Lenine, Oswaldo Lenine Macedo Pimentel, singer, composer, arranger, musician and producer, was born on 2 February 1959 in Recife, to Geraldo Pimentel and Dayse Macedo Pimentel.
Listening to music on Sundays was part of his life since childhood. With his family, he listened to all types of music: Neapolitan songs, German music, Russian folk music, Glenn Miller, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Gil Evans and, later, Hermeto Pascoal and the ‘tropicalistas’
At seventeen, Lenine set up a record store called ‘Wave’, in partnership with a friend, much more for the access to imported records than for any other reason. It was also at this time that he woke up to Brazilian music. He joined the musical group Flor de Cactus (Cactus Flower), with whom he recorded an EP (a small record recorded at 33 1/3 or 45 rpm, containing one or two compositions on each side, generally used for a new singer and/or music). Later, Lenine would leave the Faculty of Chemical Engineering to pursue a music career.
In 1978, Lenine went to Rio de Janeiro,where he permanently made his residence. There, he enrolled in the Festival de MPB (Brazilian Popular Music Festival) sponsored by Shell in 1981, with his song Prova de Fogo (Test of Fire), reinforcing his interest in a musical career.
Married to Anna Barroso, a TV producer, Lenine stayed at home taking care of his sons (João, Bruno and Bernardo) while Anna left for work. He always valued family and very much liked taking care of his sons, and although having thought about quitting his career and getting a steady job, he used the time to simultaneously compose songs, direct musicals, make soundtracks and other artistic endeavours.
Lenine has composed sound tracks for soap operas like As Filhas da Mãe (The Mother’s Daughters), O Clone (The Clone), Caminho das Índias (Path to the Indies), Viver a Vida (Living Life) and others; was a script writer on the show Os Trapalhões (The Bunglers); worked with directors GuelA rraes and Jorge Furtado; directed the musical Caramuru, A Invenção do Brasil (Caramuru: The Invention from Brazil) (2000), which was turned into a feature film; also participated in the direction of the musical Cambaio, by João Falcão and Adriana Falcão, based on songs by Chico Buarque and Edu Lobo.
In 1983, in partnership with Lula Queiroga, he released the album Baque Solto. Merely nine years later in 1992, he teamed up with percussionist Marcos Suzano, releasing his second album Olho de Peixe (Fish Eye). The album was a huge success and widely praised by critics. In Recife, he was adopted by the ‘manguebeat’ generation, which was bursting onto the scene at that moment, being played in the trendy bars of the time.
In 1997, he released his first solo album, O Dia em Que Faremos Contato (The Day We Made Contact), considered a landmark in Brazilian popular music for uniting acoustic, electronic technology, regional roots and international pop language, giving MPB a new direction. With this album he won two Sharp awards, in the Revelation and Best Song categories, with A Ponte (The Bridge), a song composed with Lula Queiroga.
Lenine performed at the Cité de La Musiquein Paris (1999), which greatly helped his career in Europe. The same year, he released the CD Na Pressão (In the Pressure) and was appreciated with an award from the São Paulo Art Critics Association (APCA) for Best Popular Music Album, showing Brazilian diversity in mixing ‘maracatu’,‘xote’, samba, rap, ‘coco’,‘xaxado’ andtrip hop (slow electronic music). Lenine positioned himself (or was positioned?) as a sound chronicler of Brazil at the end of the decade/century/millennium, recording the daily life of the Nation.
Since then he has had shows in dozens of countries. In three years, Lenine performed for over 800 thousand people abroad.
In 2001, he visited fourteen cities in France, where his public is more significant and the album Na Pressão has sold over 30 thousand copies, always being noted as one of the most representative names in Brazilian music.
Launched simultaneously in ten countries in 2002, Falange Cambial (Cambial Phalanx) had special participation from various foreign and Brazilian artists from a variety of musical genres. The album won the Latin Grammy for Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album.
In 2004, he performed in the Carte Blanche event in Paris, and released the CD and DVD Lenine In cité, at the Cité de La Musique in the French capital. In 2005, the album won two Latin Grammys for Best Contemporary Brazilian Music CD and Best Song for Ninguém Faz Idéia (Nobody Has a Clue), in partnership with Ivan Santos.
The album Lenine Acústico MTV (Lenine MTV Unplugged), released in 2006, won the Latin Grammy for Best Contemporary Brazilian Pop CD the following year.
In 2008, he released the album Labiata, winning another Latin Grammy for Best Brazilian Song in 2009, with the song Martelo Bigorna (Hammer Anvil), one of the songs from the album Labiata, and in 2010, launched Lenine.doc.Trilhas (Lenine.doc.Soundtracks).
His opus today has around five hundred songs, including samba-parade champions from the Rio Carnival. Lenine’s compositions have been recorded by various successful national singers, such as Elba Ramalho, Fernanda Abreu, O Rapa, Milton Nascimento, Maria Bethânia, Maria Rita and many others. He has produced, among others, the following noteworthy albums: Segundo (Second) by Maria Rita; De uns Tempos pra Cá (From a Time Ago to Now) by Chico César; the CD Lonji by Cape-Verdean singer Tcheka; the soundtrack for the show Breu by Grupo Corpo, and the CD Ponto Enredo, by Pedro Luís and Parede.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.
TELES, José. Eu sou Leão do Norte. In: ______. A música em Pernambuco. Recife: Assembléia Legislativa do Estado de Pernambuco, [2003-2006]. p. 113-115.
LENINE. Site Oficial. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 26 jan. 2011.
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Source: ANDRADE, Maria do Carmo. Lenine. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009