originally got a reputation as one of São Paulo most important rappers. After the release of his second album, “Nó na Orelha” (Knot in the ear), he saw his popularity grow beyond São Paulo to all Brazil and abroad, leading to a successful worldwide tour. He has been characterized as “ the most interesting and unruly representative of the Brazilian new wave”.

Nó na Orelha” mixes rap, afrobeat, hip hop, reggae, samba and brega. It received positive reviews and was considered the best national album of 2011 by the magazine Rolling Stone. From this album, “Subirusdoistiozin” (Two-Old-Guys-Died) is the most popular track; it describes the general waywardness of favela street culture.


97) Marisa Monte – “Ainda Bem” (2011)

Multi-awarded singer, composer, instrumentalist, and producer, Marisa Monte is considered one of Brazil’s greatest singers; in fact, Rolling Stone Brasil listed Monte as the second greatest singer of all time after Elis Regina. She also has two records (MM and Verde, Anil, Amarelo, Cor-de-Rosa e Carvão) among the 100 best albums of Brazilian music.

Ainda Bem (“Just as well”) belongs to her highly praised eighth record O Que Você Quer Saber de Verdade (“What do you really want to know”), was considered by Billboard Brasil the best album of 2011. Originally, “Ainda Bem” was composed by Marisa for Italian singer Mina, who included it in her 2011 album Piccolino.


98) Dominguinhos & Arthur Maia – “Lamento Sertanejo ” (2014)

An emblematic representative of the forro music genre, Dominguinhos has had success as a musician, both solo and as a sideman for consecrated artists like Luís Gonzaga, Caetano VelosoGilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Maria Bethânia. But also as a composer, he has produced hits recorded for some of the most important Brazilian artists; he has also written cinema soundtracks and has won four Prêmio Sharp Awards.

This is one of his biggest hits, composed in 1941. Initially instrumental, it was later re-recorded by Gilberto Gil, who wrote its lyrics. The song has received countless recordings and has been included in the soundtrack of several films and soap operas. The original version is beautiful; this version though, by Dominguinhos himself together with the great Brazilian bassist Arthur Maia, it’s just beguiling.


99) Adriana Calcanhotto – “Felicidade” (2015)

Adriana Calcanhotto is an MPB (Brazil popular music) singer and composer revealed in 1990, who has had great success in Brazil and helped bring MPB back to the hit parade after the 1980s’ Brazilian rock period.

Felicidade (“Happiness”) was written in 1947 by the great samba-canção composer Lupicínio Rodrigues; it was re-presented to Brazil by Caetano Veloso in 1974 who made it widely popular. Calcanhotto included it in her fourth live album Loucura (“Madness”), which is a tribute to Lupicínio Rodrigues.


100) Tiago Iorc & Milton Nascimento – “Mais Bonito Não Há” (2017)

Tiago Iorc is one of Brazil’s new talents. Singer-songwriter and record producer, with his debut album Let Yourself In, he gained notoriety after several of Tiago’s songs were featured on major Brazilian primetime soap operas, TV ads and films. Let Yourself In was also released in Japan with great success and in South Korea, where the public granted Tiago a Best Foreign Artist Award.

In 2017, he partnered with the incomparable Milton Nascimento (who declared being Tiago’s fan) and recorded some songs for the purpose of a national tour. This exquisite song (“Nothing more beautiful”) is the result of this partnership.


See also:


Μέρος 1: Η δεκαετίες του 1930, ’40 και ’50


Δείτε επίσης:

Όλοι αγαπάμε τη μουσική. Η μουσική μπορεί να αγγίξει τα πιο βαθιά μας συναισθήματα, να μας προκαλέσει χαρά, συγκίνηση ή θλίψη… Μια μελωδία μπορεί επίσης να μας ταξιδεύει: απλά και μόνο με το άκουσμά της, μπορεί να βρεθούμε “αλλού”, ή και σε άλλη εποχή! Επιπλέον, με την μουσική εμβαθύνουμε στην κουλτούρα μιας χώρας (όπως συμβαίνει και με τον κινηματογράφο, και με τη γαστρονομία). Έτσι, σήμερα σας προτείνω ένα ταξίδι στο χρόνο στη Γαλλία!

