The end of a memorable night and the arrival of a new time full of hope are the inspirations behind “Farsa (Alvorada)”, the new single by the band Canto Cego, accompanied by a videoclip. Uniquely mixing the weight of rock with an intrinsic poetry and their experiences in the suburbs and slums of Rio de Janeiro, the group is preparing to release its third studio album in July. The song chosen for this ad already sets the mood for the work, while the video serves as a business card, showing the band’s contagious energy during a live performance.
The formation of Canto Cego is composed by Roberta Dittz (vocals), Rodrigo Solidade (guitars), Ruth Rosa (drums) and Magrão (bass). In this new song, they have the special participation of Pedro Guinu, one of the highlights of the jazz scene in Rio.
Born in Favela da Maré, Canto Cego carries its roots in its music, its messages and even its name. Since 2010, the group has made its way on stage and performed at important festivals, such as Rock in Rio, Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Porão do Rock, Circo Voador and Imperator.
In their first album, entitled “Valente” (2016), the band brought tracks composed in partnership with the late Marcelo Yuka, as well as a version of “Zé do Caroço”, by Leci Brandão, in a rock approach, which became a soundtrack soundtrack of the telenovela “Malhação”. In their second album, “Karma” (2019), Canto Cego incorporated percussive elements, mixing Afro-Brazilian rhythms with social and existentialist lyrics. Among the most recent releases are “Vida Rendeira”, with the participation of LAZÚLI (Francisco El Hombre), a reinterpretation of the samba “Tô Voltando”, by Paulo César Pinheiro and Maurício Tapajós, with the singer CARU, and the single “Bate Panela” , featuring rapper Marcão Baixada.
The new album will bring a renewed perspective of the band, matured and influenced by the last few years in Brazil. The work features the participation of Morgado, present in the already released track “Rio”. More details will be announced soon about the third album by Canto Cego, which will be released by the Machinna label and was made with resources from the public notice FOCA – Fomento à Cultura Carioca, from the Rio City Hall.
The new single “Farsa (Alvorada)” by the band Canto Cego brings with it a unique inspiration. Could you tell us a little about the story behind this song and how it relates to the work the band has been developing?
Roberta –For us Farce represents a release from what we have experienced in recent times. With two years of the pandemic and six years of governments that belittled culture, we as a band that talks about sociopolitical issues feel very vulnerable. In these years, we have all assumed our role more in facing what bothers us and supporting the causes that make us stronger. This brought us together as a band and as human beings, and with the support and collaboration of friends and fans, we were able to overcome these barriers. Farce is like a rallying cry for anything that tries to diminish us in the face of challenges, it marks the arrival of our new album and says a lot about how we feel right now. It brings us a sense of optimism and hope, but without losing strength and motivation to move forward, no matter what.
Canto Cego is known for its unique blend of rock music, intrinsic poetry and living in the suburbs and slums of Rio de Janeiro. How would you describe this fusion of influences in your music and how is it reflected in the transmitted messages?
Roberta– One of the things that most delights me as a composer in the band is the naturalness with which the themes and references appear. We don’t think too much and the creations are sprouting each one with its face, without losing the band’s mark. I think that a lot of this has to do with the particular experiences of each one of us, we have very different musical tastes and this generates a diversity of rhythms and sounds. The band’s message permeates everything we do, and there wouldn’t be Canto Cego if it weren’t for a desire to communicate our afflictions of questioning the world as it is, and the desire to build something better. Making music a place of expression for us and for those who listen to us, where we express our uncertainties and strengthen ourselves.
Vocalist Roberta Dittz mentioned that “Farsa (Alvorada)” brings a sense of freedom, renewal and hope, but also warns of conservative movements that threaten our existence. Could you share more about the message you want to convey with this song?
Roberta– Farce’s chorus is like a battle cry. It’s a song of hope, but also a reminder that the game is never won and if something comes to hold us back, there’s no more room or possibility to remain silent and afraid. Our will with this song was to create this feeling of unity, of being together and prepared for whatever comes.
We would like to get to know the band members of Canto Cego better and their respective contributions to the group’s sound. Could you tell us a little about each of you and how your skills combine to create the band’s musical identity?
