Flavia has travelled many of the world’s roads. From Rio de Janeiro’s Favela ‘morros’ to the storied streets of Paris, this nomad feels at home wherever she’s made welcome. Her current refuge and home-from-home is a cosy retreat where she can transform, chrysalis-like, to emerge with a fully-formed new album, her third: Sonho Real.
In this Parisian sanctuary (actually producer Victor-Attila Vagh’s studio) shut away from noise and the passing of time, Flavia started with just a guitar and her life experiences: her friends, lovers, encounters, disappointments, joys, hope and laughter. She didn’t wait for the beauty of the world to come to her but found it inside her own dreams and made it real. Abracadabra. A new album was born.
Sonho Real glows with the colours of the butterfly. There are hints of forro and ragga, frenzied ska rhythms and a dub nonchalance. The 14 tracks on the album stand alone as individual statements but work in sequence and flow as one. Brass section, guitars, keyboards, percussion, drums, bass and accordion blend into a consistent whole enhanced by the subtle mixing skills of Victor-Attila who provides a modern gloss with a vintage feel, all the while showcasing Flavia’s voice and harmonies: sensual, joyous with the innocence of childhood.
And yet Flavia’s lyrics contain the complex sadness of saudade. Saudade. Untranslatable. Neither sad nor happy – this sums up Flavia’s whole approach. Too subtle to be easily classified – she is a woman of many faces, a sweet amalgam. And when the world can no longer contain her, Flavia invents a new one.
In her living dream (Sonho Real), Paradise (Paraisio) is a place full of voices, where Woman (Mulher) is eternal, timeless, like a big sister (Leidi). In her real dream (Sonho Real), the Favela (Na Favela) is a place of simple pleasures where stories are born in the back alleys and later told around a barbecue, and where fortune tellers promise a pure life (Pura Vida), away from the daily grind.
In her real dream Sonho Real, Flavia transforms loss, suffering and failure into strength, recycling them (Nada Perdi) into an energy to drive the future. She urges us to wake up (Se Ligue), to see beyond our privileges, our comforts and our certainties. Flavia sings in the last song (Temontou/You Are My Everything): “The air I breathe is sweeter when you’re in it”. The air we breathe is sweeter for the transformations Flavia’s dreams bring to our world with her beautiful, colourful music.