Αν θέλετε να εξασκήσετε τα γαλλικά σας, αν προσπαθείτε να κατανοήσετε την personnalité του γαλλικού λαού, ή απλώς επειδή λατρεύετε την γαλλική μουσική -όπως και εγώ-, ακούστε αυτά τα 100 τραγούδια, τα οποία είναι αντιπροσωπευτικά του πλουσίου πολιτισμού και της ιστορίας της Γαλλίας. Η λίστα χωρίζεται σύμφωνα με την δεκαετία που κυκλοφόρησαν:

  • Δεκαετίες του 1930, ’40 & ’50
  • Δεκαετία του 1960
  • Δεκαετία του 1970
  • Δεκαετία του 1980
  • Δεκαετία του 1990
  • Δεκαετία του 2000
  • 2010-2016

Amusez-vous bien!  (Καλή απόλαυση)

1) Lucienne Boyer  “Parlez-moi d’amour” (1930)

Αυτό το όμορφο τραγούδι (σημαίνει “Μίλα μου για τον έρωτα”) κέρδισε ευρεία αναγνώριση μετά την εμφάνιση του στην ταινία Casablanca. Μπορεί να το έχετε ακούσει επίσης  στο Μεσάνυχτα στο Παρίσι του Woody Allen. Το έχουν ερμηνεύσει και άλλοι Γάλλοι τραγουδιστές, ίσως η πιο γνωστή ερμηνεία είναι αυτή της Dalida.


2) Josephine Baker – “J’ai deux amours” (1931)

Αν και γεννημένη στην Αμερική, η Josephine Baker έγινε πιο γνωστή στη Γαλλία. Αυτό είναι το πιο εμβληματικό της τραγούδι, το οποίο περιλαμβάνει τις διάσημες γραμμές: “Έχω δύο αγάπες, τη χώρα μου και το Παρίσι”.


3) Fréhel – “Si tu n’étais pas là” (1934)

Η Παριζιάνα Fréhel ήταν μια από τις πιο διάσημες τραγουδίστριες της δεκαετίας του ’30 και έγινε επίσης γνωστή εξαιτίας της θυελλώδους προσωπική της  ζωής. Αυτό το όμορφο τραγούδι το ακούσαμε στην ταινία Amélie.


4) Maurice Chevalier – “Paris sera toujours Paris” (1939)

Τραγουδιστής και διάσημος ηθοποιός, ο Maurice Chevalier ήταν επίσης και αστέρι του Χόλιγουντ! Αυτό το τόσο παριζιάνικο τραγούδι (σημαίνει “το Παρίσι θα είναι πάντα το Παρίσι”) ερμηνεύτηκε πρόσφατα από την Zaz.


5) Tino Rossi – “J’attendrai” (1939)

“Θα περιμένω” έγινε μεγάλη επιτυχία στην Γαλλία κατά τη διάρκεια του Β ‘Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου (είναι η γαλλική εκδοχή του ιταλικού τραγουδιού “Tornerai”). Έχει ερμηνευτεί πολλές φορές – η πιο δημοφιλής βερσιόν είναι αυτή της Dalida– και έχει ακουστεί σε αρκετές ταινίες.


6) Léo Marjane – “Seule ce soir” (1941)

Αυτό το τραγούδι της Léo Marjane (η οποία ακόμα ζει, και είναι 104 χρονών!) θα γίνει ένα από τα πιο αγαπημένα τραγούδια της εποχής του, καθώς κατάφερε να συλλάβει τα συναισθήματα των πολλών ανθρώπων που τους είχε χωρίσει ο πόλεμος (ο τίτλος σημαίνει “Μόνη μου σήμερα το βράδυ”).


7) Charles Trenet – “La mer” (1946)

“La Mer” (Η θάλασσα) έγινε ένα τεράστιο hit μόλις κυκλοφόρησε, και από τότε θεωρείται ένα διαχρονικό, κλασικό τραγούδι της γαλλικής chanson. Έχει ακουστεί σε πολλές ταινίες και έχει διασκευαστεί σε πολλές γλώσσες.


8) Édith Piaf – “La vie en rose” (1947)

Είναι από τα πιο εμβληματικά τραγούδια της Εντίθ Πιάφ. Το έχουν ερμηνεύσει πολλοί καλλιτέχνες όλα αυτά τα χρόνια, ίσως οι πιο γνωστές διασκευές είναι αυτές του Louis Armstrong το 1950 και της Grace Jones το 1977.


