|Etymology||soul, light, spirit|
Axé is also present in the Candomblé religion, as “the imagined spiritual power and energy bestowed upon practitioners by the pantheon of orixás”.
Roots and History of Axé
Numerous different African cultures were brought to Brazil due to slavery, which lead to the creation of the vibrancy and complexity of Brazil and its culture.
Therefore, several of Brazil's popular music styles have derived from African cultures and African diasporic influences, including samba, lambada, funk and axé.
There is a tendency by Brazilian musicians to draw inspiration and utilize themes, imagery and symbolic symbols from the Candomblé religion and its African roots.
Artists such as Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes, Caetano Veloso, Sergio Mendes, Daniela Mercury, Carlinhos Brown, among others, have all used African culture, religion and symbols as inspirations and lyrics of their songs.
Axé was a fusion of African and Caribbean styles such as merengue, salsa and reggae, as well as being influenced by other Afro-Brazilian musical styles such as frevo and forró.
Axé music was labeled in 1980s, but it was already noticeable in the 50s with the incorporation of the “guitarra baiana” (guitar from Bahia).
This genre was purely instrumental, and remained so until the 1970s, when Moraes Moreira (of the band Novos Baianos) went solo.
Quickly, Ilê Aiyê gained a huge following, allowing them to influence other artists to incorporate the samba-reggae style and the heavy beats to their music.
Groups such as Timbalada, Olodum and Filhos de Gandhi also shared the heavy beats and rhythms with Ilê Aiyê, as well as utilizing African symbols such as typical outfits and instruments that all these bands use to perform.
Olodum's rehearsals soon became a starting point for up and coming artists, composers, and music.
In these rehearsals, artists presented and experimented with their music, in search for legitimacy from the population.
In 1985 Luiz Caldas released his LP record called Magia, which included the track Fricote.
Although the lyrics were not complex, the rhythm was perfect for the climate in Bahia.
The song became the representation of the entertainment of Bahia's musicality.
The song remained in the first position in the charts for months and ended up becoming an anthem for the people in Brazil.
These bands are still relevant in Brazilian music scene, and still spreads the axé genre across the country and throughout the world.
Currently, the biggest axé music star is Ivete Sangalo.
Axé Bahia is a six-member eurodance/axé music group from Brazil.
They achieved fame in South America with their single "Beijo na Boca", and was also extremely popular in the Spanish-language version, "Beso en la Boca".
International Exposure of Axé
A notable moment in axé's history was Ivete Sangalo's success in the United States.
After selling out 70,000 capacity soccer stadiums in Brazil, Ivete Sangalo sold out Madison Square Garden in 2010.
In an interview before her MSG concert, she affirmed that, "When I started in Brazil, I was also unknown, and Brazil is a gigantic place with lots of talent.
I haven't come here with the pretension of being well known, but what I've come do to here, I've come to do right".
In this concert, she was able to bring to the United States a "mini-version of Carnaval".
Ivete Sangalo is the only artist to have participated in all editions of the concert Rock in Rio Lisbon, as well as participating in Rock in Rio Brazil, Spain and United States.
Spike Lee directed the video clip for this song, and the video clip was filmed in the historical neighborhood of Pelourinho in Salvador, Bahia, and in a favela in Rio de Janeiro.
Michael Jackson collaborated with Olodum in this video, which featured 200 members of the band playing their different kinds of drums to Salvador's samba-reggae music.
Due to this video, Olodum was exposed to 140 countries, increasing the outreach of the Afro-Brazilian samba-reggae music.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axé (music).