A Gringo's Guide to Brazilian Music

After getting such outrageous comments on the “Gringo’s Guide to Brazilian Booty Music” video, I decided that I’d help my gringos out with a blog on all things música Brasileira.
I’m by no means an expert in this subject, but as a Brazilian, it’s inevitable that I was surrounded by drums, tambourines and booty shaking growing up. I’m sure that no matter where you live, you’ve heard some type of Brazilian music. Let me edumacate you on what your ears have already been exposed to.
You might have heard Bossa Nova classics while sipping a martini in a trendy lounge, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, Funk music that made you drop it like it was hot in the middle of a nightclub. As cheese-tastic as this sounds, our music is just as diverse as we are.
Get ready to update your iTunes after reading this blog.

Bossa Nova

If you want to listen to classic Brazilian music, this is the genre for you. Bossa Nova has poetic lyrics with calming strings of acoustic guitars, and songs are usually speaking about melancholy love and profound life. Deep.
Vinicius de Moraes – Para Viver Um Grande Amor
Bebel Gilberto – Samba da Benção
Tom Jobim – Wave
João Gilberto – Desafinado
Antônio Carlos Jobim – Brazil
Elis Regina – Águas de Março
Maria Rita – Num Corpo Só – (Elis Regina’s daughter)
Chico Buarque – Bom Tempo
Caetano Veloso – Sozinho
Toquinho – Aquarela

MPB – Musica Popular Brasileira

Lapa steps
This stye of music is exactly what it sounds like… popular Brazilian music. In any traditional Brazilian churrasco (our version of a BBQ), you’ll hear songs from this genre in the background.
 Djavan – Samurai
Marisa Monte – Bem  Que Se Quis
Gonzaguinha – O Que é, O Que é
Alcione – Garoto Maroto 
Seu Jorge – Tive Razão
Novos Baianos – Acabou Chorare
Gilberto Gil – Vamos Fugir
Lulu Santos – Como Uma Onda no Mar

Axé Musica

Axé comes from Salvador, Bahia and has influences from Afro-Caribbean styles of music, cause yes, Brazilians have more African influence than you may know. When you listen to Axé, you’ll realize this music is all about feeling the good vibes, jumping around and lettin’ loose.
Ivete Sangalo – Sorte Grande
Daniela Mercury – O Canto da Cidade
Banda Eva – Nosso Amor é Lindo 
Chiclete Com Banana – Quero Chiclete
Cláudia Leitte – Tarraxinha


Pagode is the style of music where the Samba is seen at its best. If you’re Brazilian, you know that pagodinho is all about cerveja, chope, vadiagem, which translates to drinking a crap ton of beer to disturb the peace while having a damn good time. Also the kind of music you’ll listen to at a churrasco.
Revelação – Sina
Fundo de Quintal – Pot-pourri
Jorge Aragão – O Barraco Desabou
Thiaginho -Caraca Muleke
Zeca Pagodinho – Deixa Vida me Levar


Brazilian rap is pretty much similar to rap of any other country… just in a different language.
Gabriel o Pensador – 2345meia78
Criolo – Convoque Seu Buda


Funk Carioca comes from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. This is “get down and dirty” kind of music that has some seriously nasty lyrics and even more provocative dance moves. Parental advisory my friends.
Cidinho & Doca – Rap Das Armas
MC Créu – Dança do Créu
MC Frank – Cabelo Encolheu
MC Guime – País do Futebol


Sertanejo can be compared to American “country” music which means that it isn’t exactly my favorite…But apparently the rest of the world likes it. It’s also the most played genre on Brazilian radio. Here’s one you’ll definitely know.
Michel Teló – Ai se eu te Pego 
Henrique e Juliano – Cuida Bem Dela
Jorge e Mateus – Nocaute
Luan Santana – Tanto Faz


These are the artists and songs that are are poppin’ right now.
Anitta – Na Batida
Valesca Popozuda – Beijinho no Ombro
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