Chico César is a new composer/interpreter revealed in 1995. His compositions are a mix of social criticism and humor, with strong musical influences of the folklore of the northeast, having been recorded by artists like Elba Ramalho, Daniela Mercury, Zizi Possi, Emílio Santiago, and the Argentinean Pedro Aznar. Maria Bethânia chose his song "A Força que Nunca Seca" as the title track of one of her CDs. César has recorded four CDs so far and has been touring internationally since 1995.
He began to work at a record shop at eight. In the following year, he began to play in the band Super Som Mirim. At 16, he moved to João Pessoa for his high school studies, focusing on journalism and, at the same time, playing in the group Jaguaribe Carne, which worked with vanguard poetry. At 21, he moved to São Paulo, soon becoming acquainted with members of the vanguarda paulista (São Paulo's vanguard) musicians like Arrigo Barnabé and Itamar Assumpção. While working at a daily gig as a journalist, he continued to improve his violão playing and compositions, realizing live performances and beginning to gather a faithful fan audience. In 1991, he went to Europe where performed with success in Germany. Upon returning, he decided to abandon journalism and dedicate himself exclusively to music. Forming the band Cuscuz Clã (a pun with the hated anti-Negro organization), he recorded the CD Aos Vivos in 1995, produced independently, and later sold to Velas, where he accompanied himself on the violão at a live recorded show. The album had as guest stars Lenine and Larry Goldin (recovered from ostracism, after an important contribution to Tropicalia). "Mama África" and "À Primeira Vista" became hits, and when Daniela Mercury recorded the latter in an interpretation that was included in the major soap opera Rei do Gado, his fame was solidified. The success of critique came in 1996, with Cuscuz Clã (MZA/Polygram), which granted him the Prêmio Sharp as Revelation (1995) and APCA's as Best Composer. The clip "Mama África" received the Prêmio MTV Music Awards as Best 1996 MPB VideoClip como Melhor VideoClip. "À Primeira Vista" won the Best Song prize of the Troféu Imprensa (SBT) and was included in a CD by Argentinean star Pedro Aznar. Lokua Kanza, Dominguinhos, Arrigo Barnabé, and Paulo Moura, among others, participated on his third album, Beleza Mano, and in 2000, he released a fourth, Mama Mundi. Having new partnerships in songs with his old idolLokua Kanza, César toured Europe six times in 2000, performing for the second time at the Montreux Festival (Switzerland). ~ Alvaro Neder