INTERVIEW: Muca

Hi Muca, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi guys, I’m great. I hope you’re doing well too! 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single, “Until We Meet Again”?

Yes, that’s a track where I decided to revisit my Brazilian roots. I moved to London from Brazil over 10 years ago. I’ve been working with other genres, but recently I felt the urge to revisit the rich and more than special music from my country. So, I then started to write the song and the melody. I never thought I could get someone like Menescal to be part of that! 

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

Musically speaking, literally my personal need of writing tracks with more sophisticated chords and progressions. Lyrically speaking, it’s about the loss of a dear friend of mine and Alice SK. Kevin Keating. He was one of the best guitarists I’ve ever met and a bossa nova aficionado. I think he’s one of the European people who had the right groove. 

Tell us about the video for the track?

I basically went to Rio specifically to record the track with Menescal. Because that was something huge, I decided to shoot some material at the studio and got in contact with Eduardo Binato, a Rio-based filmmaker. I didn’t have anything in mind for what that material would turn into. In the end, when I came back to London, I decided that it would be really nice, especially with this post-COVID era, to link Brazil and the UK and myself, Menescal and Alice SK altogether. I then got my friend Thomas Casey to film the bits here in London. Binato then edited and chose to use black and white on the music video to bring noir vibes to it. 

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote this track by myself. I started with some chord progressions and the theme, and then build-up to the structure and the main melody. Once I invited Alice SK to join in, she came up with the lyrics and changed few melodies a bit, which suited the track very much. 

What was it like to work with Alice SK and Roberto Menescal?

It was fantastic. These four hours at the studio with Menescal were a true masterclass. The way he sees music, his experience, he decided to harmonise some bits, which was fantastic, not to say the stories he was telling back in the days between himself and Jobim. 

Alice SK was quite interesting because we are already working together on her debut EP ‘Electric’. She comes from a folk background, but in the end, her voice really suited the genre and the track. 

What did they bring to the table?

As I said above, a lot. Alice SK has this very interesting low tone, and I know that would suit the track. In the beginning, when I invited her, she wasn’t sure, as she had never listened to bossa nova, but when I showed her the track, she was very excited and saw that as a challenge, and in the end, it really worked out. 

Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

I guess as I’ve been producing for over a decade, I’m used to it. But when collaborating on writing songs, it is another game. I think it’s pretty exciting as you will always learn other things from the person you’re working with. An additional idea, a concept that, if used right, could add up a lot to the song.

What role does Brazil play in your music?

It’s the richest music in the world. The country had in the past indigenous, African and European people blending together. This brought a wholly new and unique kind of music. There are such different genres, rhythms. It’s funny somehow that Brazil, as a colonised country and heavily influenced by Europe and the USA, made us believe to see things differently. We sometimes tend to think you guys are better than us. I started playing the guitar at the age of 12 and heavily influenced by rock, blues and heavy metal. But I always had Brazilian music in the surroundings. My uncle plays this instrument called cavaquinho, a sort of Ukulele in size but with steel strings and very different on technique. When I visited him in the countryside, he would always play it, and every time he would also play only Brazilian music, chorinho, bossa, samba, and even inviting some friends to play with him at his house. I guess that definitely influenced me. He always told me, “Muca, you need to listen to Brazilian music more often”. 

I then started to learn classical guitar and some Brazilian pieces by the age of 17. Brazilian music and guitar are extremely challenging musically and technically. Names as Raphael Rabello, Baden Powell, Yamandú Costa, those guys are legends. 

Does the new single mean we can expect an album– how’s that coming along?

I am working on new songs and looking for new singers to work on collaborations. It will be based on Brazilian, Bossa, Soul, Sambarock and loads of groove. A kind of ‘Supernatural’ from Santana, but in that musical direction. Hopefully, an album will come along by 2022.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

That’s a million-dollar question! But I’m thinking about it. 

What else is happening next in Muca’s world?

Extremely busy! Releasing the EP for my rock project, The Beatflux, in August. Releasing Alice SK’s first single and her EP later on early next year. Working with a lovely American singer called AVA. I Have three more collaborations coming up: L.A Salami, Randolph Matthews and Pancho Trackman.  I am also working on those new tracks for my album in collaboration with singers, possibly including Naomi Banks, AVA, Alice SK and another surprise. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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