Axé – the song of the people of a place

Image: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye


Comment on the documentary directed by Chico Kertész

The father of the people and the party without anything to celebrate.

For a historically new country, there is nothing better than celebrations to exalt and set symbolic milestones that support the official imaginary. We had, for example, under Fernando Henrique Cardoso's government the commemoration of the “500 years of the discovery of Brazil”. The biggest celebration of this date took place in Salvador and the culmination of the party was a replica of a XNUMXth century caravel that would go from Salvador to Porto Seguro. There were forceful demonstrations against that monument[I]. Landless, indigenous and militants denounced social inequalities in one of these manifestations. Nothing to celebrate in this country made of the blood of the pariahs of the earth. The official party of the ruling class was humiliating thanks to the struggle of those who had nothing to celebrate. At the same time, Daniela Mercury performed the show that celebrated the “discovery”. The conquest of Axé Music was ingrained with the perspective of the political spectacle.

In this motto of exaltation, the film Axé – Song of the people of a place January 2017 makes its plot of the 30 years of Axé Music. The point is not to make a value judgment about the music itself, but to understand how, in the form of the film, a certain perspective of national history is presented based on the motto of exaltation. Or more: which point of view would be amalgamated to the composition of the film? The one of the caravels of the market or the pariahs of that song?

The initial images of the documentary are mainly from the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s, when Salvador's carnival circuit had already been structured as the carnival of the electric trios. The slowness of the images along with the song Nago Baianity, in the painful version by Ivete Sangalo, takes up the nostalgia of the golden times. Song and image come together to frame the viewer's imagination. A nostalgia that sets the initial tone in order to move the viewer and take him back to memories of that time, for many consumers never experienced, in fact, but exhaustively heard. The slow time of remembering the past seems to be trampled along the general pace of the documentary by the very plot of the history of the genre.

It is as if, from the beginning, the new order of those golden times had been premeditated… “something is out of order, out of the world order”.[ii] Brazil, just out of the military dictatorship and the constituent process concluded, has a certain ruin “of a school under construction”, as in the verses of Caetano Veloso: we built a democracy and its ballast was Sarney, the military and businessmen, with, soon then, Collor's criminal acceleration of what was desired in the 1988 Constitution. Thus, the nostalgic tone constitutes a permanent backdrop to the narrative, since the mass public was also constituted at that time.[iii] The mass is amalgamated by political conciliation with the right, the manager of permanent social anomie. The democratic mirage is not without its nostalgia in the great illusion of an unfinished country. The fate of the tropic of New order of Caetano would be (or still is) his own ruin.

Caetano Veloso, the central character at the beginning of the documentary, brings the memory of “I saw and lived” in the 1960s, when the videos did not record many moments of the carnival in Salvador. And he is the author of odara who lends the film the name of a song: Song of the people of a place.[iv] The intellectual authority of Tropicália and MPB as an argument for the documentary will be built: whoever lived “inside” counts. Inside what? What would be the “outside” in the most popular genre forged by the recording industry? This would be the first question. But let's go.

All interviewees succeed each other in the foreground or close up, revealing the will to truth from the dramatic effect of the camera. The reports are not only from artists, but also from engineers,[v] arrangers, studio owners, artists more or less connected to the market game, etc. By putting together several reports from those who lived, the truth of the story is given. Added to the reports are a bunch of images from music videos, carnivals and shows, the commercial entertainment that dominated all levels of society in the 1990s.

Structurally, the documentary is divided into: formation, development, peak and relative decay, with the expectation of a new peak. A classic structure of bourgeois drama[vi] added to the positivist way, since the XNUMXth century, of treating history. Does it seem ridiculous? I don't think so, since relative decadence and expectation are guided by the dynamics of progress. Here is the first point to think about: the historical subject, the formation of the Axé movement by the people of Bahia – epic, par excellence, since it deals with a people and not with individuals – is dramatized. However, one element is added to the end of the classic structure of the XNUMXth century: after the “decline” of some of those involved in the market for artists, there is hope in an individual figure: Saulo Fernandes, former lead singer of Jammil and a Nights, exalted as a solo artist. From drama we moved to melodrama, full of intrigue and projecting a happy end progressive for the viewer. Thus, a hopeful future depends on the consumer. He is counted on for the historical perpetuation of the genre with a mark of social struggle. But what matters is that the “axé” brand circulates incessantly in the competitive market of culture and life.

