How good is singing judge Delia? You be the judge

Delia – real name Delia Matache – has been holding on to the top spot on the Romanian top 100 airplay music chart for a number of weeks now with Pe Aripi De Vant (Gone With The Wind). She has been a voice coach and a judge on the Romanian X Factor TV show, so is an influential figure on the local music scene, in the same way that Claudia Leitte is in Brazil. I have been following Delia’s progress ever since I discovered her song Doar Pentru Tine earlier this year (see Music for a Romantic Weekend, Part 1). That song didn’t make much of an impression on the charts, but Pe Aripi De Vant certainly has, and the video is stylish. Check it out.

If you are going to be a judge on a TV talent show, you have to practise what you preach. Some singers sound great in the studio, where sound engineers can mask their flaws, but then you seem then perform in a stripped down semi-acoustic set and you think, how embarrassing, they can’t sing for quids! They’re flat, they can’t hit the note! So I was curious to see how good Delia was in these circumstances. Listen to this performance of the song on Radio Zu, what rating would you give her?

Quite a voice, eh? Not sure about the headwear, though. It looks like a cross between a chef’s hat and a ramekin with a sagging souffle inside!

Here’s a version with the lyrics.

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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

The official World Cup song: too much bull for Brazilians’ liking

The video to the official song of 2014 World Cup is brilliant – it captures all the excitement of football, from both the players’ and spectators’ perspective, and it packs in all the colours and flavours of Brazil and many other countries too. Check it out.

There is one problem with the Brazilian video, though – it’s got Pitbull in it! (Some people I know find him creepy.) I am ambivalent about him, but I do know that whenever he does a duet with someone, the someone always outshines him. The two women in this song do much better here.

There was an outcry in Brazil when this was revealed as the official song. After all, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez have got nothing to do with Brazil (both were born in the US but are of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin respectively). Worse, they sing in English and bits in Spanish too. The Brazilian element seems an afterthought – local singer Claudia Leitte gets to sing a few lines of Portuguese about two minutes and 50-something seconds into the song.

Still, I think Pitbull is a good choice. He has a face shaped like a football (I know some people who wouldn’t mind kicking it) and before he became famous there was a Brazilian footballer called Pitbull – if memory serves me correctly, he played for Gremio (one of the teams from Porto Alegre) before going on to play for clubs in Portugal, Romania and Turkey. It’s a great name for a footballer, but not for a singer, not even one who growls.

Anyway, you can understand why soccer fans worldwide are so looking forward to the tournament in Brazil. Look at the elements in this video, then try to imagine what sort of videos they are likely to produce for the 2018 World Cup in Russia or the 2022 tournament in Qatar. For the Russian one I envisage cossack dancers and lots of vodka on ice. But for the Qatar event all I can see is stern sheikhs, camels and corpses of construction workers. I read somewhere today that Qatar is warning male visitors not to wear shorts or singlets (vests) when they come for their World Cup. The event is eight years away and already the admonishments are coming out! In Brazil if you wear shorts and a singlet you are overdressed.