This song is about androgynous and transgender people who surpass conventional binary paradigms of sex. 

Speaking to them about the single, Nassif said, “The lyrics of this track were written by Fernanda Zerbini (visual artist) and I”, explains Nassif over email. “They came from notes she has in one of her sketchbooks.Her process of taking notes is very peculiar, she doesn’t use commas or punctuation. Whilst she is listening, she starts writing down the words that sound most interesting to her and ends up creating her own free-form narratives. So, I read her notes and started putting together the lyrics for “Santa”, changing things round a little bit whilst I was choosing the parts that I liked the most.

This song is about androgynous and transgender people who surpass conventional binary paradigms of sex. It is about a species that has no polarities, a rising new solution to our society and uninvolved kind. It is about the sphinx that rises willingly, about a newborn that will generate possibilities for us. A sort of Saint.

“Santa” was composed as an Afoxé rythm which comes from the Candonblé (animist religion, originally from the region of present-day Nigeria and Benin, brought to Brazil by enslaved Africans and established here in private ceremonies, a coexistence with forces of nature and ancestors) and it’s also based on the Funk Carioca rhythm created in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

Bella, a sound artist that creates her own instruments, added the layers of noise on it, Claudio Brito played the Candonblé percussions above the electronics I created, Pedro Sá and Guilherme Lírio helped me harmonize the song, Jonas Sá helped me with the arrangements and recorded the synths.”

The new album was co-produced by No Wave legend Arto Lindsay (DNA, Lounge Lizards) who also plays guitar on the album’s opening track “Soar Estranho,” which is also out now.

Named the album after the Portuguese word mente, which means “mind” and also “to lie,” Nassif explains: “I chose this name mainly because Portuguese is the only language that connects these two semantic possibilities: thinking and lying. And also because now we are living this post-truth political era, where Brazil is at the top of the charts in these matters right now.”

Thiago Nassif gathers part of Rio de Janeiro’s younger generation of talents, many of whom have collaborated with and take influence from the likes of Caetano Veloso, João Donato and Ava Rocha, and who now appear on his latest project. Featured on the first single “Soar Estranho” are progressive musicians Vinicius Cantuária (O Terço, Bill Frisell, John Zorn) on drums and Ricardo Dias Gomes (Kill Shaman, Caetano Veloso) on Minimoog.

Mente will be available on vinyl, CD and across all digital platforms. A tour of the US, as well as dates at Cafe Oto (London) on July 3rd and in various cities across Europe are planned to support the release.

Thiago Nassif is a Brazilian musician, composer and producer based in Rio de Janeiro, whose impactful melange of pop, jarring no-wave, and tropicália has slowly been turning heads the world over.

In 2009, he released his first album “Garconnière”, produced by Rubens E. Santo and built around audio collages. It was at this point that he became active within Sao Paulo’s independent music scene, improvising in clubs, galleries, and art installations, exploring and investigating the visual aspects of sounds and the visual sensations that sounds generate. In 2011, Thiago produced and released his second album “Práxis”, a Greek word that means ‘learning from experimenting’. For this record, he gathered a supporting cast of musicians, painters, sculptors and architects, who each brought their own perspectives and techniques to the record.

In 2015, Thiago moved to Rio to record his third album and met no wave icon Arto Lindsay. At the time, Rio’s burgeoning musical scene was fuelled by an interdisciplinary approach which mixed together music, visual arts, poetry, and cinema. Caetano Veloso was collaborating with a group of young musicians of Nassif’s generation, forming Banda Cê, Ava Rocha was releasing her second, masterful album “Ava Patrya Yndia Yracema”, and other innovative work was being made by the likes of Meia Banda, Jonas Sá, and Chelpa Ferro. In Nassif’s words, “Something was happening and we were all feeling it.”

His third album, called “Três” and co-produced by no wave icon Arto Lindsay, was released in 2016 in Brazil, and re-released in 2018 via British label Foom (Peter Zummo, Micachu, Oliver Coates) to critical acclaim. Inspired by artists such as Tom Zé, Ricardo Villalobos, Alva Noto, and James Chance, the album features contributions from some of Brazil’s most exciting, new generational talents that Nassif met in Rio, such as experimental singer-songwriter Negro Leo and Domenico Lancelloti, (collaborator of Moreno Veloso, and former Gal Costa band member). The album received the seal of approval from the ‘Dean of American Rock Critics,’ Robert Christgau and was heavily played on BBC 3’s Late Junction, with Thiago appearing on the show as a guest in July 2018.

Following on from this, Thiago Nassif co-produced Arto Lindsay’s recent “Cuidado Madame” album and recorded his follow-up album called “Mente” or in English, “Mind”. The record will be released Juli of this year by British label Gearbox Records. Again, with Arto Lindsay as co-producer, Thiago goes deeper into his influences of no-wave, electronic music, Tropicalismo, jazz and rock. The album moves between contemporary Brazilian music to noise: from funk carioca to dystopian, distorted bossa nova. Mixing together the languages of Portuguese and English, the album shows the process of Thiago’s mind on transforming thoughts into products, music, color, and lacquer. “As vezes Plástico as vezes Pele”, meaning sometimes plastic sometimes skin. From the most profound to the shallow, the mind works as catalyst and a translator.

1. Soar Estranho
2. Pele De Leopardo
3. Vóz Única Foto Sem Calçinha
4. Plástico
5. Feral Fox
6. Trepa Trepa
7. Transparente
8. Cor
9. Rijo Jórra Já
10. Santa

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