Thus, initially, we have a collective perspective, of the people of a place; in the end, the individual figure, the hero who constitutes himself for the masses. The conflict of the people is individualized. In this sense, the indefinite article that precedes “place” seems to be the very expectation of what has not yet been defined. The promise of an inclusive Brazil, integrating the formal labor market of the lower classes and the promise of a better life to come, produced inertia. And that's how the logic works: the sum of the different reports of those who saw and lived Carnival (in its “pre-capitalist” and capitalist era) from the phonographic industry would present the totality of history and its progress. Even in a zero-sum game, given the very moment of production of the documentary, permanent inertia, that is, permanent social inequality, was given.

One of the most debated themes, until today, was the prejudice of the Southeast towards Axé Music in the 1990s, when it “dominated” the industry. There is no doubt that it is a point to bring up for discussion, as long as the moral debate is overcome. For, if merely going against prejudice is repeating the victors' ideology through documentary form, perhaps this brings a double problem: the belief that simply telling this story is already a victory. This victory, however, continues on the same side: that of the winners of history (and here it is not about who got rich or not, but the game of the mass media and the music industry about formulating a promise of Brazil, of the illusion needed to form the democratic nation, which was never formed).

If people are mentioned, we must immediately think of nation. One participates in the other. In this case, it would be the Bahian nation, the black and representative matrix of Brazilian society that fights the ideology of positive miscegenation or whitening. And what would be the point of view of this nation that contemplates the people? More than known: the history of a nation can be told from the point of view of the winners or the losers. However, the losers, from the cultural industry since the 60s, can also narrate their history – and the way of narrating entangled with the capitalist mode of production, for many times, emulates the history of the winners.

The distance required, or the epic way, to present “the” story is configured by an organization of a point of view. If it is organized in a dramatic way, nothing is more certain than a reinforcement of the dominant and reductionist, and often progressive, way of understanding history – of the vanquished, it is emphasized. There is no contradiction; there are overlapping conflicts. The law of cause and effect prevails, typical of the so-called bourgeois drama, a classic of dramaturgy.

Therefore, from the cultural industry point of view, the story of the losers is told in the same way that the winners organize their history. Geniuses, individual figures who strive, who are lucky and live by chance,[vii] who become sentimentalized when remembering what once was and will never be again. Personal dramas prevail, tempered by intrigue, full of adventures to enter the national market.

The documentary intends to show the formation of a “unique musical movement”, according to the caption at 3'25'', having the city of Salvador as its “cradle”. The generic genre of song, but specific to entertainment,[viii] seems to have in the word “movement” its ideological support. This is related to the principle of Axé in candomblé. And it can be politicized, in the sense of conflict and point of view, as a social claim aimed at a political objective, or it can indicate displacement, change of position from one place to another, agitation, uproar. Regardless of the range of meanings, the point is: does this movement have a political character or just an indication of a “change of place”? I believe that it is not under the sign of one or the other, but under the double path – politicization and exchange of individual positions in the market – that the film acts, from these small explicit indications, passing through the interviewees' reports, to the very structure of the film .[ix]

I do not intend to dissect point by point, but to show how these elements chosen by director Chico Kertész are not mere junctions of stories to compose a story, but the representation, far from neutral, of looking at a story from a certain point of view, the of the market or, according to Durval Lélys, lead singer of the band Asa de Águia, of the “national business”. All the social and political verve, embraced by the percussion groups, becomes an accessory or perfumery for the business. Also, it is worth mentioning: in the words of the conductor and arranger of the WR label, Alfredo Moura, percussion is not even an instrument. And it is in this vein that, in the documentary, the percussion groups go from protagonists to mere extras. And this is still a beautiful representation of Brazil…


Does Axé Music have a father?

