Mario Ghanna

 

Mario Ghanna is captivating audiences with his originality, distinct lyrical style and edgy Brazilian music production, on full display in his new radio single ‘Lirios’. We wanted to find out what drives this dedicated Latin artist to push the limits of the genre.

You can generally tell when an artist is ready for the next stage of their career. It shows up in timing and tonal certainties, and there's a sense of conviction that just can't be faked. Mario Ghanna's catchy new track ‘Lirios’ has that audible conviction, but its sheer inventiveness and mainstream digestibility fulfill the other half of the equation that determines who gets radio time and who goes home unheard. It also doesn't hurt that the critics have raved about his award-wi ‘This collection of uptempo tunes proves that Mario Ghanna has real star power; he has the ever-so-crucial vocal character to swing big, and the aesthetic sensibilities to craft highly listenable pop rock pieces.’ Independent reporter Alexis Adams recently caught up with Mario Ghanna to talk about his new single and the passion for home-grown Brazilian music that gave rise to it.

ALEXIS: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
MARIO GHANNA: A lot of things. I'm Brazilian, so it's common for crazy things to happen to you while you are playing. I've already played at an ice cream party (yes, that’s right, at an Ice cream party), I've played at a lot of crazy parties, 'cause the people were crazy. Some girls already fell down on the stage and sometimes fell over a musician from the band.

ALEXIS: Your song ’Lirios’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
MARIO GHANNA: I thought 'who is playing my cd?” Haha. I'm kidding. My reaction was to think about the message of the song. This song talks about breaking barriers, giving up a normal life that makes you miserable to pursue your dreams, so the lyrics fit exactly what I felt when I heard the song on the radio the very first time.

ALEXIS: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
MARIO GHANNA: All my songs are inspired by my own life, what I am living, have lived and felt. This one was not any different. I was living a normal life, in a normal relationship that was making me miserable. And I needed to break out that vicious circle. The song talks about that. “Lírios” means Lilies and in some oriental cultures, it represents a new cycle.

ALEXIS: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
MARIO GHANNA: All the time. Working with music in Brazil is very difficult and this fact is a great ingredient for making music and writing lyrics. And, I can tell you, I sometimes have had a hard life. Besides that, I'm not the luckiest guy in my relationships (haha), and these episodes of my life have given me stories to talk about in my music. Also, Brazil is a country that is rich in other kinds of subjects for songs. We have a great deal of social inequality, a lot of corruption, etc. And that's a great theme to sing about.

ALEXIS: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
MARIO GHANNA: I have my own musical and poetic identity, but I like to try out new things.

 

ALEXIS: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
MARIO GHANNA: I love it. I'm very lucky to work with a very talented team of musicians and I am continually learning from these guys. Besides that, these guys are great friends and we have a lot of fun together. So, working in this kind of mood is much better. Creativity flows better.

ALEXIS: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
MARIO GHANNA: Yes. My father is a classical pianist and I have a lot of relatives that were bohemian musicians. That's nice 'cause it enabled me to grow up listening to good music and begin my studies very early.

ALEXIS: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
MARIO GHANNA: The most rewarding thing is to know that you are not alone in the world. As I compose about what I live and feel, when I see the audience singing along and feeling the same as my music, I feel like I'm not alone. And that is the reward. The most challenging thing is to keep your music in an environment that doesn't sponsor art. In this kind of environment, I try to spread my music further and that is a real challenge to overcome.

ALEXIS: Who are your role models in music?
MARIO GHANNA: The guys who live the life and playing the kind of music that they really believe in, like Buddy Guy, Ben Harper, BB King, Eric Clapton, Norah Jones, Caetano Veloso, Djavan, Lenine, Cazuza, etc. We have great models.

ALEXIS: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
MARIO GHANNA: All performances are special. For me, the most memorable performance is always the last one, cause I try to make each concert remarkable.

ALEXIS: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
MARIO GHANNA: I'm just starting my career and I have already made a lot of mistakes, so I don’t think I'm the best counselor. Haha. But I can give some advice that fits with everything in life: learn from your mistakes, study a lot and keep on going.

ALEXIS: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
MARIO GHANNA: I'll keep working with my album 'Lírios'. There are 16 songs in this album. My plan now is to release videoclips to promote some special songs, like 'Lírios', 'Mãos ao alto', 'É cedo', 'Get High' etc. I have just released one clip, the name of the song is: 'É cedo': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz3Vm2nzKsI In the next few months we will release other clips. By the end of the year I intend to release a new single and next year a new album. Besides that, I’ll keep giving concerts and try to make each one of them remarkable and make the audience enjoy the experience every time. So, after all, the idea is to keep on working on my music and try to spread it around Brazil and to my audience around the world.

ALEXIS: Wonderful! Thank you sharing some insights into what makes you the artist that you are. I wish you continued success in your career.

http://www.marioghanna.com.br

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