Magic Eric, a talented artist from the new generation of MPB, is releasing his long-awaited first solo album, entitled “Vida Comum (Realismo Fantástico)”. This musical work, composed of 10 tracks, explores a wide spectrum of emotions and experiences that resonate in all of our lives.
During the recording period, which spanned from December 2019 to January 2023, Megic Eric utilized a variety of spaces, including a home studio he set up, as well as Caetano Veloso’s studio, where he collaborated with sound technician Lucas Nunes (Bala Desire). Additionally, he worked at renowned studios such as Iglu, 304, GÁ and Carolina. The album also features tracks co-produced in partnership with musician Guilherme Lirio, who has worked with notable artists such as Bem Gil and Ana Frango Elétrico.
When it comes to the album’s musical genre, Eric describes his music as Low-Astral-Tropical MPB. This musical expression is inspired by classic Brazilian rock songs from the 60s and 70s, incorporating nuances of American folk music and a contemporary sound influenced by popular current music artists. The album will be released under the new music label Rizz 4 Music, with distribution by Ingrooves.
“Vida Comum (Fantastic Realism)” is a work that offers both traditional and experimental music. The opening track, “Vida Comum,” released in May, pays homage to the singer’s grandmother and addresses universal themes, such as family love. Next, “vish/de sand” presents a more experimental approach, based on two songs from his former band, Baltazar. “Teu Calor,” released in September, stands out for its saxophone solo by Milton Guedes and the vocals shared with Luluca, in addition to the contributions of several talented musicians.
“Ao Meio” is a dedication to Pedro Mib, Eric’s friend and musical mentor, and “Um Dia Any,” the album’s final track, encapsulates the message of maintaining hope and resilience even in the most challenging moments of everyday life. “Ordinary Life (Fantastic Realism)” is an in-depth exploration of emotions, narratives, and a look at life through Megic Eric’s unique lens. With its diverse sound and captivating lyrics, this album promises to be an exciting musical experience for listeners.
“Common Life (Fantastic Realism)” covers several musical genres, such as MPB, Pop Rock and Indie. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this sonic diversity?
I think I have a very eclectic taste in music. Since I was a child, at home, I received different references, with my father listening to 70s rock cassettes, and my mother listening more to MPB, bossa and soul CDs. Over the years my tastes have expanded and today, more than recognizing myself in just one genre, I am a lover of exploring new references. I have a lot of MPB and Pop Rock in my head, but I also like a lot of RnB, Hyperpop, Samba, contemporary Jazz…
And I think I’m like that with inspirations as a whole, beyond music. I am inspired to sing and compose from very different sources, different scenarios in life. I can be inspired by something dense, such as a relationship with the death of a family member or a deep love experience, but I also find magic and inspiration in small, everyday scenes, like a simple subway journey.
What was the experience like recording in different locations, including a home studio and Caetano Veloso’s studio? Did this influence the sound of the album?
In fact, the album was recorded in many different places, and I think this ended up giving it an aesthetic identity. In addition to Caetano’s studio, there were also recordings in at least 3 other studios here in Rio, a choir here, flutes there, guitars elsewhere… And they took place in several houses too, not just mine.
I think the experiences of recording at home or in a studio proper are different and provide different benefits. At home you have complete freedom of time and space to experiment a lot. And there’s something rustic about the sound produced at home that’s visceral and I love it. But the studio environment also brings a very good enthusiasm and assertiveness to the process and, especially for tracks where the entire band was recorded playing together, or some specific instruments, only in the studio to handle it. I tried to combine the best of both worlds in the production of the album, and I think it arrived at a very unique and cool sounding place.
The album explores the idea of ”ordinary” and “fantastic” music. What can listeners expect from the “fantastic” tracks?
In the album I try to talk about finding magical moments in everyday life, both on sunny days and rainy days. During the recording process of some tracks, especially with the pandemic in the background, I wanted to experiment with the songs, try to reimagine them while they were still under construction. In this I arrived at 4 tracks that I consider to be “fantastic”, which were originally “common” songs, with lyrics, band, etc. – but which I experimented and remixed throughout the process until I ended up falling more in love with alternative formats. These are more experimental tracks with more instrumental sections. But overall, I think there are fantastic moments in ordinary songs and vice versa, which was my biggest craze in the project.
“Vida Comum” pays homage to the singer’s grandmother and addresses the theme of family love. How can music be a tool to express these emotions?
I think music is truly a magical tool to help us express emotions and connect through them. There are things that if you stop to try to talk about, explain with words in a conversation, it is very far from awakening the original emotion. Music, on the other hand, has this power to bypass our rational filter and directly affect our emotions, it’s very beautiful and powerful.