Axé Music brought baianity to the phonographic and entertainment industry, or a certain representation of baianity updated from a cultural tradition,[X] as the driving force behind the construction of a cluster of artists. They emerged with the Bahian, malevolent and very swinging diction that characterized not only regionality, but also a place that guides Brazilian blackness, incorporated or not into the order, but exhaustively explored in the social and ideological structure.

The promise of the film, which has Gilberto Gil on the cover of the streaming Netflix, is to bring these people to the surface from a story that is little or not elaborated by the critical sense or by the Brazilian intelligentsia. But would the making of the film be the fulfillment of that promise? The promise that the intelligentsia, in the abstract but under the concrete target of a certain white elite, did not see what it should have seen?

The first question presented by the documentary is: does Axé Music have a father? Different points of view follow as a way of bringing plurality and giving the character of neutrality to the composition of the documentary, in which the omniscient narrator would only play the role of mediator between history and reality. The fraternal list is enunciated by voices from different generations and points of view, in the sense of social function – artist, arranger, producer, etc. – and ideological, of the music market. Those chosen to answer the question were: Blocos Afro, Neguinho do Samba, “Seu” Osmar and Dodô, Omolu, WR arranger Alfredo Moura, Wesley Rangel Cristóvão Rodrigues, Carnival as a major entity and organizer of everything. Regardless of that, Caetano Veloso, the tropicalist father,[xi] elects the eldest son of Axé Music: Luiz Caldas.[xii]

Caldas would pass from the formation phase of the electric trios of Dodô and Osmar to the development of aesthetic modernity; that carnival style from the streets to the masses, beyond carnival. The landmarks would be the synthesized keyboard – a technological landmark of the song of the 80s –, and the sung word, since before the guitars were the ones who sang. The song, in this way, is the mass product, the turning point for this story. In addition to the song, Luiz Caldas inserts the strength of the marked and repetitive gesture in his dance, which was reproduced along with the musical rhythms – be it Ijexá, frevo or reggae – and the sung word. A constant tune from Axé Music that brought to light the ambiguity between the literal and sexuality, a poetic relationship that is not exactly new, but now massified, sweeping away any critical daydream about the song's history as if a poetic technique were neutral in itself history. If the song also makes use of the image, nothing better than the incessant reproduction of gestures to make the merchandise circulate in everyday life and in the imagination of the masses. A process of reification of popular dance itself in which the gestures, although marked in certain aspects, also show the dancer's freedom in relation to the rhythm.

The documentary, by presenting the elected eldest son, uses video clip images and publicity of the artist in the mass media to show his success. Parallel to these innovations of the firstborn-father,[xiii] Years before, in 1980, Olodum had paraded for the first time in the carnival. The group's first LP is recorded seven years later.

And it is these two forces that are presented in the documentary: individualized artists seeking projection at carnival, building their careers via the phonographic industry, and politicized artistic movements that put the issue of blackness and social marginality on the agenda. Certainly, some of these groups, such as Olodum and Ara Ketu, also found their way into the industry, but what matters is the double path the documentary follows.

According to Armandinho, it was Luiz Caldas who “defined” a style of music with the aim of projecting itself in the electric trios. And for the phonographic-media industry, there is nothing better than recording an artist whose image and music projection are already established regionally and, in this case, ready to reach the average national listener-consumer, beyond regionalism. The product is worked to adapt to a historical expectation of the average listener-consumer, whose point is not only regional, but also an indication of insertion in a wider market, global, if possible. If you will achieve this feat or not, another five hundred and investments.

