Lost Sambista

A Brazil never seen.

Tim Maia – the King of Brazilian soul music

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Much has been said about Tim Maia, (there is actually a great book about him written by Nelson Mota telling all the story). There is a reason for this: he is possibly the most colorful character in Brazilian pop music.

First of all he lived in the US for some time in the sixties and got very much absorbed in the funk scene and in what was going on in the streets at the time, to a degree that he was arrested and deported back to Brazil. Perhaps because of this he was the Brazilian artist who best understood what went on outside his country and kept no myths about the gringos. His music had a quality that owed nothing to what came from abroad and broke barriers of class and of race in a rhythm and style that were not Brazilian.

Of his generation he was also the one who lead a rock and roll life style the closest to those of his American and British counterparts. The stories of his craziness are legendary: like refusing to play with Caetano Veloso because he was wearing a sarong, telling his dog to attack a the owner of the land he had built his beach house on when he came to complain, firing musicians during gigs, confusions with managers and venue owners and serious drug and booze abuse; the could go on for days. Despite this awful reputation he was and still is respected for his great legacy of hits and his grandiose style.

His talent was as huge as both his body and his ego and anyone in Rio will remember his songs and will have a funny story to tell about him.

Below is a video that may be a sample of his talent for you:

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