Just as singers with African-Francophone backgrounds such as Stromae and Maître Gims are dominating the charts in France, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries in Europe, so too are those from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. Angolan-born singer Anselmo Ralph is doing well once again in Portugal with Não Me Toca (Don’t Touch Me). It’s a pleasant song, and as a bonus on this videoclip, in the intro you get to hear what a little domestic drama sounds like in Portuguese. But it all ends happily for the boy as he storms off and gets to play with some toys.
You will find two attempts at the translation of the lyrics into English, German and Russian here, as well as German and Russian, but let me warn you the first English translation is poor in parts. Look at this …
I told you I loved you and you clueless
I was called to dance your ass song
But I did not mind and devoted heart.
…. so click on translation number 2 instead. But either way you’ll get the gist.
Ampersands in music credits are catching on in Portugal as much as they are in Brazil. Here, a singer with a very Portuguese name, Nelson Freitas, but who was born in the Netherlands (he’s actually of Cape Verdean origin) has linked up with an Angolan singer by the name of C4 Pedro. Their song Bo Tem Mel is an intriguing mix of English, Portuguese and Creole, and who knows, maybe some other languages are thrown in too.
C4Pedro is best known for his song Casamento (Wedding). Its sweet, seductively smooth sounds (note the alliteration) warrant inclusion. If you listen to only one of my selections, make it this one!
Moving on now to a singer who actually hails from Portugal. Paulo Gonzo (not his real name, as you will see here) has teamed up with Ana Carolina, a husky-voiced Brazilian, for a reworking of Quem de nós dois, a song that was a big hit for her in Brazil in 2002. Both of them , in their own way, have great voices. Just listen to Paulo get going in the chorus, round about the two-minute mark (a point where the song needed to get going, methinks).
OK, enough of this schmaltzy stuff, time to listen to some Portuguese rock! Well, soft rock. Pop rock. Actually it’s, ahem, Portuguese boy band soft pop. A Um Passo do Céu (One Step Closer To Heaven), the debut single by No Stress was the only sort of contemporary pop song I could find on the charts.
I’ve chosen a TV performance of it, partly because I think the Portuguese presenter, Júlia Pinheiro of Querida Júlia (Dear Julia) fame, does a great job of subtly taking the mickey out of the whole boy band thing. Or maybe she is not that subtle, I suspect she is really taking the piss out of them. Judge for yourself. But really it’s not a bad song and after Julia inspects and compliments the boys on their manicured hair, you get what must be their theme song, also called No Stress, as a bonus.
If you want to know more about Cláudio, Tiago, Valter, Daniel e James – “a nova boy band portuguesa por quem todos esperavam” (the new Portuguese boy band that we have all been waiting for- click here. Even better, go here! OMG! This is so exciting! One of them likes basketball. Another is from the Azores. Another says being in a boy band is like gaining four brothers.