Remembering Cazuza: The Voice of Brazilian Rock

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Cazuza (4 April 1958 – 7 July 1990), was a Brazilian singer and songwriter.

Life and Career

He was born on 4 April 1958, in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilCazuza was born into a musical family. His dad, João Araújo, worked as a record producer, and his mom, Maria Lúcia Araújo, loved to sing. Since he was a kid, Cazuza loved music. He was especially drawn to the emotional songs of Brazilian musicians like Cartola, Lupicinio Rodrigues, Dolores Duran, and Maysa.

When he was young, around 1965, Cazuza started writing his own song lyrics and poems. Then, in late 1974, during a vacation in London, England, he discovered the music of bands like Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and The Rolling Stones. He became a big fan of their music.

Cazuza started college in 1978, hoping to study journalism. However, he quickly realized it wasn’t for him and left after only three weeks. Instead, he decided to work with his dad at Som Livre, a music company. Later on, he moved to San Francisco, where he got interested in Beat literature, which had a big impact on his own writing style.

Cazuza’s career began in the early 1980s as the lead singer of the band Barão Vermelho. With his distinctive voice, provocative lyrics, and energetic performances, he quickly became one of Brazil’s most popular and influential artists.

In 1985, Cazuza left Barão Vermelho to pursue a solo career. His first album, “Exagerado,” released in the same year, was a critical and commercial success. Over the next few years, he released several more albums, including “Só se for a Dois” and “Ideologia,” which cemented his status as one of Brazil’s most important contemporary musicians.

Cazuza’s music often dealt with controversial topics such as sexuality, drug use, and political repression. He was known for his fearless and provocative approach to songwriting, and his lyrics often challenged the norms and values of Brazilian society. In addition to his music, Cazuza was also a published poet, with several collections of his work available in Brazil.

In 1989, Cazuza announced that he had contracted HIV, and he spent much of his final year campaigning for AIDS awareness and research.

He passed away on 7 July 1990, at the age of 32, leaving behind a legacy as one of Brazil’s most iconic and influential artists.

Award and Legacy

Cazuza’s impact on Brazilian music and culture has been significant, and he has been recognized with numerous awards and honors.

In 1986, he won the Sharp Award for Best Singer, and in 1988 he was awarded the Brazilian Music Award for Best Album for “Ideologia.” His song “O Tempo Não Pára” was named by Rolling Stone Brazil as the 9th greatest Brazilian song of all time.

Cazuza’s legacy as a pioneering artist and advocate for social change continues to inspire new generations of musicians and activists in Brazil and beyond. In 2019, a biographical film about his life and career, titled “Cazuza: O Tempo Não Pára,” was released in Brazil to critical acclaim. His music continues to be celebrated and performed by artists across the country, and his contributions to Brazilian culture remain an enduring part of his legacy.

On 4 April 2016, Google celebrated Cazuza’s 58th birthday with a doodle.