Learning Portuguese? You Gotta Listen To Seu Jorge!
Most of you probably know Seu Jorge from the hit movie City of God.
He played the character Knockout Ned, the ex-military member turned bus driver whose girlfriend and family were tormented by the movie’s villain, Lil Ze.
In the film, Seu Jorge was busting his guns and robbing banks.
In reality, he’s a samba singing, guitar playing musician who OWNS his niche in the music world.
If you don’t listen to Seu Jorge and you are trying to learn Brazilian Portuguese, slap yourself.
Then slap yourself again, for me.
Jorge’s life is filled with triumph and tragedy; you can hear it in his music. And it’s a big reason you should listen to him.
Before the fame, Seu Jorge was a poor, Afro-Brazilian man living in Belford-Roxo, a city nearby Rio de Janeiro.
After the death of his younger brother during a gunfight between favela gangs and police, Seu Jorge made a promise to improve his life.
Instead of seeking revenge and fighting in the same streets his brother died in, Seu Jorge decided to pursue his music dreams to help get through the pain of losing his sibling.
Soon after his brother’s death, Jorge moved away from Belford-Roxo to a nearby town and began to play music under the famous, Brazilian saxophonist Paula Moura.
However, it took 3 years of homelessness before Seu Jorge’s gift of music and acting began to pay off.
From there, Jorge continued to climb up the Brazilian music scene.
Music = Spoken Language
In my past post, 5 Great, Free Brazilian Movies With English Subtitles, I mentioned how music can help you learn a language.
“For many people, the toughest part of learning a foreign language is understanding what people are saying. We aren’t used to different sounds and tones.
One great way to practice your listening comprehension is music. Every language has its own rhythm. So it makes sense that a country’s music would have the DNA of the language in it.”
Music has slang and colloquial phrases you won’t learn in a formal language classroom. People don’t speak exactly like they write, so you have to notice the differences between formal and informal language.
You will learn how to speak Brazilian Portuguese more naturally via it’s music and movies. And of course, speaking to Brazilians.
Listen to Seu Jorge singing about the crazy behavior of women and how he will never understand it. This video is awesome because it has the lyrics animated throughout it.
Music = Life
Music is a representation of life; it tells different aspects of a society depending on the musician.
For example, in a music genre such as Hip Hop, you can find conscious rappers who speak about pressing issues like police brutality or the negative effects of drugs.
On the opposite side, you’ll also hear a rapper whose main content is about the enjoyment of doing drugs and the glorification of criminal activity.
It’s all about the interpretation of the music. And Seu Jorge is one of a few Brazilian artists left who still carries the tradition of classic Brazilian culture in his music. It’s a big reason why I listen to Seu Jorge.
One of my favorite songs from his latest album is Motoboy.
Listen To Seu Jorge
Seu Jorge’s latest album, Musicas Para Churrasco Volume II is a great representation of Brazilian culture as well as the spoken language.
He sings about aspects of everyday life in Brazil:
- The craziness of Brazilian women & how to deal with it
- A salute to the guys who drive motorcycle taxis in the favelas. Sometimes people don’t give them the respect and thanks they really deserve for the risky job they do.
- The common theme of celebration and enjoying life with family and friends. The churrasco is all about enjoying yourself and eating good food.
I definitely recommend checking out the album and supporting a great artist from Brazil. You can buy Musicas Para Churrasco Volume 1 and 2 below.
Go listen to Seu Jorge now!