On November 1st, Wednesday, the long-awaited music video for the song “Livramento”, by the talented Bemti, was released. The song, the result of a collaboration between the artist from Minas Gerais and the talented Nina Oliveira, features the production skills of Marcelo Jeneci, Pedro Altério and Luis Calil. In addition to this exciting visual release, on October 27th, the instrumental version of the album “Logo Ali” was made available on all digital platforms. These releases mark the album’s second anniversary and close a cycle before the artist’s next project.
“Logo Ali” was recognized by APCA (São Paulo Association of Art Critics) as one of the best of 2021, reaching 20th position on the List of Lists of the same year. The album has already surpassed the 1 million streams mark on Spotify and featured guest appearances from artists such as Fernanda Takai, Jaloo, Josyara, ÀVUÀ, and the talented Portuguese artist Murais. The vinyl version of the album, which sold out quickly, led Bemti to perform in several regions of Brazil and Portugal, with two sold-out dates in Lisbon.
The music video for “Livramento”, directed by Bemti himself, a graduate in Audiovisual from USP, features an engaging sequence shot recorded at dawn on a viewpoint in Serra da Canastra, in Minas Gerais.
Regarding the instrumental version of the album “Logo Ali”, listeners can appreciate Bemti’s talent as a 10-string viola player, as well as the details of the grandiose musical production. Recorded in renowned studios such as Gargolândia (Alambari-SP) and Ilha do Corvo (Belo Horizonte), the album features prominent guest musicians, including Hélio Flanders, Kinda Assis and Paulo Santos, from Uakti. The musical production is signed by Luis Calil (Cambriana) and Pedro Altério (5 a Seco), with co-production by Marcelo Jeneci, Jojô and Rodrigo Kills (from the duo Cyberkills).
This significant moment is accompanied by presentations in different cities. In October, Bemti captivated the public in Rio de Janeiro (Livraria Beco das Letras) and in Belo Horizonte, as part of the Mostra Salve o Compositor! from SESC Palladium.
Congratulations on the release of the music video for “Livramento”. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this song and what it was like working on the production of the video?
Thanks! “Livramento” is a song that reflects recurring themes on the album “Logo Ali”, about how our troubled times affect our relationships and these processes of loving and unloving. For months I had a fixed idea of writing a song called “Livramento” that would be very hurtful, in the same vein as “Tango” from my first album. When the inspiration finally came, the song became very ‘upbeat’ and ambiguous, so it’s about that moment when you’re away from someone, but you don’t know yet if it’s going to be good or bad (most of the time it’s a deliverance). As I have a degree in Audiovisual, I always work on the production of my clips, it was very natural.
How was the collaboration with Nina Oliveira in the composition of “Livramento”?
This central phrase in the song is from Nina Oliveira that “borrowed shirts become pajamas or floorcloths”. When we talked about writing a song based on this, she mentioned that it would be cool if it was a very country song. I started writing the verses using a cadence very inspired by Marília Mendonça’s style (the album “Logo Ali” came out 2 months before her death). In the end “Livramento” has this mix between indie and folk with a hint of country music. I really like Nina Oliveira and it’s always a pleasure to create with her!
“Logo Ali” was highly praised by critics and received a warm reception from listeners. How do you feel about the success of the album?
I feel grateful that even with few resources, without a record company and everything, the album was able to and still manages to reach so many people. It’s a complex album, full of layers, in which the main instrument is the 10-string Viola Caipira (which is very unusual), but there is a very popular essence in the songs. The melodies are catchy, but the “packaging” is full of concepts, very grand arrangements and deep lyrics. I hate being underestimated as a listener so my goal is to make music for people who don’t want to be underestimated either. I’m glad that it has worked as far as possible and that these people exist.
“Logo Ali” has already surpassed 1 million streams on Spotify. What has the journey been like since releasing this album until now?
Unfortunately we are in a country and at a time where, for a new artist, delivering work that is considered excellent on different levels is not enough for you to get many cool work opportunities or to be more sought after and respected by programmers, curators, etc. Most of the time you need to have numbers worthy of an international artist for your work to be seen or already have a very strong previous connection with music, such as being from a family of musicians, producers, etc. At the same time that I think it’s extraordinary to have achieved everything I’ve achieved as an LGBTQIA+ guitarist from the interior of Minas Gerais, I face many barriers even with such positive results. I’m very proud and I very clearly recognize the achievements and potential of this work, but I know that it could have circulated much more with the Logo Ali show. Fortunately, I managed to do really cool performances in different regions of the country and played in 4 cities in Portugal for the first time. time in 2022 (with two sold out dates in Lisbon). I can only hope that my ant work continues to reach more people, increasing my audience, and that I can find more people willing to sail this boat with me.
