Like many Brazilian baby-boomer musicians, Chico Buarque was enamored of the bossa nova sound personified by Joao Gilberto, and began his musical career by emulating it. However, when Brazil's political situation became turbulent, Buarque and peers like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil upped the musical ante with iconoclastic lyrics and increasingly complex melodic/harmonic structures. The style they created was known as Tropicalia, and though they were persecuted by the government as dissidents, their sound became hugely influential, both on Brazilian music and on subsequent generations of European and North American musicians. In addition to his music, the multi-talented Buarque is also known for his poetry, novels, and plays, and has made a long journey from pretty-boy pop idol to countercultural upstart to elder musical statesman.
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