The historical coincidence with the tropicalista project of 1968 is not mere chance. The tropicalist project undertaken, mainly, by the composer of “Tropicália” is part of this historical thread of the song, of Brazilian cultural progress. He enunciated the will to modernize our music towards such a universal; we should combat nationalist-regionalism and enter universal politics, of the international-popular market.[xiv] Inserting itself into the market, without restrictions, would be the necessary aesthetic-popular modernization project, according to the tropicalist manifesto and the Música Nova manifesto, of the arrangers engaged in this universalization of Brazilian popular music. Oswald's so-called anthropophagy would come out of a joke, with a humorous and revolutionary tone, for a marketing impulse. No wonder Caetano is one of the main characters in the documentary. He will be the living and representative image of what he saw and experienced in the embryonic phase of the Bahian carnival, buried by the history of the Rio carnival. He was part of the development, saw the consolidation and knows (or did he know?) to recognize the apogee, just like Gilberto Gil – the prodigal father, even distant –, who elects the successors of this tradition in the contemporary world.[xv] Not least that the documentary reiterates the program of the reactionary Chacrinha, as the bridge to national stardom.[xvi] The old man had already stamped many artists, as long as they continued dripping the necessary jabá or that the agreements with the major recording companies were still in force. But, as the prayer says: what matters is talent, isn't it?


Make amen, who is from amen.

The end of the 1980s for the phonographic industry is marked by the diversification of the marketing and publicity strategies of the artists of the major recording companies.[xvii]. The artist could release his music together with a soap or a fashionable clothing brand, for example. Everyday life was taken over by song-entertainment. And Brazil, as a third world – jargon at the time – also received the incessant flow of foreign recordings aimed at mass entertainment and marked by the insertion of electronic instruments and the technological development of the studios. These were able to even produce an artist without him having any voice, a common case from then on in the world industry, since the image overlapped any talent, or supposed, musical. However, this was not the case for Bahian artists at that time.

It is undeniable that they had technical preparation, the carnival already prepared them for the business, even though there were no entrepreneurs prepared for a medium-long term investment horizon, as Leitieres Leite pointed out in an interview[xviii]. The important thing was that the image would be the advertising vector, even at the beginning of the video clip era. In addition, many musicians, who became professionals, participated in socio-musical practices that went beyond the industry, such as samba de roda, candomblé and, certainly, spontaneous encounters in the streets of Salvador.

The sung word is the driving motif of that markedly black territory and holder of knowledge that goes beyond the so-called official Brazil, although some knowledge has also participated for a long time in an official Bahia.[ixx] And much is due to the construction made by an entertainment industry that formed the lucrative triad: Carnival, tourism and music.

In the 1990s, already with some national marketing strength, Bahians appear in droves in the market. The dominant carioca production is disputed face to face with Axé Music, with a second generation of BRock (Raimundos, Planet Hemp, Skank etc.), with the pagode of São Paulo, with the sertaneja duos, who also gained relevance since the end of the 1980s. The Bahian carnival already dominated, and competed with Rio de Janeiro, as one of the biggest carnivals in the country, in the economic sense, and the city hall already made official the famous cord circuit “Dodô e Osmar”, quoted by the song Nago Baianity at the beginning of the movie. It is undeniable that the 1990s are the heyday of Axé Music. Everything is already structured: studios, negotiations, artists, entrepreneurs[xx].

The electric trios were part of the regional structure of the business and, since the end of 1980, the representatives of the sound boxes did not care if the consumer transa was the middle class, more intellectual, more university - and that certainly could pay more for fun . In fact, this has become a commercial objective. The logic of “you paid, you took”. If in 1968 Tropicália rebelled against an intellectualized university public, on the left, to formulate another aesthetic-political project, Axé Music adopted the explosion of the privatized, depoliticized university being, based on the project of Fernando Collor de Mello, as its preferred audience.[xxx]

