Waldemar Bastos biography
Waldermar Bastos (born 1954, M'banza, Zaire province, Angola) is an Angolan musician who combines Afropop, Portuguese (fado), and Brazilian influences.
His parents were both nurses. He started singing at a very early age.
At the age of 28 he emigrated to Portugal to escape the civil war between the Marxist MPLA Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola regime and the Western-backed UNITA National Union for Total Independence of Angola.
Quotes from the artist
"One day, my father arrived home and found me playing his concertina. I felt bad for having been caught touching, without permission, an instrument which was almost sacred for him. But he was pleasantly surprised; I think he was even satisfied to hear me playing popular radio songs. In the following Christmas he gave an accordion as a gift..."
“For many years, since I was a kid, I was in various bands, and traveled throughout Angola playing all kinds of music: pop, rock, blues, tangos, waltzes, among other styles, plus what I had learned from my father and my people in the places I traveled through. My music is defined by own life experiences, praise for Angolan identity, and a call for universal brotherhood. I have matured. Everything I have absorbed from other cultures, and various musical styles, – I have traveled quite a bit -, which has inspired beauty in me, is a part of what I’m doing now. So, it is gratifying for me to hear or read critics say, as it recently happened in the USA, that my music is universal. That it is not a regional music, but instead for people everywhere. This is my main and most sincere goal, my contribution for harmony among people! For me such is the first and ultimate function of Art”.
(about his arrest in Portugal by the political police PIDE/DGS) "They couldn’t arrest everybody, and because they knew that, even though I was not politically involved, I didn’t agree with the established regime and the police behavior, they just grabbed me and jailed me. As simple as that! While in prison I wrote a few songs that would later become known...’Coisas da Vida, coisas da Terra, coisas do Homem’ ( ). "
"The problem is that I spent several years under great pressure. As a singer I traveled often to the eastern Bloc where I realized what the musicians there went through. As it was the case in Angola, the artists and the singers had to support the regime, and that was choking for me in terms of how I felt art in my life. So I decided to escape. I defected in 1982 during a visit to Portugal to participate at FITEI integrated in an official Angolan delegation. I stayed in Portugal and didn’t return."