MANAUS – “It is a salutary moment for all of us. Brega to me means love and entertainment,” says singer Wanderley Andrade, on Thursday, 16, in an exclusive interview to CENARIUM. Considered one of the main lovers and disseminators of brega rhythm, which is now recognized as Cultural and Intangible Heritage of Pará, through a Bill (PL) sanctioned on Wednesday, 15, by the state government, at the Estação Gasômetro Theater, in Belém, with several musical performances by artists from Pará.
Wanderley Andrade, with more than 30 years dedicated to the musical career, declared that the recognition of the rhythm is the realization of a dream of all those who work, compose, live, or just love brega. Moreover, the composer also affirms that the PL puts the musical style in another level, something that can help in the valorization and dissemination of the style in the country.
“When we have faith in God and faith in life, things happen. I believe that now, with brega actually recognized, it will be taken a little more seriously. Because it will not only have support from the state government, but also from the federal government at a dissemination level, besides carrying out popular programs so that the rhythm cannot fall into oblivion and, actually, I don’t think it will”, declares the singer.
Taking up space
Wanderley believes that one of the factors for the musical style to be so dear and contagious to those who listen is due to the lyrics that are full of love messages. “For us, brega is romanticism and love in essence. It’s not the pejorative connotation they give out there. Different from before, the people who enjoy it assume this very calmly. In one of my songs I already said the following sentence: ‘Why pretend that you don’t like it if in your room you can’t resist and dance when you hear a brega, understand the message?” questioned Andrade.
In the Pará singer’s reading, brega, being a patrimony, makes the path taken by all those who followed the rhythm’s musical career be valued. Andrade remembers the contribution of musicians, like Reginaldo Rossi, who perpetuated the history of the rhythm until this moment of prominence.
“I remember Reginaldo Rossi who dominated the region of Pernambuco and helped me a lot in my career, giving me tips. Behind all this there is a whole hall of wonderful people who are performing or who left a beautiful musical trail in Brazil and particularly here in the North. Throughout my 57 years I have been able to witness this moment and this is wonderful”, comments the artist.
More than approved
For fans of the rhythm from Pará, the recognition initiative was received with joy, but they consider that the moment should have already happened before, due to such relevance of brega to the musical scene, not only from Pará, but to other neighboring states, such as Amazonas, which is also strongly influenced by the rhythm. Saleswoman Valéria Leite, 42 years old, proudly celebrates the title. She was born in Pará and lives in the Jurunas neighborhood, a place where brega is heard in almost every home.
“I live in a very typical place of the periphery, where brega is heard very loudly by the neighbors. I am happy with this moment, but I think that it took a long time, because brega is characteristic of our region, it has a lot of connection with Para. It is even hard to imagine someone from Pará or someone who has lived here and claims that they have never listened to brega”, says Valéria.
Ana Carolina Peixoto, 33, a psychologist from Para, also considers that the recognition was slow. However, she celebrated the historic day and highlighted the prejudice surrounding the rhythm: “It took a long time for it to be recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage, since carimbó had already won it. I think, inclusive, that this delay happened as a kind of prejudice against the brega rhythm, for being consumed mainly by the less wealthy classes”, ponders the psychologist, who remembers her childhood every time there were songs connected to the movement.
“I think it’s beautiful that brega is an Intangible and Cultural Patrimony! For me, particularly, brega is nostalgic. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to visit an aunt who lives in the middle of Guamá (a neighborhood in Pará). It reminds me of my college days when I used to dance in the ‘vadião’ at the Federal University of Pará, it brings me the feeling of being contemplated as a citizen of Pará”, concludes Carolina.
Recently, CENARIUM published an article about the rescue and appreciation of brega, which has been on the rise in the country due to artists such as Pabllo Vittar, after the release of the album “Batidão Tropical”. After only two months, the work reached the top of the charts. The album’s hit “Zap Zum” was among the most listened to until July this year. The song reached the number of 89,974 thousand plays, reaching the 185th position in Spotify’s music charts.
Besides the song Zapzum, Bang Bang and Ânsia – all performed by the former singer of the Calypso Company, Mylla Karvalho – and Apaixonada, by the band Batidão; as well as Ultra Som, by the band Ravelly, were also re-recorded by the artist.
At the time, in a statement to the newspaper EL PAÍS about the new work, Pabllo said that the intention was precisely to exalt the North and Northeast regions and encourage the consumption and appreciation of regional culture. “This album is a culmination of the North and Northeast. I want to exalt these regions, beat my chest and say that it is not only regional culture, it is a Brazilian patrimony. It is very crazy the devaluation of what is ours while we import culture”, he declared.
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