I am standing on a street corner in Recreio, Zona Oeste, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Its just past three in the afternoon, and the streets, except for a light sea breeze, are devoid of life. It feels like a Florida retirement community—quiet, hot, stagnant. Mike rings the doorbell. We wait. Mike rings the doorbell again.
Finally, the crackle of a voice from the speaker phone, a pleasant female voice, but not the voice we came here to meet. Mike introduces himself, and moments later, out steps a very average-looking Brazilian man. Average height, average weight, mid-fifties, wearing shorts, a Brazilian national team soccer jersey, and Havaianas, a Brazilian brand of flip-flop that is the preferred footwear of the entire nation. He isn’t the archetypal heartthrob, but then again, he never was, it was his nice-guy persona, his every-man way of being, that made him so popular.
- Hear two exclusive tracks from Hyldon’s upcoming album Soul Brasileiro, heard for the first time, here on LongJaunt: “Rapaz de São Paulo” featuring a special guest appearance on electric guitar by Roberto Frejat of the Brazilian rock band Barão Vermelho and “Brazilian Samba Soul.”