Skinny –My experience with music started when I was still a child, in the mid-nineties, when I started skateboarding through the suburbs of Rio. At that time, there was a strong hardcore and grunge scene in the US that caught an entire generation. I believe that was my foundation as a rock bass player. Along the way, already at Canto Cego, I discovered a new way of making sound, perhaps an experiment. We are four totally different individuals, different ideas and experiences that converge in the studio and on stage. I think that’s a privilege.
Roberta– I had a very intense experience with poetry performance in Rio as an adult, I also grew up with theater groups at school and college, I had a band with only girls in my teens we played System of a Down, all of this made me a composer, rocker and poet. Saying what you sing is one of the things I most like to experience, not just because of the beauty of the music but because of the meaning and power of the words.
Rodrigo– We enjoy many references in common, but perhaps the most interesting thing for the band is precisely our differences. Because it’s from them that we can take a sound and turn it into something else. Turning us around, turning into Blind Corner. Whether it’s Magrão’s more rock n’ roll side, Ruth’s pop, what I like more about swing music or Roberta’s more MPB references, at the end of the day, we stir our cauldron with all that inside and what comes out is what you hear it at shows and on records.
Canto Cego’s origins in Favela da Maré have a significant influence on their music and speech. How do you incorporate your roots into your songs and how does that reflect in the messages you want to convey?
Roberta– We emerged as a band in social spaces in Favela da Maré, and that was very special for us, so much so that even the name of the band has a connection with living there. After some changes in the band’s formation and routine, every time we play, rehearse, or are simply in Maré, it continues to be a place of great emotional involvement for us. In a way, all of us in the band had some experience in childhood and adolescence with suburbs and communities, Rodrigo is from Alemão, Magrão from Santa Cruz, Ruth da Maré and Roberta grew up in Maricá. The experience of the periphery is in our way of seeing the world, and this is effortlessly reflected in the language, message and aesthetics of the band. We cultivate these roots with great pride.
Throughout its career, Canto Cego has had the opportunity to perform on important stages and festivals. What have been the most significant highlights and achievements so far?
Roberta –It’s been 12 years in the band and 10 years with the same lineup, so we’ve been through a lot together. Big milestones were Rock in Rio 2019 and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 2015. The album releases were very important achievements for us too and now we are approaching our third career album.
The band has released songs recently, such as “Vida Rendeira” and “Bate Panela”, which demonstrate the musical diversity of the group. Could you tell us a little about these tracks and how they fit into Canto Cego’s trajectory?
Rodrigo –Canto is a band that explores many different sounds, draws on many sources at the same time and this ended up becoming an important feature in our trajectory. In the production of a song, we can use Nirvana as a reference and in another, the reference is Anavitória. And it’s all right. In the end, it always ends up sounding like Canto Cego. We like it that way. So, for us it ends up being natural to create songs like “Vida Rendeira”, which has a softer and more introspective feel and “Bate Panela”, which is completely insane and noisy and they coexist in the same setlist. All this plurality is part of us in a very true way, without trying to be something we are not.
Canto Cego’s third studio album is on its way and promises to bring a new perspective. Could you tell us a little about what fans can expect from this work in terms of topics covered and possible collaborations?
Roberta –In this album we went deeper in search of our essence, we believe that the fans will like it a lot because we don’t give up rocking the way we like it and know how to do it. We have two feats, two releases already known by the crowd. We talked about ourselves, our experiences, we brought poetry, different rhythms and lots of cool news!
The support of the public notice FOCA – Fomento à Cultura Carioca, by the Rio City Hall, was important for the realization of the band’s new album. How did this support influence the production process and what is the importance of this type of incentive for the music scene in Rio?
Roberta –For a band like Canto Cego, direct incentives from the city hall are essential, mainly because we have a language that is closely linked to the city of Rio. We have critical lyrics, critical thinking and all of that matters when it comes to getting sponsorship, so incentives like FOCA allow us to move forward as a band, put our music out there and release a new album after such difficult years.
With the release of the new album approaching, are there any future plans for tours or live performances to share this work with fans? What are Canto Cego’s expectations in this regard?
Roberta –We are preparing the first part of the launch tour for the beginning of the second half. We’re going to start with four cities here in the state of Rio and we’re planning dates outside of RJ as well. We hope to do many shows all over Brazil. Soon we will disclose the dates available for follow-ups on our social media. We are in a super intense process of bringing you lots of cool news!
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