Carlinhos Zodi and his Kingston Bossa
Sao Paulo native Carlinhos Zodi is a multi-talented musician doing interesting things in Bossa Nova and Brazilian music. He recently released his album “Kingston Bossa” a unique mix of Bossa Nova and Jamaican genres such as Reggae, Ska and RockSteady. He even travelled to Jamaica to record the album, working along side legends such as Toots Hibbert, of Toots & The Maytals. He has also worked as a television reporter and director of various Brazilian and International programmes. Carlinhos kindly accepted our request to answer a few questions.
BN: What was your inspiration to begin composing and writing music?
CZ: I used to play bass and acoustic guitar since I was a kid, but not composing, in 1995, when I was about 19 years old, I started to study communications on University, Radio and TV and then my video carreer began. From this time untill I got my own production house, I stoped with music. Then on 2001,I decided to get back to music and started recording some instrumental music, built my own home studio and got some new instruments. Then Projeto Música Bonita was born from that. I think all that music stuck during those years needed to come out. So I think it’s the way it happens to me, It’s not about inspirations, but a strong force that forces me to put some music out, it’s stronger than me.
BN :What was your first exposure to Jamaican music? and what about it appeals to you?
CZ : Hummmm… of course the first reggae artist I heard was Bob Marley. I was a small kid, but that music got me, it was so strong and sweet at the same time. From that time reggae has being the music I listen most of the time. It’s a kind of love, the groove, the rhythm, the lyrics, the melodies, I love everything about it.
BN: What pushed you to make such and interesting mix of bossa nova and Jamaican genres?
CZ: Well, I always thought that they are very similar in a lot of points. Both are sweet and have beautiful melodies, rocksteady is the best example for that, it’s pure melody. The point was to find the way to make it work with the mix of rhythms. I had an intuition that it was going to work but you only have the answers after you try it.
BN: What was it like recording in Jamaica ? and what lasting impressions has the country made on you?
CZ: It was like a dream, because I always heard and saw a lot of videos about it. Being there, meeting those people like Toots, Leroy Sibbles, Bongo Herman and a lot of other legends I met… man… It was a bless!!! To get inside Tuff Gong Studios to record at Bob Marley’s studios, it was like a dream coming true. Jamaica feels very similar to Brazil, lot of colours, happy people, the smell of the fruits, and the dangerous side too, you have to take care about some situations, it’s like that in every third world contry, here in Brazil is the same, so I felt home, I was so excited and feeling home at the same time. I loved Jamaica, have to come back soon.
BN: Describe the essence of your music in one sentence?
CZ: A sweet music to inspire and make people feel better.
BN: How do you manage your TV work in conjunction with your life as a recording artist?
CZ: It demands lot of discipline, lot of energy, and this year I’ll get back to the concerts. I’m happy when I am active!
BN: Do you have any goals as it pertains to your music or any of your on going endeavors?
CZ: Music started and still is more than a way of life for me, it’s the health for my soul. Of course I dream of turning my way of life, getting less TV works and more music, but sometimes too much expectations starts to stuck the vibes, stuck the flow, so the best I think is to keep doing it for the love and see what happens. If I still can play my guitar through my life that’s what is important to me, keep the mysic live inside of me, whatever the way it goes out.
BN: Do you have any advice to persons who wish to make it in media or music? whether it be in Brazil , Jamaica or anywhere around the world.
CZ: Keep on dreaming and doing it for the love, because when you stop dreaming the magic is gone.
Here are some videos from Carlinhos’ Youtube Channel from his time in Jamaica