Guest musician:
1996 Sepultura - percussion, vocals  


Personal information

Born on: 23.11.1962
Official website

Carlinhos Brown (born Antonio Carlos Santos de Freitas on November 23, 1962) is a Brazilian musician from Salvador, Bahia. He was born in Candeal Pequeno, a small neighbourhood in the Brotas area of Salvador de Bahia (Brazil). In 1967 he was still a child when Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil (two 25 year old musicians from Bahia) started a movement that would radically change Brazilian and popular music: Tropicália.

His parents, Renato and Madalena, were not able to help him learn a job but Osvaldo Alves da Silvia (known as the Master of the Bongo) introduced him to the right tradition of Brazilian folklore and its percussion: tambourine, drums and reco-reco. He soon learned all the secrets from the percussion instruments the Master knew how to play and developed a personal style he has never abandoned.

In the early 80's he started to work in the WR studios in Bahia, where he learned recording and record production techniques, in addition to initiating a task of recompilation and coding of rhythm and percussion sounds from the Bahia area. He then adopted his first nickname: Carlinhos Brown. "It doesn't come from James Brown as people think", he says. "It is inspired in Box Brown, a black person that escaped from slavery in a box. I also tried to learn from the good (and not the mistakes) of H. Rap Brown, of the Black Panther movement".

Brown learned to play various percussion instruments as he grew up and in the 1980s he began to collaborate with other artists. In 1984 he played with Luís Caldas's band "Acordes Verdes", one of the originators of samba-reggae, and in 1985 he formed part of Caetano Veloso's band on the record Estrangeiro, penning a song, "Meia Lua Inteira", that was very successful in Brazil and outside the country. In 1985, Luís Caldas recorded "Visão de Cíclope", composed by Carlinhos Brown, and it became one of the hottest songs on Salvador's radio stations. Following this, he composed "Remexer", "O Côco" and "É Difícil" for other artists, earning him a Caymmi trophy, one of the most important music awards in Bahía, and led to his participation in world tours with João Gilberto, Djavan, and João Bosco.

In the 1990s he became known nationally and internationally as the leader of the musical group Timbalada, which consisted of more than 100 percussionists and singers, called "timbaleiros", the majority of them young kids from the Candeal neighborhood of Salvador, where Carlinhos was born. They recorded eight albums and toured various countries around the world. In 1993 Billboard Magazine named him the "best record producer in Latin America."

On the heels of Timbalada's success, in 1996 Brown launched a solo album called Alfagamabetizado, on which he sang, composed, and played the instruments. He followed this up with his second album Omelete Man, and a third album, Bahia do Mundo, Mito e Verdade.

1996 also saw Brown appearing on the album Roots by the Brazilian metal band Sepultura.

In 2002 he formed the group Tribalistas with Arnaldo Antunes and Marisa Monte, contributing vocals to their self-titled album Os Tribalistas. Their single "Já sei namorar" became the number one song on Brazilian radio stations, and their second single "Velha Infância" almost met with equal success. The album spawned two more hits in Brazil, "Passe Em Casa", co-written with Margareth Menezes, and "É Você". In 2003 Tribalistas won the Best Album, Best DVD, and Best Song (for "Já Sei Namorar") awards from the Multishow of Brazilian Music.

Brown released Carlinos Brown É Carlito Marrón in 2003 and collaborated with DJ Dero on the 2004 album Candyall Beat. The Carlito Marrón album achieved considerable success in Spain where it was repackaged a year later with extra tracks, achieveing a hit single "Maria Caipirinha" (with DJ Dero) on the Spanish charts in 2005. Carlinhos Brown remains active in the Salvador da Bahía community, founding the Pracatum Music School in the Candeal neighborhood in 1994 as a non-profit organization dedicated to education, cultural, and community development programs in the city, including a professional music school. In addition, Brown has his own recording label, Candyall Records. Brown has also began painting, and his art works are being well received.

Now, on 10 April, 2007, Carlinhos' new album will be released, 'A Gente Ainda Não Sonhou' (SonyBMG). Recorded in Salvador de Bahia between March 2005 and September 2006. Two Titles Are Co-written with Marisa Monte and Arnaldo Antunes, the record opens with Brazilian percussion mixed with electronica, psychedelic strings and booming beats; primitivism and sophistication with a technically naïve feel, yet always maintaining the best of Brazil.

The albums continues with tracks that fuse electronic sounds with a radiant rhythms, a rumba-tango con a Bahian feel, touches of the most dynamic reggae that clearly show the Brazilian - Jamaican connection, a syncopated funk and also two ballads, one that mixes acoustic with electronic ambiance and shows Brown's mastery of this type of music, and another with a magnificent string arrangement that adorn one of the most lyrical songs on the album.

Carlinhos Brown is extensively featured in the 2004 documentary El Milagro de Candeal.

Studio Albums:
1996 - Alfagamabetizado (Blue Note Records)
1998 - Omelete Man (Blue Note Records)
2001 - Bahia do Mundo, Mito e Verdade (Blue Note Records)
2003 - Carlinhos Brown é Carlito Marrón (Blue Note Records)
2004 - Candyall Beat (Vale)
2007 - A Gente Ainda Não Sonhou (Sony)