Singer-songwriter, record producer and arranger Oswaldo Lenine Macedo Pimentel was born on February 2, 1959. A native of Recife who later moved to Rio de Janeiro, a “Brazilian of the world”, Lenine brings influences from cultural manifestations of his country in his compositions, as well as numerous musical genres, disregarding labels or classifications.
With a career spanning 30 years, ten albums, two special projects and numerous guest appearances on albums by other artists, Lenine has had his songs recorded by artists such as Elba Ramalho, Maria Bethânia, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Ney Matogrosso, O Rappa, Zélia Duncan, among many others. He produced CDs for Maria Rita, Chico César, Pedro Luís e a Parede and the Cape Verdean singer-songwriter Tcheka, in addition to soundtracks for novels, sitcoms, movies, and theater and dance performances, such as those of the renowned Grupo Corpo.
Lenine has won five Latin Grammy Awards, 2 APCA (Associação Paulista de Críticos de Arte), nine Brazilian Music Awards and has performed in dozens of countries on his international concert tours, taking him to some of the largest music festivals in the world, such as Roskilde (Denmark), Peter Gabriel’s Womad (England, Spain and Canary Islands), The Montreal Film Festival (Canada) and Eurockéennes (France), among others.
The son of José Geraldo and Dayse Pimentel, Lenine (named as a tribute from his socialist father to the soviet leader) showed interest in music as a child. At the time, his object of desire – his older sister’s guitar – was played clandestinely, when he could steal the key for the closet where it was kept.
Between mass with his catholic mother and listening to albums with his father, Lenine got the right to choose his Sunday schedule by the age of eight. He chose music, which ran from Russian folklore and Tchaikovsky to Dorival Caymmi and Jackson do Pandeiro. At 17 he became a of rock ‘n roll fan – from Zeppelin to Zapa up to The Police – and was already affected by the sounds of Clube da Esquina, and entered university to study Chemical Engineering. It was at that time that he began to scrape together his first compositions.
At age 20, he left school and moved to Rio de Janeiro, sharing a house and a dream of living music with other friends and composers. The group went to live in Botafogo at a place known as Casa 9, famous for having been the house of Luis Carlos Lacerda (Bigode), Jards Macalé and Sonia Braga. Later, Lenine finally settled in Urca where he resides to this day.
In Rio, Lenine took part in the MPB 81 festival, promoted by TV Globo. In 1983, he recorded his first LP with Lula Queiroga, Baque Solto (Polygram), on an invitation from Roberto Menescal. During this period, he also worked as Danilo Caymmi’s guitarist.
10 years passed between Baque Solto and his second album, a period in which Lenine established himself as a composer and became part of the city’s musical movement. He engaged in in the rodas de samba of Cacique de Ramos, the first space in which he was received with open arms in Rio, and composed sambas for the carioca’s blocos like the ” o “Simpatia é quase amor”, and in particular the “Suvaco de Cristo”.
In 1989, Elba Ramalho was the first to record “A Roda do Tempo” by Lenine and Bráulio Tavares on the album Popular Brasileira. At this time, Lenine began to be asked to compose soundtracks for soap operas and serials. In 1992, he did yet another song in partnership with Bráulio Tavares for the repertoire of Elba: “Mirage of Porto”, on her album Encanto.
According to Lenine himself, his most important album was released in 1993, in conjunction with percussionist Marcos Suzano. Produced by the two as well as Denilson Campos, Olho de Peixe (Velas) projected them into the world, with tours in the United States, Europe and Asia, especially in Japan.
In 1997, Lenine releases his first solo album: O Dia em que Faremos Contato (BMG), produced in partnership with Chico Neves and mixed at Real World Studio, Peter Gabriel’s renowned Studio in London. The album won two Sharp awards in the categories for “Revelation” and “Best Song” with “A Ponte” by Lenine and Lula Queiroga.
In 1999, Lenine released Na Pressão (BMG), which he produced alongside Tom Capone. This work won the APCA Award for “Best folk music album “, figuring on the list of best albums in several countries and selling over 40 thousand copies in France alone.
His international career gained a boost with new tours in Europe, Japan, Canada and especially in France, where Lenine carried out successful annual tours. In 2000, he signed up to be the musical director of the Cambaio show, with compositions by Chico Buarque and Edu Lobo. In 2002, he released his fifth album, Falange Canibal (BMG), again with Tom Capone. The CD featured guest appearances by Living Colour, American singer Ani Di Franco, Eumir Deodato, Steve Turre and the Velha Guarda da Mangueira. Falange Canibal received the Latin Grammy Award in the category of “Contemporary Brazilian Pop”.
