Interview with Ivan Lins: the Brazilian singer talks about Canada, the resumption of shows and current music

Machine translation generated by Google Translate (no editing) –

He is one of the icons of Brazilian popular music and has been standing out for over 50 years as a singer, composer and pianist, not only in Brazil but in several countries. We are talking about Ivan Lins, 77 years old, who had a relaxed conversation with Wave and spoke with great emphasis and positioning on various subjects.

The artist said that the resumption of shows is slow, mainly due to the war in Ukraine, which is affecting Europe and North America. Despite this, Ivan has been doing several shows since last year in countries like Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Canada, Georgia, Portugal, and also in many cities in Brazil. And always with great success!

According to the singer, Brazilian music has changed considerably in recent years, as its quality has plummeted. For him, the ease that technological resources provide makes new talents think less, which in a way compromises the creativity of these artists. “The quality of music has dropped profoundly, this from the perspective of my generation, which is the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, who still made music for the music itself, for the history of art, for the history of music, for harmony, without this heavy and strong interference of technology. So, Brazilian music was very divided between the new generations and those who still make music that is more acoustic, more harmonious, more melodic and with literature in the lyrics that is a little more sophisticated and rich” – he says.

He says he manages to stay current for more than 50 years due to the essence of his songs, which remain the same as always, including a good melody, good lyrics, good harmony and arrangement compatible with the message that is being passed on to the people.

The artist’s experience with Canada has always been very positive. In 2022, Ivan performed at Koerner Hall, in Toronto, and this moment only reinforced the affection he has for the country and for his fans, who honoured him with great receptivity. The other presentations in Canadian lands took place ten years ago, in Vancouver and Vitória, places highly praised by the singer. “Canada is enchanting, amazing and this part of the country is beautiful!” – Emphasizes it.

International success began in the 80s – Carioca Ivan Lins began to have his talent recognized internationally in the 80s, when he became one of the most recorded Brazilian composers abroad. His songs have been performed by internationally renowned artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, George Benson, Michel Legrand, Sting, Diana Krall and his great friend Quincy Jones. The artist continues to compose with intensity and perform concerts on tours throughout Brazil and all continents. His schedule for April and May 2023 is full of performances in São Paulo. See information about upcoming shows on the artist’s official website:


WAVE – You were in Canada in 2022, and you performed in Toronto. How was this experience, especially in relation to the public’s receptivity?
IVAN LINS – The show with my American band was great. We put on a really cool, really energetic show, which I do when I tour North America. So the reception was very good as always.

WAVE – What are your impressions of Canada? Was it your first time in the country?
IVAN LINS – The first time I was in Canada was on the west coast of the country, in Vancouver and Vitória. I played three shows there about ten years ago. Canada is enchanting and amazing, and this part of the country is beautiful! However, I have never been to Montreal.

WAVE – You’ve been doing a lot of shows since last year, some even internationally like in Canada, Portugal and Belgium. How is this resumption going after a long period of pandemic?
IVAN LINS – The recovery is slow, this year will be complicated because of the war in Ukraine. So, this caused a very large financial imbalance in Europe, which is also having repercussions in North America. I’m waiting for this war to end for the market to function properly again.

WAVE – How do you see Brazilian music today, in terms of quality, the rhythms in evidence and the consumer market? In your opinion, what do you think has changed since 40 years ago?
IVAN LINS – Music has changed, and the market has changed a lot, as it is governed by the reality that we live in the country and in the world. One of the things that deeply interferes in the market is the advancement of technology, as the way of composing has changed, the way of recording and creating has changed.

The new generations are much more interconnected in this technology, evidently, this interferes with their creativity. So, we have a younger section of music that is very connected with technology and the Internet, that is, a tool that people use to update themselves, but that, in a way, has canceled reasoning, and thinking. People think less, reason less and this interferes with their creativity, who use these same vehicles to compose, make music and make art. Therefore, the quality of music has dropped profoundly, from the perspective of my generation, which is the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, who still made music for the music itself, for the history of art, for the history of music, for harmony, for all these tools that art and the human spirit provide us, but without the heavy and strong interference of technology.

So, Brazilian music was very divided between the new generations and those who still make music that is more acoustic, more harmonious, more melodic and with slightly more sophisticated and rich literature in the lyrics. This is being taken into account in the market, as today there are no more long-term or medium-term investments, as everything is short-term. Therefore, the songs that are really successful are also very disposable and will not last forever, they will not stay.

WAVE – Your impeccable music attracts an audience of all ages. What’s the secret to staying up-to-date and interesting for new generations too?
IVAN LINS – Their essence remains the same as always, a good melody, good lyrics, good harmony and an arrangement compatible with the message that is being passed on to people.

WAVE – You are one of the great timeless singers of Brazilian popular music. Do you believe that current releases are ephemeral, that is, with the right amount of time to last? What is your opinion?
IVAN LINS – Well, I come from a generation that shows and proves that timeless music is that which has melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and literary qualities. And these are proven to be the ones that last the longest. If the new generations want to achieve this durability, they will have to seek information and draw from our generations, there is no other solution. And they will have to mix it with the modern information they receive. That’s what creativity is for, knowing how to mix well what today’s technology offers you with the solidity of cultural history, of what has already been proven. So, people who have this intention in their minds, in their spirit and in their feelings, to make beautiful things, will produce much better and with much more durability, regardless of the technology they use.

WAVE – Among the current musical talents, which ones do you follow and admire?
IVAN LINS – There is a large generation coming around, with new information, different from what I had in my time, with other diversified, more modern influences. However, it is the sensitivity that rules in art. I believe in music, art with love, and a way to express human beauty and delight people. That’s why I think music heals, saves and does things that even God doubts. There is an Americana composer in São Paulo called Gustavo Spínola. If he had appeared in my time, he would have been Chico Buarque, because he is a great composer and artist, he sings well, plays well, writes very well, has great taste and has a certain modernity in his work. So, it already comes with an extra piece of data, which was incorporated through contact with new technologies.

WAVE – The show “A Gente Derece Ser Feliz” has marked your artistic career for over 50 years. Tell us a little about this show. What does it bring new?
IVAN LINS – The show “A Gente Derece Ser Feliz” has a more relaxed, calmer philosophical vision, with much more optimistic messages, whose title says “how we deserve to be happy”, for these new times that are coming. , which renewed our hope that Brazil can become the country we always dreamed of, as it is very special and very different from all the others. In the show, I continue showing my hits, which correspond to 60% of the presentation, as they are the hallmark of my shows, then some new songs and other lesser-known ones. There are even songs by other composers like Tom Jobim, Carlos Lira, Caetano, Gil, Chico Buarque, João Bosco, Djavan and so on… What is most important in this new show is the fact that the attitude on stage is already another, that is, it is a much more open show, more vigorous and much brighter.

WAVE – What are your next projects?
IVAN LINS – One of my next projects is being done in the United States, in California, prepared by a producer there with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, from Georgia, in Eastern Europe. There are three instrumental songs, others sung, there are two unpublished, others less known. The record is very interesting, very different from the records I’ve been making, and it’s scheduled to be released at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. I’m also starting the pre-production of an album with new songs, that is, work that I haven’t done in seven years, and that still doesn’t have a release date. We are going to continue with this show “A Gente Derece Ser Feliz” in Brazil and we are going to Europe in July, August and maybe September. The market there dropped a lot because of the war, so this year has been atypical. However, we hope that in 2024 things will improve and that this war will end so that we can take the wonderful Brazilian music abroad.