With over 20 years of experience, André Luz has caught BBMag’s attention at several events.
We decided to meet up for a chat, and here is the result. Read on to find out more about the refined voice whose Brazilian style has been delighting Londoner’s. Here for you, André Luz.
BBMag – André, start by telling us about where you’re from, your family and your childhood.
AL – I’m from a countryside region of São Paulo, a city called Amparo, in the Circuito das Aguas (Water-Circuit). My mum still lives there, but my dad passed away three years ago. My childhood was great, the typical life of a country boy: football in the park, swimming in rivers and waterfalls, meeting up with friends for laughs and lots of music.
BBMag – So were you the type who used to use mum’s pans as a drum kit, or did you get interested in music a little later in life? Tell us about your musical ‘awakening’.
AL – (Laughs) It was exactly like that! From a young age, I used to tap out beats on anything and everything: pans, school books, tins etc. Music has always been a part of my life. I remember that when I was little I used to love hearing my Dad go around the house singing. What’s more, the neighbourhood Samba school was about 50 metres from my house. I spent a lot of my time hanging around with older boys and musicians. I used to pay a lot of attention to the way they interacted, taking in as much as possible of their incredible culture…. For me, music has always been about culture, it has always touched my soul. It’s difficult to describe how this feeling came about, it was just a part of me, it came from within, ever since I was a little boy I knew this was my path.
As well as the samba school, which I participated in, I started to take part in a church youth group. We had a band and, every Sunday, we used to sing catholic songs.
BBMag – When did you decide that this was what you wanted to do as your profession? Tell us about your biggest musical influences.
AL – When I was 15, some friends and I started a samba group, we practiced every day and some of the elder musicians started to take note of our sound, becoming members of the band. Next, we started playing shows in bars around the city and the wider region. It wasn’t long before we were asked to play with the great Jair Rodrigues at some of his shows that he was doing as part of a political campaign in Amparo. So, we went along and played with him; I was just a 15-year-old boy, and thought it was all amazing! After that, I set up another band, called Bandoleiros, which was quite successful all over the region, so from then on it’s possible to say that I was a professional singer. We had a show pretty much every day, not only in the state of São Paulo, but also in Minas Gerais, playing at festivals, during carnival, at bars, events etc.
My next step was to go and study at Tatui Conservatoire, where I learnt from some greats, people who made a real difference in my personal and professional life. I graduated as a Pop, MPB & Jazz Singer. Those are the three genres that most influence me. I can’t fail to mention MPB icons such as Djavan, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Elis Regina, Tom Jobim, Tim Maia, Emilio Santiago, Lenine, Ed Motta and countless others – it’s impossible to name them all here.
BBMag – In over 20 years as a performer, what has been your most special show? Tell us something interesting or funny.
AL – It’s difficult to say exactly which was the most special, each one is unique, and they all have special experiences. But there is one that I’ll never forget: a show at the Circuito das Aguas Winter Festival, where we performed with some great artists and for an immense audience, who absolutely loved it, and participated along with us during the entire show.
BBMag – But…how did you end up in London?
AL – I’ve always been musically curious, and it was about time that I left my comfort zone to explore new horizons, new ideas, new styles. So, I decided to trust my instincts and come over to Europe, to expand my knowledge, to expose myself to new influences and, of course, to spread our culture and music. A musician friend of mine who had just returned to Amparo gave me some suggestions. As the universe always conspires to help those who are trying to improve themselves, I was lucky enough to have another friend here who really helped me get adapted.
BBMag – So are you totally adapted now? What do you do in your free time? What are you interested in, as well as music?
AL – Totally adapted, but I miss Brazil’s warm weather (laughs). Free time? I study, practice and I’m always looking for new songs for my repertoire. I love ribs, and getting a group of friends together for some drinks, laughs and to make music. I’m lucky that I’ve made some great friends here, which helps me miss my family and friends in Brazil a little less. My wife and I love inviting our friends round for dinner to have a BBQ – the house is always full! I also try to go to other artists’ shows, to hear great music and expand my horizons. I love traveling and good football.
BBMag – To finish with, what are your plans for the next steps in your career and life?
AL – My first independent album is fresh out of the mixing pot. It’s called Tempo (Time). It was a painstaking production process, with a first-rate team. My producer is a great professional, who perfectly understands my ideas and aims, and helped to make the album something special, which really reflects my musical essence. The album features songs written by great friends and Brazilian musicians such as Roberto Menescal, Joyce Moreno, Paulo Cesar Pinheiro, Carlos Lyra, Jesse Santo, Fernanda Rabelo, Diego Dimadu, Ronaldo Pizzi, Rodrigo de Castro and Tiago Zampieri.
Top notch musicians worked alongside me on the project, and every single track oozes Brazilian charm and swing, a mixture of Samba, Bossa Nova and MPB. Each arrangement was put together with the aim of provoking those unique feelings that only good music is capable of. They are songs to listen to at any time, anywhere. The album is available for purchase on all platforms – iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and on my website.
We are currently planning the album’s release party, and are all set to go on tour to promote our work. Oh, and of course, I’m already working on my next project…
- Have a look at André’s schedule on the website andreluz.co.uk .