9) Yves Montand – “Les feuilles mortes” (1949)

“Τα φθινοπωρινά φύλλα”, με στίχους του μεγάλου Γάλλου ποιητή Ζακ Πρεβέρ, αρχικά έγινε διάσημο από τον Yves Montand, αλλά έχουν γίνει πολλές διασκευές τα τελευταία χρόνια, το πιο διάσημα είναι αυτές των Nat King Cole, Miles Davis και Eric Clapton.


10) Jean Bretonnière – “Sous le ciel de Paris” (1951)

Το τραγούδι “Κάτω από τον ουρανό του Παρισιού” γράφτηκε για την ομώνυμη ταινία. Από τότε που βγήκε έχει διασκευαστεί ακατάπαυστα. Αξιοσημείωτες διασκευές είναι αυτές των Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Michel Legrand, και τελευταία της Zaz.


11) Juliette Gréco – “Je suis comme je suis” (1951)

Γαλλίδα ηθοποιός και δημοφιλής τραγουδίστρια του chanson, λάτρης της μόδας μποέμ των διανοούμενων της μεταπολεμικής Γαλλίας, η Gréco τραγουδά “Είμαι αυτή που είμαι”, ένα ποίημα του Ζακ Πρεβέρ, το οποίο μιλά για τις γυναίκες και την γοητεία τους, και την ανάγκη να αποδεχόμαστε τον εαυτό μας όπως είναι.


12) Yves Montand – “À Paris” (1953)

Τραγουδιστής και ηθοποιός, ο Montand έχει πρωταγωνιστεί σε πολλές αμερικάνικες ταινίες. Τα αναγνωρίσιμα τραγούδια του, ειδικά αυτά για το Παρίσι, έγιναν all time classic (το C’est si bon είναι ένα άλλο ωραίο τραγούδι). Η Zaz έχει πρόσφατα διασκευάσει αυτό το τραγούδι στο άλμπουμ της αφιερωμένο στο Παρίσι.


13) Gloria Lasso – “Étrangère au Paradis” (1955)

Αυτή είναι η γαλλική εκδοχή του “Stranger in Paradise”, ένα δημοφιλές τραγούδι από το μιούζικαλ Kismet.


14) Jacques Brel – “Ne me quitte pas” (1959)

Ο τίτλος σημαίνει “Μη μ’αφήνεις”. Είναι ένα πανέμορφο, μελαγχολικό τραγούδι από το Βέλγο τραγουδιστή-τραγουδοποιό Jacques Brel. Έχει διασκευαστεί από πολλούς Γάλλους και ξένους καλλιτέχνες (μου αρέσει πολύ η βερσιόν του Yuri Buenaventura!). Έχει μεταφραστεί σε 26 γλώσσες! Στα ελληνικά το έχει διασκευάσει ο Γιάννης Πάριος.


15) Édith Piaf – “Non, je ne regrette rien” (1959)

Αν θα έπρεπε να επιλέξω το καλύτερο γαλλικό τραγούδι όλων των εποχών, θα ήταν χωρίς καμία αμφιβολία αυτό το διαχρονικό αριστούργημα. “Όχι, δεν μετανιώνω τίποτα” είναι ένα τόσο ισχυρό και συγκινητικό τραγούδι, με τόσο μοναδικό στυλ… Δεν είναι τυχαίο πως καμία από τις πολλές διασκευές που έχουν γίνει δεν έγινε γνωστή. Αν αγαπάτε τον κινηματογράφο, θα το έχετε ακούσει στο φιλμ Inception. Σας συστήνω ανεπιφύλακτα να δείτε και την εξαιρετική αυτοβιογραφική ταινία “Ζωή σαν τριαντάφυλλο” με την καταπληκτική Μαριόν Κοτιγιάρ στο ρόλο της Piaf.

Δείτε επίσης:

YouTube playlist εδώ


100 ESSENTIAL FRENCH SONGS YOU MUST HEAR Part 1: The 1930s, 40s & 50s

best-french-songs-30-40-50-modSee also:

We all  love music. Music can touch our deep feelings, it can make us cry or smile, it empowers us… A melody can also transport us: by just listening to it, we can be right away elsewhere, or find ourselves in another time! Moreover, music helps us deepen into a country’s culture (so does cinema, or gastronomy). So, today I propose you to time travel to France!

