Joseph Dodd, Katelyn Gordon, Matthew Link
Tropicalia and Heavy Metal
The Tropicalia movement ignited Brazil leading to the fusion of traditional Brazilian culture with outside influences and to new and exciting ideas in poetry, music and art. Tropicalia came as an anti-establishment movement in Brazil that began the era of cultural opposition through the influence these artistic and musical influences. Heavy metal music was a primary influence of this cultural change that came from the influence of Western culture. The movement has made an everlasting impact upon Brazil and the society’s culture.
Over the past 3 decades, Tropicalia has become legendary. Tropicalism was a movement that began in 1967 that really shook the popular music and culture in Brazil. Stars of Tropicalia, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso who introduced a new sound in Brazilian music during the beginning of the movement were inspired by American artists such as Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix who were both guitarists, singers, and songwriters in rock and roll. They also deeply inspired electric guitarists.
Unfortunately, in late 1968, Brazil’s military government consolidates power. Gilberto Gil and Caetana Veloso are both jailed without charge for several months and then exiled for four years. Other Tropicalia artists are less fortunate undergoing torture or psychiatric care. The poet and lyric writer, Torquato Neto commits suicide. Despite all of this, their influences had already spread; thus, dominating the traditional movements linked to the left.
Collaborators aimed to universalize the language of Brazilian Popular Music, incorporating elements of world youth culture. This includes: rock, psychedelia, and the electric guitar. Tropicalist ideas became the driving force behind the modernization of not only music, but the country’s national culture. The movement followed the best traditions of great composers of Bossa Nova through the incorporation of new information and references from its time. Tropicalism mixed rock, Bossa Nova, Samba, Rumba, Bolero, and Baiao. Its presence broke a lot of rigid barriers remaining in the country.
The Tropicalia Movement was between the far-right dictatorship and Brazil’s pop culture. Again, Tropicalia consisted of Bossa Nova, pop, rock’n’roll and psychedelia. Although the movement had a short life span, it stood as a profound and long-lasting impact for Brazilian society. The movement led by Veloso and Caetano sought to unify every culture within Brazil. In fact, only a handful of the true Tropicalia albums were ever published. The movement helped give birth to a particular form of brazilian rock music; thus, challenging the future of MPB.
Some repercussions of the Tropicalia Movement include the formation of a military dictatorship in Brazil. Power was seized by producing fear and terror within the population. A major fear factor was when a university student was killed during the March of One Hundred Thousand.
Brazilian metal began with the hard rock movement that came from Jovern Guarda in the 1960’s, passing from progressive rock to heavy metal. In the 1970’s, progressive rock or hard rock bands such as O terco, A Bolha, A Barca do Sol, Som Nosso de Cada Dia, and Vimana & Bacamarte started to attain some recognition internationally. Jovem Guarda was a famous singer and lyric writer.
Raul Seixas, also known as the “Father of Brazilian Rock” or “Maluco Beleza” (cool crazy) was very influential during the time of Tropicalia. He mixed Brazilian cultural music with rock rhythm and sound. His style was similar to the Beatles; however, he mixed the Brazilian culture in his own unique way. The Beatles actually influenced a great deal of artists within the Tropicalia movement.
Brazilian metal originated in the 1980’s with three prominent scenes which were Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. The most famous bands are Sepultura, Angra, Krisiun, Rebaelliun, Nephasth, Dr. Sin, Shaaman, Violator, and the singer Andre Matos. Sepulture shaped the way for thrash metal and even led the death metal movement.
In conclusion, Tropicalia paved the way for other artists and musicians to express their feelings about the government, societal challenges, and overall hardships faced by the Brazilian people. Tropicalia also created a path for the creation of heavy metal bands like Sepulture and BPM. Overall, Tropicalia provided a positive and everlasting impact upon Brazilian culture.
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