The album “Logo Ali” has notable collaborations including Fernanda Takai, Jaloo, Josyara and others. What was it like working with these artists?
I really love creating with guest appearances because each invitation has a very clear reason behind it. I don’t like feats that seem empty or without a reason. Each of the artists that are on Logo Ali either as a special appearance, or as guest lyricists or musicians, are there because for me this meeting makes sense for the narrative of the album. I wrote “Catastropios!” thinking about Jaloo and this encounter between my universe from Minas Gerais and her universe of “tropical deconstruction” from Pará. “Salvador” has Josyara who is from Vitória da Conquista, but who previously lived in Salvador and has a lot of the city’s character. “Como o Sol Sumir” needed a sweet but dense voice that embodied this “cute apocalypse” of the song and video and when Fernanda Takai agreed I was so happy because I’m a big fan of hers! Ultimately, each case is different. My head as a screenwriter is crazy about these connections and what can emerge from them. In the end, the main culprits for this meeting are the songs, these artists only agree to these invitations because they like my songs.
We know that the album was released on vinyl and sold out quickly. What is it like for you to see that people still value the physical format of music?
I’m a vinyl collector and it was a dream come true to have my album in this format. I thought a lot about “Logo Ali” for the vinyl, even though I didn’t know when I would be able to fulfill this desire, I’m glad it happened very quickly! Side A and side B of the album are very well defined, with very different moods and are 20 minutes each. Side B begins with a calm interlude (“Salvador”) while side A is a grand crescendo that ends with the album’s most epic moment, the instrumental ending of “Não Tava Nos Meus Planos”. Several details… I felt butterflies in my stomach when Bolachão Discos proposed releasing the Logo Ali vinyl, because it is a very expensive process! But luckily everything went well, the vinyl turned out great, the graphic design was wonderful and they followed many of the suggestions I made (the orange vinyl, the gatefold packaging, the poster insert…). I project the things I want into my work and hope that this can resonate with other people. I love vinyls and I’m glad that more and more people are valuing them and that so many people have connected with “Logo Ali”.
In addition to the success of the album “Logo Ali”, you mentioned an upcoming work. Can you give us some tips on what to expect from this next project?
Sonically it will be very different from the previous two albums. At the same time, it’s an evolution of what I’ve already done on tracks like “Se surrender!”, “Jaguar”, “Catastropos!”… the sound of the album will reflect many things I’ve been listening to like Bonobo, Caroline Polachek, Washed Out, Jungle… at the same time that I cover themes that I didn’t cover on the first two albums.
You also have a degree in Audiovisual and directed the music video for “Livramento”. What is your approach to directing music videos?
For me, the music video and visuals are as important as the songs. The visual and musical parts come into my head at the same time when I start writing a new song or the concept of a new album. When it’s time to materialize these visuals, I try to add different functions, more for economic reasons than because I like to control the process too much. So I have several clips in my videography that are true financial miracles, because they cost much less than they would have in a normal context, but that I managed to make possible by working in this area and handling many of the functions. I also like directing and scripting projects for other artists and recently a foreign video came out that I directed and in which I also act (“Imaginary World” by Hungarian singer Kristóf Hajós).
What was it like recording the music video for “Livramento” in the Serra da Canastra setting in Minas Gerais? Were there any particular challenges during filming?
The clip for “Livramento” is a sequence shot recorded at 5:30 in the morning at a viewpoint in Serra da Canastra. The dawn light is very precious because it has pink and orange tones, and at the same time we needed the empty place. I like the clip because it gradually reveals the landscape and because I always wanted to record in Canastra: I’m from that region and it’s a very important place for me. I think the clip reflects this vastness, this feeling of “moving forward”, that the song brings. And as much as it may seem “simple” at first, there is a very complex construction there in the clip of framing, movement, weather, getting to the location, etc. A particular challenge of filming was that I had a terrible kidney stone attack in the middle of the night… so I didn’t need to wake up at 4 am to shoot at 5:30 am because I didn’t even sleep (laughs).
In addition to the music video, you released the instrumental version of the album “Logo Ali”. What can listeners expect when listening to this version of the album?
I really like the instrumental version because it gives listeners the opportunity to imagine their own “film” for these songs, detached from the lyrics. It gives me the opportunity to showcase my work as a guitarist, composer and musical director of the album. The arrangements on “Logo Ali” are very grand and with many layers. I worked with several producers and musicians (on Youtube the video with the complete album has all the credits) but I always had a very clear idea of how I wanted each song to sound. It’s extraordinary to hear the result of Logo Ali. It’s a type of sound that you hear very little in Brazilian music, inspired by artists like Arcade Fire, Sigur Rós, Baleia… and all of this with the Viola Caipira as the central instrument.
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