Paulo Padilha - Na Lojinha de Um Real Eu Me Sinto Milionário
Laughing is how we punish the traditions. This Latin saying helps to define the new work of Paulo Padilha, a singer, composer, instrumentalist and – why not? – writer. Na Lojinha de Um Real Eu Me Sinto Milionário is an autobiographical CD book that narrates the daily life of a Brazilian musician in a chaotic Latin American metropolis of the 21st century. In a humored way, but not less profound, Padilha reflects on the artistic creation. He goes from more practical subjects – the mother-in-law as his inspiring muse – to philosophical ramblings on the function of art.
In the prosaic “Serrei as pernas da mesa”, Padilha uses a domestic joinery scene to confess that “There is no Heaven or Hell / in the act of creation”. With a handsaw, hammers and pliers from his job, he unveils himself as a music craftsman: “I’m not a violent guy / neither work with decoration / (...) making songs is my livelihood / (but sometimes there is a lack of imagination)”.
Padilha calculated: in a 120 GB iPod you can store over 34 thousand songs. Assuming that a person listens to one album per day, there would be enough material for ten years, without replaying any song. “Why making new songs, if there are so many old and good songs to listen to?”, the composer asked himself during the production of the new album.
On the streets, walking in São Paulo, he looked for the answer. “Me and my genius ideas that the world needs to know / we went for a walk, for a ride, for a stroll”. The speech-singing and discursive-singing reggae is present in fine Itamar Assumpção fashion, and this impression is reinforced by the special guest musicians chosen to sing the chorus. Singers Suzana Salles and Vange Milliet, members of the extinct band Isca de Polícia, call in the chorus: “Wide, wide world, listen to the ideas [sic] of this vagabond.”
A concord error on purpose, which brings the lyrics closer to the Portuguese spoken on the streets, indicates another musical reference: Adoniran Barbosa. The malicious “Si Mi Ré Lá” or the fun marchinha “Áio no ôio” look like they were taken from Adoniran’s repertory, with verses like “It was in May / I was chopping garlic / to make the sauce”.1 “Not only as a person typically born and raised in São Paulo, I see myself more as an urban composer, exactly like Itamar and Adoniran”, says Padilha.
Produced with resources from the Cultural Action Program of São Paulo State (Programa de Ação Cultural do Estado de São Paulo, ProAC), Na Lojinha de Um Real Eu Me Sinto Milionário has as musical core the trio comprised of Padilha, Leonardo Mendes and Samba Sam. Among the special guest musicians are the singers Mart’nália, Juçara Marçal and Nenê Cintra.
The CD book celebrates the 15-year discographic solo career of Paulo Padilha. With an Undergraduate Degree in composition from the Music College of Universidade de São Paulo (USP), he was one of the creators of Aquilo Del Nisso, acting as a bassist, arranger and producer. He participated in four albums of the group, including the award-winning Chico Buarque Instrumental (1994).
His debut on individual projects was in 1997, when he released the CD Cara Legal and redirected his career towards the songs. Later he released the albums Certeza (2001) and Samba Descolado (2006). The last one brought him closer to the samba universe and enabled Padilha to go on a tour with the Pixinguinha Project, sharing the stage with Monarco of the Portela samba school. Furthermore, the song “Love” nationally leveraged the composer when it was part of the soundtrack of the soap opera Insensato coração (TV Globo, 2011) sang by Simone.
“Nowadays I feel more mature, knowing where I want to be. I believe in the swing, in the rhythm – of the music and of the words. Despite my musician degree, the text dominated my work and I look more and more for well finished lyrics that astonish the people”, says the composer. This worry, together with the pleasure of storytelling, originated the CD book.
The chronicles published between lyrics complement the songs and lead the reader-listener to a walk that ends in an unusual way, in the form of photo novel – with black and white images and no words. After all, the purpose of art is to create new questions, not to give answers.
N. T.: 1- The song says: “Foi no mês de maio / eu tava picando áio / pra fazer o môio”. Here, the words “áio” and “môio” are not written correctly; they are written the way some people pronounce them. They refer to “alho” (garlic) and “molho” (sauce), respectively. These are the concord errors the text refers to.