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World Music Features

Web Exclusive: Beto Villares

By Lissette Corsa
Published October 28, 2008

Brazilian producer finally steps out on his own, bringing all the sounds of Brazil with him.

Contrary to the instantaneous, slapdash world of cut-and-paste production, São Paulo’s Beto  Villares’ approach to making music is more deliberate than happenstance. He chisels away patiently, in the process developing a deeper connection with his art and the artists he collaborates with. That said, he does appreciate random surprises. Filmmakers and multi platinum recording artists are drawn to his intuitive understanding of how to conjure up the unexpected – he has a knack for finding magic in the mundane and a deft ability to capture the celebratory essence of Brazilian roots music. This remarkably broad but steady approach makes Beto Villares a growing figure in Brazil’s fertile music scene. 

 

He now steps into the spotlight with the release of his debut, Beto Villares, on Six Degrees Records. But his deliberate process was most prominently heard on CéU’s breakout debut, which was picked up by the Starbucks Hear Music series, garnered glowing worldwide reviews, nabbed a Latin Grammy nomination, then went on to became one of the biggest-selling international records of 2007.  

 

“CéU’s album was a process, a very long process,” Villares concedes. “Not only because we wanted it that way, but also because nobody was paying us so I had to do a lot of other jobs. But maybe those are the best things, those things you’re not doing in a rush, you just have the opportunity to think a little bit more, but also there’s a point where you should not go further or you’re going to listen so much, you’re going to think so much and it’s going to lose its spontaneity.” 

 

This same approach was applied to his work on director/scriptwriter Cao Hamburger’s coming of-age flick, The Year My Parents Went On Vacation – Villares gladly accepted scoring the film with the condition that he be given ample time: “I told Cao, I can’t do this soundtrack in a month and a half, we need more time,” Villares says.  “And he was like ‘Oh, I don’t know if we have it.’ But later he said ‘Thank you for saying that.’”

 

On Beto Villares – released in Brazil in 2003 but five years later in the U.S. – Villares, a multi-instrumentalist, illustrates the wonders of meticulous ways. It’s a collection of stand-alone gems that combines electronics, pop and jazz with the rich, visceral core of Brazilian music. The ancient and contemporary synchronize as Villares exhibits an everything and-the-kitchen-sink range. He can just a