Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 10th 2010 10:50AM by Holly Quinn
How would you describe your music?
Well, my music is something very wide. I have several projects, but I'll tell you about what I will bring to Texas. At SXSW, I will present a mix of my solo album, 'Qualquer Lugar' ['Any Place'] -- released in Brazil and Japan in 2008 -- with my new project, Sinamantes. This new project is a trio of experimental pop, if there exists such thing. You know, Brazil is a quite isolated country from the rest of Latin America, a little bit because of the language, and a little bit because of the [big] size of its internal cultural market. This has been changing in the last year. Sinamantes has the intention of doing a blend between Brazilian and Latin influences, through the lens of pop music. I was born in Argentina and live in Brazil, so in a way I embody this mixture.
So you'll be doing two projects at SXSW?
Yeah, I'll mix the repertoire of my solo album with the new repertoire from Sinamantes.
How did you start in music?
We all started very young. I wrote my fist song at the age of four. it was called 'Vibora Carnivora,' which means "a snake that eats meat."
Did you learn to play music at home?
I started at home, and then I went to the conservatory, and after that many, many courses. All the trio has a popular and classical background, and we all like avant-garde, crazy composers. A tiny bit of that can be heard in our work.
What are some of your musical influences?
There are so many! But in this work, you can hear Hanne Hukleberg, Joni Mitchell, Laurie Anderson, Pato Fu, Jack Johnson, Neil Young, Kings of Convenience, Rafaella Carr [and] Portishead.
What instruments do you play?
The trio is made of multitask people. We all play several instruments. I play bass, guitar, synth [and] theremin. Maria, the drummer, also plays piano and percussion; and Danilo plays piano, strings, double bass. And we all sing, so we go from one instrument to the other. It's quite funny.
What does Sinamantes mean?
Sinamantes can mean "sin amantes" -- "without lovers" in Spanish; "sin amantes" lover -- "sin lovers"; or cinnamon lovers. Yes, "sim" in Portuguese [means] lovers. Or, it can be funny, melancholic or just a sound, actually. Or even like ... a kind of human being. We have the "estudantes" -- students -- and the "sinamantes."
Does the trio have an album or EP out or coming out?
Yeah, we are bringing our first EP to SXSW, with the five tunes you can hear on MySpace. We wonder how it will be received in the US. There's a tune there that I wrote in English, 'The Frog.' It is a Brazilian expression, to "swallow the frog"; it is when you would like to say something, but you don't. And then you swallow it and you feel bad with that thing unsaid inside of you.
Have you done much touring or played SXSW before?
I have been in Europe a couple of times with different projects, and also Japan and Latin America. It is our first time at SXSW and in the US with this project. I played in the US last year. We are also playing at NX35 in Denton and BYOC in Austin. And we will shoot a video clip at the Palo Duro Canyon, also.
Do you have a favorite place you've played?
I really loved Japan [and] the way they treated me, their culture, language and their technical excellence -- the best sound ever! But I am very excited about the US. I've been there last year for the first time, and it was quite a surprise.
What was the surprise?
Well, you know that we build an idea of the American identity that is not the best in the world, due to so many reasons that I guess I don't need to explain. But then you go there and you find so many interesting people, beautiful places, great culture [and] so many references. Great food, too! I guess sometimes we mix the people and their governments. And, of course, they are not the same! I found people in the US that understood and enjoyed my work in a way that never had happened before, identifying my references, showing curiosity about lyrics [and] making unexpected connections.
What part does food and cooking play in your life?
They say the world is divided into eaters and drinkers. Well, I'm an eater! I love to cook and to think about food. I think it is about the way you take care of yourself. And in my case, also the way I take care of the people around me. So, I started to write about these things and became a kind of informal food journalist too.
Holly Quinn is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.