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Pontal - by PV Dias

Pontal - 2020

I've always liked the weird ones. As we know, "esquisito" in Portuguese means "weird", but it came from the Latin word "exquisitus" which means "exquisite". As a child, I remember that interesting in eyes was the unusual. I loved people who used words I didn't know, who dressed with personality, who broke the rules that adults imposed on me, etc. Ever since I saw Fernanda Takai for the first time, I haven't resisted the charm of her originality. She was weird beyond the limits of the Portuguese language!

There are those who compare her to Nara Leão or Rita Lee, but for me Fernanda is, with all her sweetness, radically herself. In the way of being, of showing herself and, above all, in the way of singing. Because of her, I discovered that, despite being deep, there was sweetness in my voice. And that I could, with the same cool smoothness as other weird idols like João Gilberto and Chet Baker, even sing rock and roll.

The memory of my adolescence is inseparable from Pato Fu's songs. On the first guitar I got, I learned to play "Canção pra você viver mais" and "Antes que seja tarde". I've already taken the test with Fernanda and John: we counted on our fingers that I really went to all of Pato Fu's shows in Belém. The most notable of these shows was at a large open-air festival. I was 16, but I asked my parents to sign a release. How liberating I felt to go to my favorite weird band's concert by myself. Of course it rained a lot, if it didn't rain it wouldn't be Belém, but I jumped and danced in the mud anyway, just like Gene Kelly.

When I composed the melody that is now called "Pontal", it seemed very clear that it was the result of every afternoon listening to Pato Fu during my adolescence. As I had sung with Fernanda twice, once in São Paulo, once in Belém, I thought: "would she be willing to write some lyrics?" Wow, she got it. "What if John take part in the production?" Wow, he got it. I was happy and excited. A few days before leaving to Europe for the small tour of my EP "Coragem de Poeta", I bought the tickets and agreed with them that I would return from there straight to Belo Horizonte. I arrived in Minas at dawn, three flights later, with a cold and with my Brazilian cell phone chip lost. I remember that, before boarding in Guarulhos for Confins, I ran to the airport's internet to tell Fernanda that I was finally in Brazil and on my way to Minas. She was like a mother: "Have a good trip and be wise. Go straight to the hotel, get plenty of sleep in the morning and have a light lunch nearby. We'll see you at 2 pm." I obeyed, of course!

(Cut to a few days earlier.) After John agreed to participate in the production of the track, the agreement was that I would pre-produce a backing track with STRR, which would be finished in BH. That's why before travelling I went to the studio in Belém and recorded the guiding voice and the keyboards with STRR. I remember I was in the Tiergarten, in Berlin, when we decided on WhatsApp that the pre-production for John was ready. I forwarded the track to him in the park with cold hands and a warm heart.

(Okay, now let's go back to Belo Horizonte.) After following Fernanda's recommendations, I arrived at their house at 2 pm. At that time, the arrangement for "Pontal" was done. Before showing me the result, John gave a consistent and beautiful explanation of his ideas. When he pressed the play button, it was exciting to hear that guitar, which played so much in my ears in the past, in a song of mine today.

It was that same afternoon that Fernanda recorded her voice. At night, we all had dinner together. A little wine is good for curing shyness so I asked them several questions about Pato Fu, once again being that boy who never left me. I'm still the same fan, but now with the difference that "Pontal" exists and we have become partners. Time, my friend, how nice you were to me!

Arthur Nogueira


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Melody: Arthur Nogueira.

Lyrics: Fernanda Takai.

Produced by John Ulhoa and STRR.

Voices: Arthur Nogueira and Fernanda Takai.

Guitars, keyboards and protools: John Ulhoa.

Drums and settings: STRR.

Electric piano: Jacinto Kahwage.

Bass: Leo Chaves.

Recorded at 128 Japs studios (Belo Horizonte), STRR Home Studio (Belém) and Midas Amazon Studio (Belém). 
Mixed at 128 Japs studio by John Ulhoa.
Mastered at Nico’s Studio (Curitiba) by Vinicius Braganholo.

Cover by Pv Dias.

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