It was in that decade of total neoliberalization in Brazil, in which privatization and exclusion became pairs and cultural mottos without shame in stratifying society through consumption, that the most revered record of the genre was produced by an artist very prepared for the blocks, for the incessant routine of presentations, which sing-dance-sing-dance frantically on stage: Daniela Mercury. Her preparation, physical, vocal and body, is that of an American pop star. It is necessary to represent the technical quality affected by incessant effort. This is beyond the bourgeois discipline of the XNUMXth century, because in the performance of Axé the effort is to guide the general rhythm of society in which the lower class worker is no longer even in the possibility of a salary society, already in ruins. with the disc the corner of the city (1992) formulates the ambiguous synthesis with which the film works: market and politics. Mercury raises the level of Axé Music to something that can also be consumed by the MPB public, who love more elaborate lyrics, or song-poetry, since the formulation of this genre, also generic to the music industry, in the mid-1960s. Mercury takes a long time to appear in the film as a character central, but her comments always have an analytical or researcher tone – which is not bad in terms of aesthetic research, but easily amalgamated as a justification for embryonic productions of the media-phonographic market. By the way, this gives the very intellectual tone that the MPB consumer middle class likes. The artist has extensive knowledge of Afrobaian rhythms, their history and the bands. Her character in the documentary is like that of an intellectual, a profound connoisseur of the rhythms of tradition. She regrets that tradition is not made only for rhythm, unless seen by the rhythm of production…

In fact, throughout the film it is shown that those artists were not a mere invention of the market – and, in fact, many were not. The point of view presented is that of showing artists not alienated from the rhythms they played – and which, in fact, they were not!. Yes, Tchan is based on samba de roda; Márcio Victor, lead singer of Psirico and a trained percussionist, knows how to combine and formulate new rhythms based on regional tradition; Xandy too etc. Certainly there is a force to want to leave the plane of prejudice, which is something moral, but where to get to? In the heart of the people, as producer Wesley Rangel says? Which ways? Although Leitieres Leite makes an effort to analyze a musical phenomenon in which social practice had a life beyond the studios, he does not take into account the strength of the market to raise these artists and manipulate ears through incessant repetition.

And then, no matter how much the maestro makes an effort to politicize, the overwhelming market depoliticizes the rhythm that is born from the people to transform it into incessant drumming in the ears of the mass. Play until it runs out. And so is the inexhaustible production of artists who come out of the people to try for stardom.[xxiii] Tradition serves as a raw material for industry to politicize,[xxiii] apparently, and depoliticize at the same time. In this case, the documentary lacks an investigation into what the condition of the workers in that industry would be, the interplay between the market and the media, what limited the advancement of aesthetic production, etc. But this cannot be expected of someone who excludes a critical analysis of history from his point of view. If the organization of the documentary material is guided by a dominant way of narrating the story, if the melodrama is armed to individualize social issues, then the critical defeat is ready for the spectator to adhere to what was forged in the technical devices of the studio and in the negotiations between businessmen local and mass media. A cynical strategy of the ruling class, nothing new in Brazilian social life.

Finally, after several victorious stories, we reach the biggest star: Ivete Sangalo. There are almost eight minutes dedicated to her. The Sony artist, along with Daniela Mercury, was a national sensation. But after the heyday comes the decline. The documentary focuses on personal intrigues and the lack of (business!) strategy in failing to keep the “genre” at the top of the market. Among the dead and wounded, there are still a few artists left. Among them, Ivete. And the question she has to answer to the documentary filmmaker is the opposite of what the film proposes: is there no movement because there is no union of artists? A pop star baiana is visibly indignant. “Did someone tell you that?” she asks in a daze. And all the previous testimonies expose what she refuses to accept. The game of point of view is cynical: a critical question is proposed, and the answer is already being constructed throughout the documentary, and leaves it to the pop star international question and be in hot water, as it goes against the obvious. Therefore, following the reasoning of the documentary, the problem resounds: would the queen be such a queen? What is the pernicious conclusion that the documentary leaves for the viewer? What was she to blame for? His quest for success went beyond the “movement”.

In this way, the melodrama is ready for the viewer to stay with the dualistic issues of good and evil and take sides in the conflict. And the remaining politicization remains at the most individualized level possible, that is, it becomes depoliticized. The level of belief that it would be personal relationships that could overcome this crisis reaches the apex of the narrative, which is not exactly a lie in a society of cronies and jabás, but it is not the whole of the capital movement.

