In a meeting together with Vicente Lopes Ramos (a seresta musician, who I will introduce in the next blog), I had the opportunity to meet Xandreli, a popular composer and singer from Diamantina, who has composed a wide variety of songs, including some soundtracks for soap operas.
Up until now, I have been learning a lot about the history and the musical traditions of Diamantina, therefore I was very curious to see what kinds of music are being produced by composers from Diamantina today.
Prior to the meeting, I had listened to Xandreli’s songs on her YouTube Channel, where she has a substantial number of following for her music videos and performances. Here is one of her songs, Ela quer ser alguém (She wants to be someone), which was filmed in Diamantina:
Being enchanted by her natural, beautiful voice and music, I wondered: as a musician from Diamantina, what kind of influences and inspirations did she gain, and how have these shaped her career?
I decided to begin by asking about her earliest encounter with music, and how she started her career:
At the age of 5, Xandreli was invited to sing a gospel song at a church. After this performance, both her and her family realized her natural talent in music. She took up guitar lessons, and this is where she developed her foundations in music. A natural motivation to compose came at the age of 16, when she experienced an unrequited love. After a few years, she went to São Paulo where she met a renowned producer Arnaldo Saccomani – from then on, she began to compose not only for herself, but for other musicians and media. Nowadays, she considers herself more of a composer than a singer (i.e. she composes for clients)
Her style is influenced by Sertanejo, a type of Brazilian country music which developed from the 1920s. Xandreli told me that these are romantic songs – quite rightly, the theme of an unrequited love makes the music expressive and relatable! In the recent decades, this genre has become one of the most popular genres of music in Brazil.
Hearing about her work as a composer for media, I asked: what is her process of composition?
To this, she told me that it varies from the request of the client, but usually her primary source of composition is the guitar and her voice. The lyrics go hand in hand in this process as well. Now, as she has become experienced with writing for various clients, she is able to write in a wide variety of styles.
Towards the end of our conversation, Xandreli offered to play to me one of her songs Ela quer ser alguém (She wants to be someone – as in the music video above), which was the first soundtrack she composed for a soap opera, Cúmplices de um Resgate.
This was a real treat! And what a special opportunity for me, to get to know a star composer/singer from Diamantina!
To find out more about Xandreli and her music, please see: