How Bachata Infiltrated Brazil's Sertaneja Music

'Milu', hit by Caribbean rhythm 'ambassador' in Brazil, Gusttavo Lima, is one of the most listened songs of the year

São Paulo

Gusttavo Lima wears a bright red blazer and tight trousers, with dance shoes and a romantic singer stance in the single clip "Milu". As bongos give in, he sings about falling into the bar after being disappointed in a relationship.

At the end of the first stanza, Gusttavo leaves no doubt about the primary influence of his music. "What a bachata feeling!" he says in English, citing the rhythm of the Dominican Republic that has never been more present in the country in 2019.

Gusttavo Lima - Divulgação

Launched in June, "Milu" marks Gusttavo Lima's blunt entry into the bachata. The Latin genre, derived from bolero and dance track, is defined by the steady rhythm and by violins that resemble guitars.

Bachata has been making headlines since last year, but it has never been so present in the mainstream as in recent months.

"Milu" has been the most played track on the radio for 20 weeks in Brazil, and has had 170 million plays on YouTube.

Another one that has been among the most played for months is "Quando a Bad Bater," Luan Santana's song, with 105 million views on YouTube and a clear bachata influence.

But this rhythm, developed in the 60s, has been present in Brazilian music since the 90s. "In the 1990s, Fagner recorded 'Bubbles of Love,' translated from Dominican Juan Luís Guerra's 'Burbujas de Amor,' from a record of him called 'Bachata Rosa,'" said Breno Boechat, a music consumption researcher country in Brazil.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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