Multi-instrumentalist Ricardo Bacelar has recently released his brand new album ‘Sebastiana’, a collection of sounds influenced by different musicians, and instruments. However, the main theme is seemingly Brazilian, which suits, as leading man Ricardo is from Fortaleza in Brazil.
We got the chance talk to Ricardo about the life he has lived leading up to this time, and how he feels about where he is now:
Q: At what age did you start to really take music seriously, When did you know that’s what you wanted to do?
A: The piano has always been very present in my life since childhood. My father plays the piano and used to sit me on his lap to play with him since I was a baby. I started studying music at the age of 5 and after studying harmony, ‘still an adolescent’, I began to accompany some Brazilian singers. The music began to take up a lot of space in my life and I was gradually entering the world of recording studios and concerts.
Q: What has inspired you most throughout your career?
A:Keith Jarret, who opened my mind to wide improvisation, a specific training that promotes its creativity. The second one is Chick Corea, which mixes various colours and influences, creating an environment with a lot of personality. The last one is the Brazilian Egberto Gismonti.
Q: Over the years, what has proven to be difficult or challenging?
A:I understand that coherence and discourse are important pillars. I understand that the musician should not remain in a comfortable zone. They need to push their boundaries, recycle, advance in their studies, and try to record discs that have pre-set concepts that bring together elements that add value to their music.
Q: And finally, as a musician, what is your definition of success?
A: Success is being able to touch what you like and have a faithful audience. In fact, success is not what you do, but what you did.
We briefly sat down to talk to singer-songwriter, performer and Genre bending artist, Ms Mohammed.
Talking about the release of her latest E.P., she spoke to us about her origins, where she draws inspiration from and what she aims to do with her interesting fused music.
Q: So, Thank you for sitting down with us. Firstly can you tell us, where was your start? Where did you come from?
A: I grew up in Trinidad surrounded by soca, reggae, chutney, pop chart radio, gospel music via my Christian parents, steel pan from the pan yard a few hundred feet from my house. Music was constant in many forms, but it wasn’t until my parents split up and my Dad went to NY that I discovered the guitar music that would go on to inﬂuence my sound to this day.
Q: How do you perceive labels? How do you want people to see you?
A: The world we do live in is the one that has labelled me, feminist, queer, female, feminine, South Asian, immigrant, controversial last name, provocative. I’m just trying to live authentically.
Q: Have you encountered any one who disagrees with you and is unfair to you, due to your views?
A: To be honest I don’t think they’ve discovered I exist yet! But I am bracing for it; it comes with the territory when just being who you are out loud upsets the status quo.
Q: Your creative process! What does it include, how do you write your songs? Where do you draw influence from?
A: I tend to go to my well-worn, but much loved, Pearl export drum kit ﬁrst. Most of the songs are born out of rhythms created on kick, snare, hi hat. I ﬁnd a groove I dig and run with that. Then I write guitar parts, bass line, vocal melody and lyrics tend to be last. I’m a huge control freak with strong ideas about what each element should sound like, so I record demos using Logic X and take that to the studio to my engineer so he knows what I’m after sound wise for the ﬁnal product
Q: And finally, what is the ultimate goal? Where do you want your music to go?
A: I’m bored of its current state to be frank. There’s too much mind-blowing talent and music on this planet for us to be presented with anything this dull, safe and beige 24/7.
With her E.P. ‘Alibi’ recently being released, she is ready to take on the world.
India Mãe da Lua, a multi-instrumentalist with no formal music training of any kind, is the focus of a new album from Kalibé , a musical collective who have been mentioned in the same breath as Grammy-guzzling, World Music phenomenon, The Buena Vista Social Club. We spoke to the album’s producer, Matteo Crugnola about the difficulties and inspiration the project brought..
“Of course I’m a fan of Ry Cooder and you’re not the first one to find this similarity. More than Buena Vista Social Club I would say his album with Ali Farka Toure, “Talking Timbuktu”, maybe because of the common African roots with the [first] album “La Danse d’Harmattan”.
Ry Cooder is a great guitarist and producer and I’m not even worth the comparison [we beg to differ!]. But of course, he has explored world music with great success, meeting and recording with some of the greatest musicians of different cultures. I also love his Indian album “A meeting by the River” [with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt] , where guitar, sitar and tabla dialogue together as though they belong to the same tradition.
That’s the power of music: the power to unite and transcend cultural barriers. Power to communicate at a deep level with people who don’t even speak your language and to create a sense of community.
That’s surely the spirit also of Kalibé.
But -as I said- I am not Ry Cooder and we also don’t have the same budget! There are so many amazing musicians around (it doesn’t necessary mean also famous), I had the great luck to meet a few and they have been open, generous and happy to become part of the Kalibé family. To be honest, in the last album there are not so many collaborations, since it’s focused on India Mae da Lua. Most tracks is just her and me. The next album will have many more people involved and won’t be focused on just one person; but India Mae da Lua deserved a full album!
I think nowadays we are getting used to living in a multi-cultural society, to share a flat with, for example, an Indian student, a Korean engineer and a Ghanaian refugee and slowly starting to mix our habits: to start adding Indian spices on a French salad, than having some sushi and a Mexican guacamole. Kalibè goes in that direction.
So, I think it’s more of an open attitude that brought me to know other musicians, rather than a process of research and discovery.
I’ve never called a musician I don’t know to propose a recording collaboration or to hire him for a recording session. It’s more genuine friendship and sharing the same message, or the will to do music together. I met India Mae da Lua in Spain more than 10 years ago when we were both street musicians (she was in Spain to represent Brazil in a musical event, then decided to stay there a few months). I described our meeting in the website ( https://www.kalibemusic.com/music). A few months before meeting her, I met Ermanno Panta who’s the co-founder of Kalibé. We are close friends and have done many gigs together – he also participated in all my albums. He spent one year working in Burkina Faso in 2010 and started playing with all the best musicians of the country, then he invited me to go there to play together, to get to know African music an maybe create a band together.
We didn’t even mean to record an album or to write those songs…it’s been the magic of that moment, it just happened! We were staying in an old house and, as people started to know that there were two “white” musicians in that place, local musicians started to appear just to play together! In other cultures, music is a way of communicating and having fun together, something to share easily with great humbleness and laughter. That’s also the spirit of Kalibé, we don’t go to big studios for recordings (we don’t have the budget!) but try to use high-quality microphones and equipment. In Burkina Faso, our “studio” was the same bedroom where we were sleeping. The hardest thing is to get moments of silence.
Once in Italy, I spend a lot of time selecting and editing recorded material in order to make sure the audio quality is the highest possible and the mastering has been done in one of the best studios in Italy by experienced professionals.
So, it’s never -I mean not even once – been difficult to unite, nor I should say, have I ever perceived so much difference between us. There’s much more in what people share than in what makes the difference. And I always try to see differences as a source of richness”