Céu em Chicago

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Date(s) - 24/06/2016
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  • CeuBiography

    Brazilian songstress Céu was born Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças on 17 April 1980. She was raised in São Paulo, Brazil in a highly saturated musical environment. Her father was a composer, arranger, musicologist, and classical music enthusiast and naturally she inherited much of her father’s inclination towards music.

    Céu developed a respect and fascination of classical Brazilian music from her father, but acquired a passion for a variety of other forms such as R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and afrobeat on her own. By 15 she had already made up her mind that music was the career for her. She took her vision very seriously and toward the end of her teenage years she was rigorously studying music theory and practicing the violão (a type of Brazilian guitar).

    Over the years Céu forged a strong interest in black culture, particularly Afro Beat, hip-hop, and Jazz divas such as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Expectantly her sound incorporates various forms of Brazilian music such as traditional Samba and more modern styles like Brega. She has also made public that neo-soul artists like Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill provide a great deal of inspiration for her.

    Céu’s style of music began gaining her comparisons to similar thinking artists like Maria Rita and Bebel Gilberto (another São Paulo artist with a similar musical upbringing); however her hybrid sound of electojazz, hip-hop, dub and Brazilian classicism earned her a unique place in the music world.

    When Céu was still in her teens she started to perform around her home country and experimented with different musical characters like marchinhas a type of carnival music. A few years later she took off to the United States to establish a career in New York City. While living there she befriended another Brazilian musician Antonio Pinto an artist who rose to prominence as a film composer (he is perhaps best known for his 2002 score for the movie “City of God”).

    Though Céu gained a great deal of experience in New York she recorded and released her first album “CéU” in Brazil. The album hit the shelves in 2005 and was put out through the São Paulo record label Urban Jungle. The album was both a critical and commercial achievement. It captivated audiences in Europe and Canada particularly the French Speaking areas and was included in the Grammy nominations under the Latin category. Additionally her album was met with great enthusiasm at NPR and in 2007 it had been sound scanned 110,000 times confirming her as the biggest selling Brazilian artist of the year.

    Céu continued on this upward trend and released another critically praised and commercially viable album “Vagarosa”. It peaked to No. 2 on the US Billboard’s World Music charts and was up for a Grammy for Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Record.

    Céu altered her sound for her third album “Caravana Sereia Bloom” absorbing the influences of early tropicalia, reggae and Peruvian chicas to reach a new aesthetic. Her technique was overwhelming successful, earning her yet another Grammy Nomination.

    With all the hype surrounding her studio albums she landed some incredible opportunities, working with legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock on the song “Tempo de Amor” and contributing the song “It’s a Long Way” for the “Red Hot+Rio 2” compilation album. In 2014 she released her highly anticipated fourth album “Catch a Fire – Ao Vivo”.

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