Dateline: 12/10/99

Atracao is a Label which specializes in Brazilian music. Brazil is, of course, a country in Latin America.

Atracao Fonografica is a label promoting and distributing the diverse music of Brazil. From solo artists like saxophonist Victor Assis Brasil to collection of Brazilian music featuring styles both contemporary and traditional, Atracao has a wide variety of music to its credit.

I recently talked to David McLoughlin of Atracao, who told me about the roots of the label, its goals, and how they choose what music to distribute.

Paula: When was Atracao formed, by whom, and for what purpose?

David: Atracao Fonografica, with a catalog of about 400 titles and a cast of artists that puts it at the forefront of the Brazilian independent record companies, was launched in 1996.

The policy of the company has been to release a wide spectrum of musical styles. Our Brazilian recordings cover the country's whole musical spectrum - typical Northern rhythms like forro and axe; samba and pagode of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; gaucho music from the south of Brazil, reggae from Bahia, rap music and so on.

It's worth mentioning that there is no longer any one Brazilian record company operating systematically with such a variety of recordings. The majority of labels work randomly within the available musical genres, reacting to trends, with the result that many talented artists are left without a channel to broadcast, promote and popularize their music. This work entails a type of re-discovery of Brazil and its music. The country is worked territory by territory, promoting artists in their respective markets before "exporting" them to the rest of the country and, in some cases, abroad.

This policy is due mainly to the previous experience of its founder, Wilson Souto Jr., who as artistic director of Continental Chantecler (1982 to 1990), led that company to the absolute leadership in the Brazilian market, having been responsible for the release of such successful musical movements as Lambada and Axe Music, as well as Sertaneja, Brazil's country music. Currently, Souto is managing president of Continental/East West. Along with distributing the catalogues of various local labels, we're also releasing on CD the back catalogue of Funarte (the Brazilian Foundation for Art and Culture) which covers a rich heritage of popular, traditional and classical Brazilian music - about 80 titles. Our Funarte release "Elizeth Cardoso - A Rosa por Pixinguinha", was selected by a panel of music critics as the second most representative recording of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) of all time.

Our work has brought many gold and platinum discs for a wide range of Brazilian artists - some of whom have repeated their success abroad. In January of 1998 we released Sine Calmon's CD "Fogo Na Babilonia" - a reggae recording which became a success during the carnival of Bahia, selling over 100,000 CDs.

In 1998 Atracao Fonografica also released a series of acclaimed CDs - "O Q Faco e Musica" by Jards Macale, "Farinha do Mesmo Saco" by Quinteto Violado, "Gauderiando" by Renato Borghetti (best instrumental album of the year / Premio Acorianos), and "Mergulhar na Surpresa" by Mauricio Pereira (considered by Bravo Magazine as the MPB release of the year), Renato Braz (considered the most important singer of MPB in recent years) and "Pretobras" by Itamar Assumpcao, which won the Premio Sharp (the Brazilian Grammy) in 1998 as best pop release of the year, along with indications for best arrangement, best music and best artist. Itamar was considered by APCA (Sao Paulo Association of Art Critics) the best composer of the year. 1999 has seen a number of successes by artists performing samba music - Os Travessos, E Demais, Juventude S/A.

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