This song specifically is very important to me, I have a lot of affection for it. I wrote it in August 2020 after a whole day visiting my grandparents (equipped with kilos of masks and alcohol gel, we were in a very intense period of pandemic). My grandfather was coming to the end of his life and we already realized that, and on that particular day I talked a lot with my grandmother who told me several stories about her life, some things I already knew but others I didn’t. I was very emotionally charged, with the pandemic going on, my grandfather about to say goodbye to us, this conversation with my grandmother… I got home and basically threw up the song all at once, I started humming it on the guitar and the next thing I knew it was ready!
“Toda Natureza” reflects on the connection between human beings and nature. Can you share more about the message of this song and how it relates to the album?
All Nature talks about this idea that everything is connected and is one thing: Common Life. Because common life is everyday life, usual life, but it is also the life we live in common, in community, sharing. In this song, I see everything mixed together, not just the people, but the windows, the trees, clouds and lampposts. I think about how, for example, inside our body it is estimated that there are literally trillions of living organisms cohabiting and, even so, we look from the outside and say that this is just 1 body. Just 1 me. With the same mind, if we look at the entire planet (or even beyond it), we can understand that it is all just one body too. We, human individuals, are just a few of the living entities that together make up the larger body of everything that is alive. As I say in the last verses of the song, “we are one, you and me”.
“100%” addresses cell phone addiction. How can music raise important questions about the use of technology in today’s society?
I don’t know if I can make all my reflections and criticisms about the extreme use of technology these days in just one song, but I 100% tried! It’s a more agitated song on the album where I talk about this, addiction, speed, voracity, intensity. In the chorus, I think I’m talking directly to my cell phone (which is actually next to me and almost always listens to me): “100%, it’s true, my time is yours alone”, “can’t you see that you change the gears and my heart beats until it stops beating.”
It’s a very metaphorical lyric, less literal than others on the album, because I think that’s how I was able to better convey the atmosphere of the unbridled intensity with which we are relating to these technologies – especially cell phones.
You mentioned “fantastic” tracks like “(vish/de sand)” and “(ahahahha…)”. How do these experimental tracks fit into the album’s narrative?
I think they represent precisely the magical moments that cross our lives. Between one day and another normal routine, without waiting or planning, you meet a person with whom you will fall in love and change your life. Or, on any given day, you leave the house and trip over a tree root that has been on the sidewalk since before you were born, but for the first time you stop and think about it.
It is in this same rhythm, of breaking the continuous flow of reality based on an unexpected event, that these tracks work on the album.
“Ao Meio” is a song dedicated to a friend. How can music be a way to honor and express feelings towards people close to us?
There are songs that come out spontaneously expressing feelings out of control, without meaning to. Ao Meio, in this case, was a song in the middle of the road, as I started writing objectively thinking about a friend who was living in another country, about to return. He is also a musician and very dear to me. That day, I picked up the guitar and was playing an old song of his and then, when I saw it, I started trying out some different chords, but in the same groove. I liked the new path and so I naturally started singing and thinking about the lyrics that became Ao Meio. Again, I find this power of music to express feelings in a very pure way fascinating. I think it is the form of art that most deeply and easily reaches our feelings, regardless of what our heads think. In this case, he was expressing feelings of longing but also of joy at the anticipated return of a loved one.
“An Any Day” seems to convey a message of hope. Can you tell us more about the meaning of this song and its connection to the rest of the album?
It’s funny because this is actually the oldest song I wrote that made it onto the album, it’s from 2016. Interestingly, its lyrics were making even more sense in 2020, when I started recording it, and I think it relates well to the general theme of the album. In it I talk about how, on any given day, it is possible to marvel at life through small things, like a simple walk down the street – which sounded even more surreal amid the pandemic scenario. And she talks about keeping your head up and believing in the wheel of life, in the end of the cycle that must come to open new paths afterwards. Faced with the uncertainties and instability of the pandemic, I leaned heavily on this song to find peace and hope.
Finally, what can listeners expect to experience and feel when listening to “Ordinary Life (Fantastic Realism)”?
I believe you can expect feelings of comfort and serenity, scares and laughter, as well.It ism with a dose of heat and balancewo in some bands and more cold and covered in others. Warm breezes, open horizons, telescopeOpeeps and microscOpeeps. I think, actually,It isoneTheVery diverse album.
And I hope that, in some way, even if unconsciously, the message remains that the magic of being alive happens one day after another, in ordinary moments. And I increasingly see that common is not just what is normal or simple but, more than that, it is what you have in common with other people. Ordinary life is the life of everything. So in Ordinary Life (Fantastic Realism) I try to talk not just about my life and fantasies, but about stories and emotions that are, in some way, common to everyone.
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