They are on the radio and nightclubs all around the world. People who have no knowledge of Portuguese can sing them – and I have to explain for the zillionth time what the lyrics mean (or rather, their lack of meaning). Thanks to songs like “Ai, se eu te pego”, “Tche Tcherere”, “Eu quero tchu, eu quero tcha”, Brazilian people are coming across as stupid dancing monkeys. Again.
Stereotypes have always and will always exist. Every nation is well known for something. In our case it’s Carnaval, soccer, beaches, beautiful women, the rain forest. The good thing about stereotypes, though, is that they only last up to the first contact with reality. If you really know Brazil, you don’t think we’re a bunch of semi-naked people dancing samba on the beach all the time. Or that there are giant snakes and spiders on the streets. Or that we only listen to the above mentioned trash.
I’m not an expert in music or marketing. I’m just a Brazilian girl living abroad who has to deal constantly with breaking stereotypes. “No, I can’t play soccer”. “No, I don’t live on the beach. Actually, it’s so far I only go once a year”. “No, I’m not wearing feathers and showing my boobs on Carnaval”. “Yes, I know that song and I hate it.”
It’s a pity that what is crossing the seas nowadays is not our best. Every country has truly great art and culture but also shitty stuff. Then why do those songs get stuck in people’s heads and spread like virus? Neuroscientists will explain.
I will just do my part by recommending Brazilian music I am proud of: Titãs, Cazuza, Seu Jorge, Caetano Veloso, Nando Reis, Jota Quest, Rita Lee, Djavan, Elis Regina, Zé Ramalho, Vanessa da Matta, Engenheiros do Havaí, Teatro Mágico, Adriana Calcanhoto, Marisa Monte, Marcelo D2, O Rappa, Legião Urbana and so many others worth listening to.
P.S.: I will occasionally have my dancing monkey moments, I admit. I will dance along to pretty much anything when I'm drinking with friends at a club :)
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