Whether you need to practise your French, you want to (try to) understand French people’s personnalité, or you just love French music -like I do-, check out these 100 beautiful songs that are really representative of France’s rich culture and history. The list is divided by the year the songs were released:

Amusez-vous bien!  (Enjoy it!)

1) Lucienne Boyer  “Parlez-moi d’amour” (1930)

This beautiful song (means “Tell Me About Love”) gained wide recognition after featuring in the film Casablanca; you may have also heard it in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. It was also recorded by other French singers, maybe the best known is the cover by Dalida.


2) Josephine Baker – “J’ai deux amours” (1931)

Although American-born, Josephine Baker became best known in France. This was her fétiche song, which contained the famous lines: “I have two loves, my country and Paris”.


3) Fréhel – “Si tu n’étais pas là” (1934)

Parisian singer Fréhel, one of the most famous singers of the 30s -also known for her tormented personal life- sings this beautiful song, which was featured in the soundtrack of the film Amélie.


4) Maurice Chevalier – “Paris sera toujours Paris” (1939)

French actor, cabaret singer and entertainer, Maurice Chevalier was also a Hollywood star. This oh-so-Parisian song (means “Paris will always be Paris”) was recently recorded by Zaz.


5) Tino Rossi – “J’attendrai” (1939)

“I will wait” became the big French song during World War II (is actually a French version of the Italian song “Tornerai“). It has been covered many times -the most popular was  Dalida’s– and has featured in several films.


6) Léo Marjane – “Seule ce soir” (1941)

Marjane’s song (she’s now 104 years-old!) would become one of the best-loved songs of its time, as it captured the feelings of the many people who were experiencing wartime separation (the title means “Alone Tonight”).


7) Charles Trenet – “La mer” (1946)

Right after its release, “La mer” became a massive hit, and has remained a chanson classic ever since. It has been recorded in many languages (“Beyond the sea” in English) and featured in numerous films.


8) Édith Piaf – “La vie en rose” (1947)

This was Édith Piaf signature song. It has been covered by several artists over the years, including a 1950 version by Louis Armstrong; a cover version in 1977 by Grace Jones was also an international hit.


9) Yves Montand – “Les feuilles mortes” (1949)

“Autumn Leaves”, with lyrics by the great French poet Jacques Prévert, was initially made famous by Yves Montand, but it has been covered many times over the years, being the most famous those by Nat King Cole, Miles Davis and Eric Clapton.


10) Jean Bretonnière – “Sous le ciel de Paris” (1951)

The song “Under the sky of Paris” was composed for the namesake film. Since its release, it has been covered incessantly. Notable versions are those of Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Michel Legrand, and lately Zaz.


11) Juliette Gréco – “Je suis comme je suis” (1951)

French actress and popular chanson singer, devotee of the bohemian fashion of post-war France’s intellectuals, Gréco sings “I am what I am”, a poem by Jacques Prévert, which talks about women, seduction and the need to accept ourselves as we are.


12) Yves Montand – “À Paris” (1953)

Singer and actor, Montand has starred in numerous American films. His recognizably songs, especially those about Paris, became instant all-time classics (C’est si bon is another great song).  Zaz has lately covered the song in her album about Paris.


13) Gloria Lasso – “Étrangère au Paradis” (1955)

This is the French version of “Stranger in Paradise”, a popular song from the musical Kismet.


14) Jacques Brel – “Ne me quitte pas” (1959)

The title means “Don’t leave me”. It is a beautiful, melancholic song by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel. It has been covered by many French  and foreign artists (I love the one by Yuri Buenaventura!); it has also been translated into and performed in 26 languages! A well-known adaptation in English is “If You Go Away“.


15) Édith Piaf – “Non, je ne regrette rien” (1959)

If I would have to choose the best French song of all times, without any doubt it would be this timeless masterpiece. “No, I regret nothing” is a such a powerful and moving song, with so unique style; no wonder none of the many recordings attempted has become recognizable. If you love cinema, you certainly heard it in Inception; I truly recommend you to see the remarkable biographical film “La môme” (a.k.a. La vie en Rosewith amazing Marion Cotillard in the role of Piaf.

See also:

YouTube playlist here