Meet Claudia Leitte, the queen of Brazil’s axé music

So who is Claudia Leitte, the token Brazilian on the 2014 FIFA World Cup official song We Are One (Ole Ola)? (which you can hear on my previous post). According to the entry on her in Wikipedia, she is one of the most popular singers in Brazil. This video clip might give you some idea why. It was shot in Salvador, one of the World Cup host cities, set on a hill overlooking the Baía de Todos os Santos (Bay of all Saints), which you can see from the air in the opening shot underneath the wing of the plane.

Like another giant of the Brazilian music scene, Ivete Sangalo, who fronted Banda Eva, Claudi made a name for herself first as the lead singer of Babado Novo, a band specialising in what is probably the most popular music genre in Brazil, axé music. Whereas Rio de Janeiro’s carnival is all about samba music, fancy costumes and dramatic floats, Salvador’s carnival features the who’s who of the axé music scene playing full blast on the back of trucks (the percussion is very important). The next video clip also illustrates this. It is one of the singles taken from her first solo studio album, As Máscaras, released in 2010 (uma máscara = a mask)

Babado Novo were very popular and had some chart-topping albums – check out their discography in the Portuguese Wikipedia. One of their most famous hits is Cai Fora, which literally means “fall out” (cair = to fall, fora = outside), but colloquially means Get lost! Beat it! Scram!

And here is a live performance of another of their big hits, Safado, Cachorro, Sem Vergonha (safado = a trickster, or an adjective meaning immoral or naughty, cachorro = a little puppy, or more derogatory, a wretch or scoundrel; sem vergonha = brassy, shameless, without shame)

More mellow, more romantic is this one Doce Paixão (Sweet Passion), the last big hit the band had before Claudia went solo.

I’m not quite sure what a babado novo or “new babado” is. My big Michaelis dictionary gives this information:

  • babado (noun) 1 (Brazilian usage) flounce; 2 frill; 3 lappet
  • babado (adj) 1 slavered, slobbered, full of slime; 2 (colloquial) in love, fond of, keen on; estar babado por alguém, to be in love with/crazy about someone

I love the slime definition!

For more on Brazilian music, see the following


6 thoughts on “Meet Claudia Leitte, the queen of Brazil’s axé music

  1. She’s incredible! I’m from Brazil and I already had the opportunity of seeing she on the stage. She sings and dance so well! I really love her! ❤

    • Ola! Thanks for your feedback. Yes she has a great voice and she knows how to dance. I think Sony will try to make her more known internationally.
      Boa sorte para o Copa Mundial! Tchau

  2. Pingback: Barbaba Jones Finds New Hope In Brazil : 4UMF

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