Last month Lucas Santtana released his seventh album, and third release on French label Nø Førmat, O céu é velho há muito tempo. A touchingly tender record that offers a certain urgency within the graceful, stripped-back sound. We caught up with the Brazilian artist to find out about five tracks that have influenced him.

A record that reflects powerfully on the socio-political abuses happening in his home country under Bosonaro’s rule, Santtana’s latest release sees him predominantly combine vocals and pared-down guitar melodies offering a sonic shift from his fusion of Bossa Nova rhythms and Tropicalia on previous releases. Yet these gentler sounds hold space for an unflinchingly raw outrage at and examination of the rise of the far-right and injustices occurring in Brazil right now.

Check out the powerful new video for ‘Ninguém Solta A Mão De Ninguém’ and get to know Lucas Santtana In Five…

João Gilberto – Undiú

João Gilberto was one of the greatest inventors of music. It has influenced several
generations of distinct musical universes around the world to this day. Only with
his voice and acoustic guitar he created a sound architecture full of spaces to
absorb anything and at the same time sounds like an entire band/orchestra.
Indiú is an instrumental theme from his most important album released in 1973.

Tom Zé – Mã

Tom Zé and this album called Estudying Samba are a turning point in Brazilian
music by reinventing samba, the most popular rhythm in the country, with
elements of experimental and pop music. Tom Zé used in this track an
instrument he invented that generated samples when instrument / sample
machines like MPC didn't even exist yet.

Arto Linsay – combustível

Arto Lindsay remains one of my biggest references. He was the post-punk DNA,
the initial cell that spawned Sonic youth for example and at the same time
brought a breath of air to the Tropicalist in Brazil. Flirting with sound art around
the world, Arto makes crossovers seemingly impossible to think and hear.
Combustível is a partnership with Cortejo Afro(afro party) and the artist
Matthew Barney to the Carnival of Bahia 2009 in Bahia. The result of this
carnival parade can be seen at the Inhotim modern museum in Brazil.

David Byrne – Burning down the house(live)

David Byrne has always confirmed in interviews how much Brazilian music has
influenced his work. And the generations of music in Brazil that came later have
him as an influence, which makes the wheel cycle spin. His last tour American
Utopia is a turning point in the history of pop music shows. As the title of the
chosen song says here: “Burning down the house”.

James Blake – I never learnt to share

This song and especially the show from this album that I saw live in Rio de
Janeiro was very inspiring for me. He uses many silences and spaces in his
arrangements that are almost always minimalist. This remains rare in music
productions around the world. Another inspiring thing is how he uses reverbs, delays and digital ambiences to be part of the music arrangement at times when
there is only one sounding element, such as the voice or the piano.

‘O céu é velho há muito tempo’ is out now on No Format! 

Photo credit: José de Holanda