Skrillex secretly dances to the spirit of maracatu. As for Lorde, somewhere in “Royals” beats a Bahia heart.
The hidden Afro-Brazilian side of some of pop’s best-loved tracks comes to light, thanks to Brazil’s nimble, virtuosic guitarist and vocalist Badi Assad. Ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the world’s top female guitarists, Assad is from musical royalty (Brazil’s acclaimed Assad family). She’s incubated a new Brazilophilic way to listen to global hits on her latest release Hatched (distributed by IDC San Francisco; release: October 16, 2015), rendering them with all the gravity and grace the seasoned and expansive artist is known for.
“These songs surprised me, with their depth, and with the depth of engagement they inspired in young listeners,” Assad recounts. “There is so much shallow music, it seems sometimes, and life has been made so shallow everywhere. The younger people are encouraged to live on the surface, and no one has time to go any deeper. Yet if our souls are shallow, where will we be? Some of these songs deal with this very question, and it made me see them in a whole new light.”
Quicksilver guitar work and vocal percussion, sweet and stirring singing are Badi’s trademarks, and they crack open the unexpectedly lyrical quality and deep sentiments of the popular songs Assad chose to explore, arrange, and make her own.
Assad will give American audiences a chance to experience these songs, as well as her own compositions, live, when she comes as a solo performer to DC, NYC, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Tampa, and other cities in October and November 2015. February 2016 will see her return to the US, for a performance at the Palace of Fine Arts with Adrian Legg.