There are tracks in pop culture that seem like a sacred object, that become part of history so strongly that you don’t touch them or disturb them, you just have devotion. The renowned guitarist, composer and music producer Will Magalhães brings at the same time a respectful look and a rebelliousness of wanting to change everything to one of the Beatles’ greatest classics and consequently to music of the 20th century: “Blackbird”. In this new instrumental version, Magalhães combines elements of MPB, contemporary jazz and rock to create a new sound experience for everyone who knows the original version. The launch arrives alongside a special video on the artist’s channel.
The song carries a powerful message of hope and overcoming. Inspired by the context of oppression experienced in the United States during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, Paul McCartney’s original composition resonates the importance of keeping faith even in the midst of adversity and is an important message to constantly renew oneself.
The track was meticulously recreated in the studio, with the masterful contribution of talented musicians: André Fróes on drums, Marco Brito on piano, Max Dias on bass, and Will Magalhães himself on guitar. Musical production was handled by Nema Antunes, while mixing and mastering were carried out by Fabrício Mattos, a professional winner of 2 Latin Grammy awards and 7 nominations.
Will Magalhães, who is also part of the renowned Sexteto Sucupira, includes in his career collaborations with various artists and groups, from MPB and jazz icons to prominent names in the world of samba and pop. He has shared the stage with artists such as Jane Duboc, Ney Matogrosso, João Donato, Fernanda Abreu and many others.
Currently, he is preparing for the release of his first original and instrumental album entitled “Impressões”, produced by Nema Antunes. Meanwhile, “Blackbird” is available to listen to on all music services.
His version of “Blackbird” combines elements of MPB, contemporary jazz and rock. How did you choose these elements to recreate this classic Beatles track?
In fact, it wasn’t a choice, these genres (and their various aspects) have accompanied me on my musical journey for a long time. So, it’s natural that my compositions move in that direction.
“Blackbird” originally carries a powerful message of hope and overcoming. How did you interpret this message when creating the instrumental version of the song?
What has always caught my attention about Blackbird is the beauty and simplicity of the melody. My inspiration to develop the arrangement came from there. The message behind the lyrics was discovered later, when I was researching, with my team, the possibilities for developing the clip’s script.
The special video accompanying the release adds a visual dimension to its interpretation. Can you share about the process of creating this video and how it complements the listening experience of “Blackbird”?
The clip is the result of this research behind the lyrics of the original song. The script was developed by César Marquez. Just like the unfolding of the arrangement, the clip has an evolutionary process that mixes lucidity with daydreams, following the intensity and dynamics of the song. The highlight is the guitar solo, improvised and intense.
It featured talented musicians in the recreation of “Blackbird”. What was the collaboration like in the studio and how did everyone contribute to bringing this new version to life?
The music and arrangement of Blackbird have been with me for a long time during my musical performances. During the pre-production period, I wrote the score and shared it with music producer Nema Antunes, who really liked it and bought the idea. In the studio, each musician put their interpretation, their soul and made the music come to life and a lot of energy.
In addition to “Blackbird”, you are preparing to release your first original and instrumental album, “Impressões”. Can you tell us a little about what to expect from this album and how it differs from your other works?
Impressões is the album that carries my identity as a musician. It is the summary and improvement of everything I have experienced in my 20 years as a professional in this art. It’s my first album and the starting point of my recording history.
With a career marked by collaborations with artists from different genres, how do you approach the fusion of musical styles in your projects and what is the role of this diversity in your artistic expression?
This diversity is my greatest artistic authenticity, so far. Diversity is the portrait of the Brazilian people, so nothing is truer than that in my journey. Through this fusion of genres and rhythms, I continue to build my identity and, as a sideman guitarist, I present myself prepared to play alongside different groups and artists, which makes me more inserted in the job market.
The context of oppression in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s inspired the original composition of “Blackbird”. How do you believe music can continue to be an important voice for expressing messages of hope and resistance today?
Simply because this is one of the main characteristics or objectives of making music. Music is always filled with emotions and inspirations that are part of the social context and is a great tool for connecting with the individual. In this way, music will always be an important voice in society.
You mentioned the historical context that inspired the original song. How do you, as an artist, view the responsibility of addressing social and political issues through your music?
I don’t believe that addressing social and political issues is every artist’s responsibility. I believe this happens naturally according to his involvement with these issues. I don’t see it as an obligation, after all, you need to be authentic and honest with your feelings. Whether or not we address these issues, music will always have an important role in society and politics, as there will always be an important message for each individual, in different life contexts.
Throughout your career, you’ve shared the stage with an impressive array of artists. Is there any particular moment that stands out as most meaningful or memorable for you so far?
Sharing the stage with Ney Matogrosso was very emotional.
What was the experience of opening your own studio in Curitiba like and how did it influence the creative process, especially in the production of “Blackbird”?
In fact, Blackbird was recorded at the Bituca studio – Universidade de Música Popular, in Barbacena/MG, my homeland. Which made the moment even more special, as it was where I studied for 6 years of my life.
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