Gilberto Gil: A Brazilian Tech Trendsetter
One of the greatest icons of Brazilian culture, singer and composer Gilberto Gil, has decided to venture into the digital universe of the mobile internet by releasing a free iPhone/iPad app. Though the app’s functionality is fairly standard—it allows users to listen to his complete discography, scan his biography, read recent news and create playlists with their favorite songs by Gil—it’s still noteworthy as the first iPhone/iPad app from a Brazilian artist.
“Technology is the concept that man was creating of his own extension,” Gil said in an interview for Cultura Digital. The singer-songwriter was a key figure in the Tropicalia movement during the mid-60s, which embraced global music, sampling sounds and cultures from other countries. As former Minister of Culture during the Lula administration, Gil has committed himself to developing discussions surrounding digital culture, and was largely responsible for its dissemination in Brazil.
More than 10 years ago, Gil launched the track “Pela Internet,” (“Throughout the Internet," in English) which proposed the idea of a new, fully connected universe: “Creating my website / making my homepage / with how many gigabytes can you make a raft / A boat that sails / sailing in information.”
In 2008, he released Banda Larga Cordel, an album dedicated to the theme of the internet and new technologies, whose namesake track speaks about the changes in the harsh Brazilian countryside brought about via access to such a vast universe of information: “Damn boy, now he wants / an iPod and a brand new computer / It’s true that the hinterland wants to turn into sea / it’s true that the hinterland wants to navigate / in the computer of the little internet boy.”
Download the apps here.