_Listen to my remix of Sara Tavares
Listen on youtube
Sara Tavares is one of the Lisbon-based artists I had been following way before moving here. "Balancê" was one of my shower hits and I had dreamt of working with her for quite some time. Her vocal and guitar style is the perfect crossover between American soul and Afro-lusophone grooves. So when Kalaf from Buraka Som Sistema got in touch to offer me to work on some additional production on her new single "Coisas Bunitas", I was thrilled. I tried to add to the stems he had sent me but I couldn't find space to develop the kind of groove I had in mind so I basically re-wrote most of the instrumental, which wasn't exactly what they were expecting from me.
This first try was rejected but I didn't give up, and when I met French-Carribean pianist Karlos Rotsen (who had just moved to Lisbon) I suggested we try and write a new arrangement for this song together. We tried to blend d'Angelo-esque keys with zouk-like drums to support her soulful vocal line. The result was kind of interesting so we sent it back to Sara via Kalaf. We didn't get much feedback for a while but a few months later I got this phone call from Sara saying she wanted to include this version in her album and that we had to complete it within the next 5 days.
We spent the following 5 days in the studio, first with Karlos then with Sara, who gave us directions and provided some input. Working with her was a delight! She is funny, clear-minded and very focused. This version of "Coisas Bunitas" was included as a bonus track on the CD version of the album.