Whenever you mention Brazilian music people generally think about samba, or maybe bossa nova, but is it really what's going on there? The short answer is no, these two unfortunately are long gone; for the mainstream media, at least.

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Let's start with samba: Similar to the rock genre in the united states, samba is now a style which remains in the past. Brazil sure has a giant event called carnaval, where samba is the main genre of music there; people dance, tourists go see it is definitely a big party; but you could say that that's it. Apart from  this event, Brazilians do not usually listen to samba neither make parties with samba as the background music. Unfortunately samba has lost a lot of popularity.

Well, what about Bossa Nova then?

For those who don't know what this genre is, just think about Garota de Ipanema (the most famous Brazilian music of all time!) or a mix between Samba and Jazz, yes, jazz! Bossa nova  focuses  in having complex harmonies, a special attention to the bass of the chord and a very simple melody. It's a genre of music which  sings about simple things from everyday life, such as a good looking girl you saw on the beach or the Brazilian rains of March.

Here are some album art of some famous Brazilian Albums:

Well, what happened to it then?

Despite Garota de Ipanema being the most famous Brazilian music, the genre has not survived to this day. Yes, there are some  Brazilian musicians who make some new bossa nova music here and there but it's by far as popular as it used to be.

So what do Brazilians listen to then American music?

Over the last decades, american culture has been becoming more and more popular among young people, if you take a stroll at any downtown (mainly in the southeast), you might encounter teenagers dressing in a style very Americanized: All stars, dark clothes, and a band shirt. But rock is also not so popular here, you may call them a minority, if you want to. And the same goes to rap, but I'would say that they have a way bigger number of listeners and creators compared to the rock genre.

The new emperors of Brazilian music is without any doubt: Sertanejo:


I highly doubt that anyone outside of Brazil has ever heard any of these genres before. Both of them have really informal lyrics which talk about really informal things (and some love songs, of course, but depicted in a very different way than the average love songs) these genres are extremely popular among the poor and average Brazilian (which are the majority) it's a national music that most Brazilians really appreciate; it's in the radio ALL the time, it's really, really popular.

Of course, there might be some states where there's another music as their main genre, but overall, these two are the big guys right now, together with funk, of course, but that's another history, a really long one. Maybe in the next decade the Brazilian music scenario changes again and we may have another style, who knows? But for awhile, we'll have to stay listening to Simone and Simaria in the radio all the time.