Sergio Mendes is a destiny like only one in a generation. A planetary influence that would probably never have existed without a coup d'état. One man who convinced the world to sing in Portuguese and who succeeded in giving Brazil the place it deserves in the great global musical celebration. A 60-year journey without a false note. And above all, a desire that is still present despite the wrinkles that appear over the years.
The story might have been different if it hadn't been for the coup d'état in 1964, which forced Sergio Mendes to leave Brazil for the United States. But given the genius of the artist, we doubt it! In any case, it is in Los Angeles that for more than 60 years, the singer and pianist has been producing music that is far from exotic clichés. On the contrary, Sergio Mendes is a revolutionary!
But his revolution is one of pleasure, sharing and renewal. From the very beginning, he experimented and mixed the jazz he loved so much with danceable pop. The mix was explosive and bossa nova became a musical genre that became a worldwide craze in the 1960s. Sergio Mendes was one of its founding fathers, but he had no intention of stopping there.
Already a legend, he would not rest until Brazilian sounds had entered the music industry through the front door. Alongside other legendary names, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Will.i.am, to name but a few, he draws on his roots and crosses generations to reinvent a pop music full of joie de vivre and joy. A pop with Brazilian accents that makes you dance with each new note and immerses its audience in a festive spirit that seems eternal.
Sergio Mendes is a vocation. In his youth, he wanted to become a classical pianist before jazz touched his heart and bossa nova took him over completely. The artist played in clubs before finding success in 1966 with this concept mixing Latin sounds and English songs. His group, Brésil 66, suddenly exploded in the charts with the writer Jorge Ben's hit, Mas que Nada. From then on, Sergio Mendes' career took off and two years later he broke through as a solo artist with his Oscar-nominated performance of The Look of Love.
Carrying the voice of Brazil throughout the world, the 70s and 80s did not see Sergio Mendes' popularity move one iota. This was certainly due to his generous music and his openness to urban sounds, hip-hop but also to traditional Brazilian music that only he knew how to mix to perfection. In 1993, this worldwide recognition finally took shape with the Grammy Award for best world music album for Brasileiro, which explores the Brazilian Nordeste while taking clever detours into local rap. A well-deserved reward for someone who has already made history.
After the artist had been retired for a decade, a young singer came knocking on his door with a stack of his records under his arm. A fan of his music, he asked him to come and record on his album. The rest of the story is known. That singer is Will.i.am and with the Black Eyed Peas, Sergio Mendes will remix the song that made him famous. Once again, Mas que Nada is making the rounds. Once again, the Brazilian artist returns to the forefront to deliver his creative genius.
In his 60-year career, Sergio has certainly found the secret of the boundless joy he shares on stage. Of this generosity and warmth that makes a whole planet dance to the beat. He shares this festive spirit through In the Key of Joy, released in 2020. An album that makes him "step out of my comfort zone and try things I've never done before". Teaming up with rapper Buddy, he explores both classic Brazilian vibes and hip hop and contemporary beats. Once again, this exceptional songwriter shows the richness of his entire musical spectrum.
Sergio Mendes is the kind of music that no one can resist. You start tapping your feet without thinking about it, and for those who still wonder why all the artists are after him, the answer is on stage. He is a completely timeless singer and you have to see him having fun as a youngster as he unleashes his light and vibrant rhythms. This music is bound to put a smile on your face and is a pleasure to behold.
If you had to know only one Brazilian artist, it would be him! Because apart from his hit Mas que Nada, which is in everyone's head, Sergio Mendes is first and foremost a virtuoso musician. One of those who know how to draw on their roots while listening to the modern world to propose new sounds. He is one of those who give unparalleled pleasure and a smile that is beyond reproach. Finally, one of those who, on stage and even after 60 years of career, still have this communicative desire to share. Each of his appearances is a great celebration and it would be a shame to miss it.
He is one of the beacons of Brazilian music, for more than six decades the keyboardist, producer and singer has left his mark on the music of his country. From his pioneering contributions to the foundations of bossa nova alongside artists such as Antônio Carlos Jobim and with the Bossa Rio Sextet, to the Latin-pop sound of his emblematic group Brasil 66, his collaborations with the greatest jazzmen and his funk productions, the artist, who was born on 11 February 1941 in Niterói, is always in the air of time.