Lenine calls himself a songwriter: an artist who sings his own compositions, or – as the troubadours of the 12th century did – turns the questions, loves, and sagas of his time into verses. His stories are based on word and music – elements that, for him, have been linked together forever. Or rather, since his time in the cradle in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, where his life began on February 2, 1959 – the story of Oswaldo Lenine Macedo Pimentel.
Today his 13th career album bears the name “In Transit” (2018) – a good synthesis of Lenine’s artistic work: a singer headed for new destinations while reflecting on the times. A hike to unpredictable destinations, but with at least one certainty, for sure: this singer-songwriter will be making completely unexpected music, without boundaries, continuously reinventing himself with each new work.
Areas of Representation: North America
Lenine calls himself a songwriter: an artist who sings his own compositions, or – as the troubadours of the 12th century did – turns the questions, loves, and sagas of his time into verses. His stories are based on word and music – elements that, for him, have been linked together forever. Or rather, since his time in the cradle in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, where his life began on February 2, 1959 – the story of Oswaldo Lenine Macedo Pimentel. The boy from the Boa Vista neighborhood who will grew up crab hunting in the mangroves and surfing in the waves of Boa Viagem beach. His early musical influences were Angela Maria, Cyro Monteiro, Bach, Chopin, Jackson Pandeiro, Miltinho, the Para, Ary Lobo and Dorival Caymmi.
His passion for rock developed later, with his discovery of Led Zeppelin, The Police and Frank Zappa, among others. The album “Clube da Esquina” (Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges, 1972) was a major influence. While he did attend the Pernambuco Conservatory (1974), it was his guitar in his own hands that gave expression to his creativeness. Upon announcing his decision to leave formal education, his father asked, “Why did it take so long?”
The MPB Shell festival in 1981 was just the first step in Lenine’s new life in Rio de Janeiro, in Casa 9, in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. From this creative bunker came various productions which were the fruits of otherwise unimaginable combinations of friends & countrymen and more – the idea of a season at the Ipanema Theater, to show the results of these collaborations at midnight shows. Producer Roberto Menescal loved what he saw, and the result was Lenine’s 1st album “Baque Solto” (1983), made in partnership with Lula Queiroga. At that time, he began to appear in the alternative scene in Rio and composed sambas for the Suvaco de Cristo carnaval group.
Lightning struck with the album Olho de Peixe (“Fish Eye”, 1993), which recorded Lenine’s encounter with percussionist Marcos Suzano and became the calling card for his first overseas tours. The pop and hybrid sound of his music would be consolidated into three albums: “The Day We’ll Make Contact” (1997,) then “In Pressure” (1999). Next “Canange Falange” (2002) earned him a Latin Grammy (Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album), which he won again – in the same category – with “Lenine in Cité ”(2004) and“ Acoustic MTV ”(2006). The songs “Hammer Bigorna” and “Nobody Has Any Idea” received the “Best Brazilian Music” awards out of a total of five Latin Grammy Awards in his career. Lenine also won twelve Brazilian Music Awards.
The experience of composing ballets for the dance company Grupo Corpo – “Breu” (2007) and “Triz” (2013) – led Lenine to change the ideas for his albums: instead of gathering ready-made compositions into an album, he defined the concept first and then composed each of the tracks as chapters of a novel. The 2008 album “Labiata,” for example, is part of Lenine’s passion for orchids. In the album “Chão” (2011), produced by his son Bruno Giorgi (with Jr. Tostoi and Lenine), he added everyday sounds to the music: whether from a teapot, a canary, a cricket or a washing machine The new trilogy closes with “Carbon” (2015), in which he reconnects to his Pernambuco roots.
The steps that followed took place in the Netherlands, where the CD/DVD “The Bridge – Lenine & Martin Fondse Orchestra – Live at Bimhuis” (2016) was made, and in Rio de Janeiro, where his 13th career album bears the name “In Transit” (2018) – a good synthesis of Lenine’s artistic work: a singer headed for new destinations while reflecting on the times, but with at least one certainty, for sure: this singer-songwriter will be making completely unexpected music, without boundaries, continuously reinventing himself with each new work.
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“Like a handful of the other great modern Brazilian songwriters, Lenine subscribes to the ideal of syncretic realism, that pop songs can deal with high-tech industry and mud huts, the futuristic and the ancient, in the same stanza. He acted as a full participant in his songs, not a freaked-out bystander.” – NEW YORK TIMES
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