Elza Soares and the song of the black woman who saw her son die of hunger

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

We don’t know the size of Elza Soares. The complete artist who left us this January 20, 2022 had one of the most painful biographies and was one of the most important personalities of our culture. His strength and truth went far beyond music and art.

“She has a very deep social importance, she is the voice of our most oppressed people: the black woman who saw her son die of hunger”, says the producer and percussionist. Guilherme Kastrup, who directed the album “Mulher do Fim do Mundo”. “She sings with the knowledge in her flesh, in her soul, which is the Brazilian people in their essence – always on the side of the oppressed and with the courage to put her voice to it.”

The 2015 album is just the beginning of a last and happy chapter in the story of a woman who “ate the bread that the devil kneaded”, but who always had music by her side, as a driving force.

A woman who bid farewell to childhood after she was forced into marriage at the age of 12, becoming a mother and widow (in addition to having seen one of her children starve to death) less than a decade later.

She got into music as a way of earning money to eat and was greeted with mockery by And Barroso, who hosted a freshman radio show. When asked by the author of “Aquarela do Brasil” from which planet she had come, making fun of the way she was dressed, she replied crossly: “From the hunger planet!”. Since before starting her career, Elza already knew what she wanted — and what she didn’t want.

And, as much as she shone on classic albums alongside Miltinho or Wilson das Neves, Elza drew more attention for her strong personality. Her marriage to Garrincha is a Brazilian version of classic Hollywood marriages, and as much as she suffered for him, she considered him the man of her life.

As happened in her previous marriage, she also lost the child she had with the player, in addition to being persecuted, with her husband, by the military dictatorship, which machine-gunned the couple’s house as a way of intimidating them to leave the country. Fate finally brought them together on the date of their death: January 20th was also the day on which Garrincha died, 39 years ago.

Another irony of fate was to make her die the day after the celebration of two of the greatest singers in Brazil, Elis Regina, who died 40 years ago on the 19th, and Nara Leão, born 80 years ago on that same day.

Like the two, Elza also didn’t take the shit home and was looking for new talent to sing, even though the record companies had always pushed her re-recordings.

And it didn’t matter what she played: it was always samba. “She was the samba, it was impressive”, remembers Kiko Dinucci, who played on the record produced by Kastrup, and on the following record, “God is Woman” (2018). “She never made an effort for it, Elza Soares is samba. She was never questioned if she was pure samba. If she sings hardcore, it’s samba. She could do whatever crazy thing she wanted, that she was samba in person.”

The 2015 album brought together some of the main names in the current São Paulo music scene and introduced the singer to at least two new generations of fans.

Artists such as Kiko Dinucci, Marcelo Cabral, Rômulo Fróes, Thiago França, Douglas Germano, Thomas Rohrer, Celso Sim, Rodrigo Campos, DJ Marco, Cuca Ferreira, Daniel Gralha, Douglas Antunes and Daniel Nogueira — the last four are the brass of the instrumental group Bixiga 70 — helped to recreate the singer’s career, on her first album of new songs.

“Mulher do Fim do Mundo”, in addition to having scored two hits that survive beyond the voice of Elza (“Maria da Vila Matilde”, about domestic violence, and the title track), also started the celebration in life of the majesty of the singer, something so rare in a country that usually only remembers its great names in moments of mourning.

The album also rescued Elza’s strength on stage, in a series of historic performances that literally put her on a throne. Everyone remembers how she had physical difficulties even to walk, but it wasn’t until the show started that everything changed. “She was the daughter of Iansã and she spit fire in people’s faces”, remembers guitarist Kiko Dinucci.

Composer Romulo Fróes, who was the album’s artistic director, remembers when they presented the album’s songs with the final arrangements before she recorded it. He was surprised and liked the first, commented on the second and then fell silent when he heard the third, fourth and fifth. Until he commented: “Yeah, I’ll have to study to record this album”, which made all the musicians sigh in relief. And he added: “And I’m going to blow it!”, he said.

It snapped and kept crashing. So much so that he managed to finish a show recorded last Tuesday (18), at the Municipal Theater of São Paulo. Two days before saying goodbye to this plan. Thank you, Elza.

Reference: CNN Brasil

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

buy kamagra buy kamagra online $255 payday loans online same day no denial payday loans direct lenders only