Maestro Leitieres Leite, in an effort to politicize the point of view, reappears to say that that rhythm, which used to be pure entertainment, has now established itself as a musical genre.[xxv] This is the moment in the narrative that precedes the dramatic turn that points to hope. The entertainment genre, after decadence and betrayals, has not died. Cláudia Leite is exalted as an international pop artist, far from Axé, even though she venerates its “roots”. But there is still another successor elected to the bastion of Axé. First, let us note: Caetano, the father of everything in Brazilian popular music, elects the regional eldest son; Gil indicates the contemporaries who developed it; Leitieres indicates the fixation of eternity. But who would be his successor at the present time to continue the international axé-pop climb?

The market, based on his uncontested supporters, elects him: Saulo Fernandes. Thus, Orkestra Rumpilezz's maestro's critical attempt had already been annulled in the composition of the documentary by the flood of statements by and about the media-phonographic market. For the spectator, there is an indication of hope and search that he must do so that Saulo Fernandes, that prominent figure of Brazilian popular music, continues in (hegemonic?) history… But, after Saulo, who will come? At Bible, Saulo was São Paulo, the inventor of the biblical Christ and the Catholic Church. In the bible of the market, Saulo is just one more, although eternalized as a bet in the documentary; bankrupt bet. And far from wanting to remain in individualized debates about this or that artist, whether he is white or not, the market selects and gives its racial quota for a long time to pretend that there is no racism, to make a spectacle of culture as redemption from racism, but not the exploitation of capital at a disposable pace with all the workers in the phonographic industry who carry the raw material in their ringtones. Just like Getúlio Vargas, the market knows how to silence the voice of the oppressed by giving them a name, a hope, an illusion.

The coronet carnival continues, society's cordons too, consumers too, and Ambev and the coronelista city hall of Bahia, sponsors of the film too - and they are doing very well and are grateful for the constant support of their fanatical followers for the euphoria of the marked gesture and controlled that follow through the streets of the city. Other apostles will come. Meanwhile, the drums are still playing in the streets… listen to those who have ears. Make amen, who is from amen. Make axé, who sees the drumming of the people not ceasing in the misadventures of “conquest of Brazil” and who understands that it will not be a mere change of place in this capitalist movement that will change the social structure.

*Leonardo Pereira La Selva Bachelor of Arts from the University of São Paulo.



Axé: the song of the people of a place.
Brazil, documentary, 2017, 107 min.
Directed by: Chico Kertesz
Screenplay: Chico Kertesz and James Martins
Photography: Rodrigo Maia
Music: Bob Bastos



[I] Value of 500 thousand reais and many political negotiations between the federal and state government, PFL, today the DEM, the owner caciques.

[ii] Verses from Out of order (Caetano Veloso).

[iii] Would the target audience be the generation raised on entertainment in the 1990s with nostalgia being part of the cultural commodity? The excellence of postmodernity. In other words, politics without history and vice versa.

[iv] In this disc song Jewelery (1975), Caetano dialogues with the melody of White wing to show how “we” are in total harmony with nature. A mystification of the people in the still dark times of the dictatorship.

[v] Builders of the Trio Elétricos, whose devices, limited by economic conditions, by the place and the country, show the effort to overcome the underdeveloped condition and reach artistic results for the masses. The effort is undeniable, but the caveat is how this works to build the social drama of the documentary.

[vi] It is interesting to note how the first historians of popular music (Vagalume, Animal, Almirante, etc.) rely on this structure to create what had never been told. The book “Criar um mundo starting from nothing” by USP historian José Geraldo Vinci de Moraes presents well this way of telling by the early chroniclers-historians of popular music.

[vii] “I was at the right time, at the right time, in the right place” says Ricardo Chaves about Luiz Caldas. This commonplace is nothing more than a way of characterizing luck as a form of social ascension. If this occurs at the individual level, at the social level it is a combination of factors that lead to certain prominent figures in history. Let's see: if we put this to Hitler or Stalin we could reduce all social analysis to lucky figures who come to power.

[viii] Perhaps it is worth reflecting here: if, according to Adalberto Paranhos, young people born in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s saw almost no social mobility, would it be in the logic of entertainment the possibility of social insertion? Check it out in Paranhos (2019): “The construction of the labor society in Brazil: an investigation into the secular persistence of social inequalities” (chapter VI).

