Cazuza

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Cazuza
Background information
Birth nameAgenor Miranda Araújo Neto
Born4 April 1958
OriginRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died7 July 1990(1990-07-07) (aged 32)
GenresBrazilian rock
Música Popular Brasileira
Blues rock
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
Years active1981–1990
Associated actsBarão Vermelho
WebsiteCazuza.com.br
 
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Cazuza
Background information
Birth nameAgenor Miranda Araújo Neto
Born4 April 1958
OriginRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died7 July 1990(1990-07-07) (aged 32)
GenresBrazilian rock
Música Popular Brasileira
Blues rock
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
Years active1981–1990
Associated actsBarão Vermelho
WebsiteCazuza.com.br

Agenor Miranda Araújo Neto, better known as Cazuza (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaˈzuzɐ]; 4 April 1958 – 7 July 1990) was a Brazilian composer and singer, born in Rio de Janeiro. Along with Raul Seixas, Renato Russo and Os Mutantes, Cazuza is considered one of the best exponents of Brazilian rock music.[1] In 9 years of career, he sold more than 5 million albums and achieved 11 number one singles and 18 Top 10 singles in Brazil.

Contents

Biography

Early life and influences

Son of the phonographic producer João Araújo and the amateur singer Maria Lúcia Araújo, Cazuza always had close contact with music. Influenced since early childhood by the strong values of Brazilian music, he had a special preference for the sad, dramatic overtones of Cartola, Lupicinio Rodrigues, Dolores Durán, and Maysa. He began to write lyrics and poems around 1965. In late 1974, a vacation in London, England, acquainted him with the music of Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and the Rolling Stones, and he soon became a great fan. Cazuza enrolled in college in 1978, but abandoned the course of journalism three weeks later to work with his father at Som Livre. He moved later to San Francisco, where he came in contact with Beat literature, becoming highly influenced by it.

Barão Vermelho

In 1980 he returned to Rio, where he worked with the theatrical group Asdrúbal Trouxe o Trombone (Asdrúbal Brought the Trombone). There he was noticed by the novice singer/composer Leo Jayme, who introduced him to a beginning rock band that needed a vocalist, the Barão Vermelho. With this very successful eighties Brazilian rock band, who had their greatest success with "Bete Balanço", a song that was part of the soundtrack of a film, Cazuza began his career as a singer. In 1985, Cazuza took part in Rock in Rio with Barão Vermelho, and around this time, Caetano Veloso claimed he was the greatest Brazilian poet of his generation. It was also in this same year that Cazuza was infected with the AIDS virus, precipitating his desire to leave the band in order to obtain a greater freedom in composition and expression, both musically and lyrically.

Solo career

After he left the band, Cazuza's music began to diversify, incorporating elements of the blues in songs such as "Blues da Piedade" (Blues of Compassion), "Só as mães são felizes" (Only Mothers Are Happy) and "Balada da Esplanada" (Ballad of the Esplanade), which was based on a poem of the same name by Oswald de Andrade; showcasing increasingly intimate lyrics, like those in "Só se for a Dois" (Only If It Will Be as a Couple), as well as opening itself up to influences from Brazilian pop music with interpretations of Cartola's "O Mundo é um Moinho", Raul Seixas's "Cavalos Calados" (Silent Horses) and Caetano Veloso's "Esse Cara" (This Guy).

Contrary to what usually happens once an artist leaves a band that has made them famous, Cazuza's solo career proved to be more successful than that of his former group. "Exagerado" (Exaggerated), "O Tempo não Pára" (Time Doesn't Stop), and "Ideologia" (Ideology) were his greatest hits and proved to be a great influence on subsequent Brazilian musicians.

In 1996, Cazuza was featured in the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Rio produced by the Red Hot Organization, performing the song "Preciso Dizer que Te Amo" in a duet with Bebel Gilberto.

Final years

In 1989, he admitted publicly for the first time that he had AIDS and released his last album in life: Burguesia. Cazuza was openly bisexual but was not active in the gay movement. However his openness about being a person with AIDS helped to change public perceptions and attitudes about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.[2]

Death

Cazuza died in Rio de Janeiro on July 7, 1990 at the age of 32 from an AIDS related illness. He was buried at the Cemitério São João Batista Botafogo, in Rio de Janeiro.[3] Cazuza's mother set up the Viva Cazuza Society (Sociedade Viva Cazuza), a charity which sponsors AIDS prevention and provides a home for HIV-positive children[2]

Biopic film

In 2004 a biopic film starred by Daniel de Oliveira and directed by Sandra Werneck called Cazuza: O Tempo não Para ("Cazuza: Time Doesn't Stop") was released.

Discography

With Barão Vermelho

Solo

Films

References

  1. ^ Dapieve, Arthur (2000). BRock - o rock brasileiro dos anos 80. São Paulo: DBA. ISBN 85-7234-253-2. 
  2. ^ a b Aldrich, Robert; Garry Wotherspoon (2001). Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War II. Routledge. p. 79. ISBN 0-415-22974-X. http://books.google.com/books?id=nCpMNSGhXy0C&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=cazuza+gay#PPA79,M1. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  3. ^ FindAGrave.com burial site

External links