Bebel Gilberto is not in a hurry to sing in Brazil

With 150 thousand copies of the album Tanto Tempo sold in the U.S., the singer lands on Brazil, but shall only perform by mid-2001

Carlos Calado
Bebel Gilberto still seems surprised with the international buzz achieved with the album Tanto Tempo, released worldwide seven months ago on American label Ziriguiboom and Belgian label Crammed Discs, except in Brazil, where it came out only a few weeks ago on Universal Music. "I never dreamed of becoming a hit in the United States", said the singer and songwriter little before starting an autograph session in São Paulo. Bebel informed that her CD has already sold 150 thousand copies in the U.S. and about 50 thousand in Europe. According to The New York Times, it is the biggest selling Brazilian artist in the U.S.A. since Sérgio Mendes' attack in the 60s.

Curiously enough, Brazilian audiences have small chances of seeing her live before mid-2001. "We're still searching for the right venues", says Bebel. The delay, she claims, is due to promotion tours around the world. In January, she'll be performing in Tokyo. In February, Bebel returns to France, where she packed the club Le Bataclan. "Paris was definitely awesome", tells the singer, who goes back to the United States in March. Her album leads the world music charts in Cananda.

The possibility of a guest appearance in (her father) João Gilberto's show, next weekend in São Paulo, is denied by Bebel. "No chance", she said, after revealing that her album is being hyped by the bossa master. "I think he liked it. Of course, he's always changing opinions, which I find very positive". Even though she has included a number of bossa nova standards in this disc, such as Samba de Verão (by Marcos and Paulo Sérgio Valle) and Samba da Benção (Baden Powell), Bebel would rather refer to her work as "modern Brazilian music". "It would be too pretentious to call it bossa, me being the daughter of my father. I'd rather get rid of such labels."

The fact that her song Sem Contenção has boost the sales in Europe, or yet, the fact that she's recently written a song by order of the respected African singer Cesária Évora don't seem to have decreased Bebel's low profile. "I still got a long ride ahead of me, when it comes to writing lyrics", she stated. She gives little hope of live presentations before mid-2001 to her ever-growing fan club in Brazil. "If an opportunity comes up, the show will happen before. My mind is here all the time".