[ix] And yet: any debate based on the idea of ​​ancestry to justify Axé Music becomes a fetish, a Brazilian mystique of the relationship between classes and exploitation.

[X] The one that is politically reconciled with the dominant strata and makes its artistic manifestation a conformation with the ideology of the dominators. After all, rulers can also be progressive, right?

[xi] Around the middle of 1970, Caetano, maintaining his narcissistic-tropicalist project, changed the name of the song “Phrases” (1967 – from the album O Bidu – Silence in Brooklyn) by Jorge Ben for “Look at the boy”. Pedro Alexandre Sanchez in Tropicalismo – beautiful decadence of samba says: (...) it is Caetano encompassing the one who gave him matrix, making his children those who are his parents. Therefore, now in the XNUMXst century, with the (poorly) told history of popular music, Caetano can already from his pantheon pray for his offspring, even for those who did not work out very “successfully”… what to do – his Bahian neutrality would say – … it is the natural law of life (read “market”).

[xii] The director of the film, in November 2016, on the program “Encontro com Fátima Bernardes”, says that the starting point of Axé Music would be Luiz Caldas. The first son chosen by Caetano Veloso would be the director's father. It would be Luiz Caldas, according to director Chico Kertész, who would remove the Bahian guitars from the scene, being the inflection point for the massification of the song and the technological development of the trios.

[xiii] Luiz Caldas is commonly seen as the father of “Fricote”, a mix of condensed black rhythms for pop, that is, an industry aesthetic ready for massification.

[xiv] Here I echo the thesis by Daniela Vieira dos Santos: “The representations of nation in the songs of Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso: from national-popular to globalization.” (doctoral thesis, Unicamp, 2014).

[xv] This relationship between artist and mass media, regional and “universal” music (or pop, in the sense of massification) indicates the relationship between artist and work. No wonder, again, that Axé Music in its consolidation phase in the market was labeled Neotropicália.

[xvi] It is noted that the singers only gained prominence if they went through the sexualization of the program. The boundless bundalelê for the booming market of the 80s/90s is the channel for massification.

[xvii] See: DIAS, Marcia Tosta. The owners of the voice: Brazilian phonographic industry and the globalization of culture. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2008.

[xviii] Again: this description is by Leitieres Leite, whose awareness of the process demonstrates the contradictions of forming a political song for the masses in the mid-80s and throughout the 90s, institution of neoliberalism by the Collor government.

[xx] The process of modernization of the city of Salvador, between 1912 and 1916, took place in competition with the Pereira Passos Reform in Guanabara. The elite's struggle for the cultural pole of a Brazil-nation did not fail to value the particularities of Bahia in the face of the white Brazil of the former federal capital due to the urban reform of Governor JJ Seabra. A certain progressive euphoria of the local elite, gracefully dubbed the “Renascença Bahiana”, showed the consequent contempt for colonial traits and the people rooted in the locations where urban modernity should appear, on the modern Avenida 7 de Setembro. There is a good debate about this in the book “Caymmi sem folklores” (2009), by André Domingues.

[xx] White men prevail, by the way, investors in cattle, soy and music – and even if they were only in music or black, it would very likely not change the logic, although some products could be thought of more aesthetically and less commercially

[xxx] No wonder that in that and the following decade, axés prevailed at the famous “university parties”.

[xxiii] Anyone who understands this as a moral judgment is wrong. Let us think that this quest for success, at any cost and interspersed with investments and conductors, does not expose the “people”, but the trajectory of successive artists.

[xxiii] Politicizing, here, is understood as putting social conflicts into play, far from the neoliberal idea that has become established in institutional politics.

[xxv] In another interview he is more categorical when he says: [Axé Music] is a genre of the music industry. See interview at: . It seems that the maestro is holding back from saying more openly his critical reflection on the genre, since in other interviews he makes the relationship between the Axé Music genre and the umbilical relationship with the media-phonographic industry more explicit.

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  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table