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A Conversation with CéU (continued)

C: What I think about my record and this scene is that we have a scene that looks a lot into the past music, the roots music.

PM: Right.

C: The old school kind of things in Brazil. And this is really rich. And we like to listen to this scene, and to combine it with our influences, which is a lot of the Jamaican music and Afro beat. So we do this mixture. My album is its own thing, of course, but there are styles that mix funk and samba, rock and samba, and like that, you know.

So yeah, I think it's really amazing. I wish that we could show, outside Brazil, our real music. But yeah, it's doing well. Slowly we will show. [laughs]

PM: It's amazing how your career is building steadily, but it seems to be gathering a lot of momentum right now. Starbucks did a lot of good, and you're selling a lot of records now. Isn't that right?

C: Yeah, it's amazing. It's really great.

PM: And so you just arrived to the States for this tour. Are you very excited? Is America an important place to conquer, or just another place to go tour?

C: We were actually here two months ago, with the whole band, which was really great. We love being here in America. And we love it because we were kind of--how do you say--apprehensive?

PM: Apprehensive, yeah.

C: Yeah. Because I consider America very unfamiliar with languages other than English.

PM: Right. That's true.

C: We've been to France already and Holland and in Europe, they have a lot of interest on Brazilian music. But everybody was really receptive with us here, too. We love it. And this tour that we are going to start tomorrow, it's just a pocket show, and I will be opening for other artists.

PM: Who are you opening for?

C: Rodrigo y Gabriela. [a great Mexican act, www.rodgab.com]      

PM: Ah. And so when you open for them in this tour, will you be opening with a small band?

C: With a small band, only two musicians; because my band, we are six, actually, on stage.

PM: So when you're on the little tour with your two musicians, what do they play with you?

C: What do we play?

PM: Yeah, what instruments will the two musicians play?

C: There's a percussionist, who also uses a lot of samples and things, like effects. And the bass player of my band when we do the acoustic show, the smaller show, he plays the guitar.

PM: Wow, the bass player plays guitar in the small show, and the percussionist does all the samples. Any turntable stuff?

C: With the whole band we have a special guy that does the turntables, and he is a very important person because he also puts my own backing vocals in, you know, he do these crazy effects with my own vocals.

PM: Oh!

C: But on the opener show, it will just be really simple. It's different from the album because it's impossible to produce the same sound of the album with three musicians.

PM: Of course. But is it still fun, the small band? Because it's its own thing.

C: Yeah, I love it. They're all really close friends of mine, since we've played together since we were kids.

PM: Oh, really?

C: Yeah, so it's nice. We are always having fun together.

PM: Oh, that's so amazing. Hey, what is that beautiful little instrument at the beginning of "Malemolência"?

C: That is a cavaquinho.

PM: Is that like a mandolin?

C: It's kind of a mandolin. But cavaquinho is a really tiny guitar, acoustic. And it's a very traditional Brazilian instrument for samba.

PM: Right. That's a great sounding instrument. I got to get one of those.




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