In 2004, Lenine was invited by the project “Carte Blanche”, in the Cité de La Musique in Paris, which, up to that point, had only one Brazilian – Caetano Veloso –participate. The purpose of “Carte Blanche” was to give the artist “carte blanche” to produce the show. For his show, Lenine invited Cuban artist Yusa and the Argentinian percussionist Ramiro Musotto. The presentation gave birth to the CD and DVD Lenine Incité (9/BMG), which won two Latin Grammy Awards for “Best CD of Contemporary Music” and “Best Song” with “Ninguém faz idéia”, from Lenine and Ivan Santos. The album also received 4 Brazilian music Awards : “best CD”, “best music”, “best singer” and “best singer-Popular vote”.
In 2005 Lenine produced Maria Rita’s album Segundo and the album De Uns Tempos pra Cá, of Chico César. In Paris, it is one of the main musical attractions for the “Year of Brazil in France”, where he performed at the Zenith Theatre beside the Île de France National Orchestra and a chorus of 1400 of young French students from the public education system, interpreting his work and Brazilian classics.
In 2006, he launched Lenine Acústico MTV (Sony BMG) and was awarded the Latin Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Pop CD “. That same year, the Lenine collection (Degrees Records) was published in the United States. In 2007, he produced the CD Lonji for Cape Verdean singer Theka, and created the soundtrack for the show “Breu”, from Grupo Corpo.
In 2008, he released the CD and LP Labiata (9/Universal). The album was put out in 20 countries with another international tour in 2009. The song ” Martelo Bigorna ” was included on the soundtrack for the soap opera Caminho das Índias (Rede Globo), and was awarded the Latin Grammy Award in the “Best Brazilian Song” category. In that same year, the film Continuação was released at the Rio Festival from filmmaker Rodrigo Pinto, depicting the entire process of creating and recording the Labiata album, including the premiere of the show at the Olympia of Paris.
In 2010, the artist launched the Lenine.doc– Trilhas project (9/Universal), which culled together songs for soap operas, sitcoms, movies, commercials, and theater and dance performances. A new national and international tour also began.
In February 2011, Lenine was invited to produce and direct the opening of the Recife Carnival . The show, written by Bráulio Tavares, won the title of “Sob o Mesmo Céu” and brought together a team of Brazilian music stars: Céu, Elba Ramalho, Fernanda Takai, Ica, Karina Buhr, Mariana Aydar, Maria Gadú, Marina Lima, Nena Queiroga, Pitty, Roberta Sá and Zélia Duncan.
In October 2011, Lenine released Chão (House 9/Universal), his tenth career disc, produced by Bruno Giorgi, JR Tostoi and himself. The new album – considered daring and conceptual by critics – is a suite of ten songs marked by the sounds of his daily live, like the singing of a bird, the sounds of a kettle and the cadence of cicadas in the summertime in Urca.
He began the Chão tour in March of 2012, with art direction by Paulo Pederneiras, from Grupo Corpo, which included only Lenine, Bruno Giorgi and JR.Tostoi. Using the quadraphonic feature (known as surround sound), the show subverts the “see-hear”, natural for music shows, to “hear-see”, according to Lenine. During the show, the audience is immersed in a kind of sensory experience in which the sound is the great protagonist. One of the most successful concert tours in Lenine’s career, Chão has traveled to more than 80 cities in Brazil, as well as France, Italy, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Chão continues on the road until the end of the year 2013.
In 2013, the singer-songwriter celebrated his 30-year career. On the agenda are, tributes, documentaries and special projects, such as a reunion with Marcos Suzano in the Olho de Peixe show (April, in Rio de Janeiro), a European Tour of The Bridge (May, August and October), with Martin Fondse Orchestra, a special show celebrating the Baque Solto album (September in Recife), in addition to the tour Concertos Chão and Lenine Solo shows. In 2013, the song “Se não for Amor, eu Cegue” (Chão) was part of the soundtrack for the soap opera “Saramandaia” (Rede Globo) and Lenine signed up for the soundtrack of Grupo Corpo’s new performance. And “This is just the beginning”.