With the happy declaration, ‘I want to sing "Ex Mai Love" with you – I have so many ex-loves out there’, iconic singer Elza Soares made newcomer Gaby Amarantos an offer she couldn’t refuse. Their pact, which includes a duet of Amarantos's unnervingly catchy hit song, culminates in a series of three shows – all part of the tour ‘Deixa a Nega Gingar’ – at SESC Pinheiros.
Soares, whose career spans more than 50 years, is best known for her hoarse, ragged voice and her marriage to the legendary footballer Garrincha. The Rio de Janeiro native’s repertoire is heavy on samba and bossa nova, but she rarely passes up the opportunity to try something new.
It’s no wonder, then, that the carioca diva chose to collaborate with Amarantos. Hailing from the Amazonian state of Pará, Amarantos brought tecnobrega – a rhythm that mixes carimbó, siriá and calypso with electronic beats – to the forefront of Brazil’s mainstream music scene. Bursting with attitude, she’s been dubbed ‘the Beyoncé of Pará’. ‘I feel like my best self on stage with Elza, an artist I admire and with whom I feel connected. I may be tecnobrega, but I’m also samba,’ says Amarantos.
‘Deixa a Nega Gingar’, the tour title track, strikes a balance between samba and experimentalism by splicing house, dubstep, samba-rock and jazz. ‘I’m daring, I like what’s new, my dear. And that’s why Gaby’s in this with me,’ says Soares.
Soares’s usual set list will be shaken up a bit with Amarantos tracks like ‘Xirley’ and her biggest hit, the aforementioned ‘Ex Mai Love’ – a delightful tribute to her former lovers, and the oft-mispronounced ‘L’ word.
Of the raspy-voiced Soares’s classics, songs like ‘Chove Chuva’, ‘Nêga do Cabelo Duro’, ‘Mas Que Nada’, ‘O Meu Guri’ and Cartola’s essential samba ‘As Rosas Não Falam’ will surely make the cut. But Elza isn’t making any promises. ‘We’re still setting up the show, exchanging ideas, setting our parameters,’ she says. Amarantos, on the other hand, assures us that Elza’s requests will be promptly fulfilled. ‘Whatever she wants me to sing, I’ll sing!’ Gaby exclaims.
‘It’s going to be a meeting of two meteorites of love,’ states Elza. Based on the way things are looking, the ‘ex-loves’ are really missing out.