Thiago Amud

The craft of composing music and lyrics since he was 14 years old unfold in Thiago Amud in the crafts of arranging, playing guitar, and singing.

His first stage appearances date to the 1990s, when he participated in student festivals and performed with his first band, Regonguz. 

Shortly before enrolling in UNIRIO, where he graduated in Music, Thiago won second and third places in two consecutive years of the Rio Young Artists Award from the Rio de Janeiro city government. Composer Guinga, a jury member in both editions, impressed by the young performer´s original style, became his main backer and years later his partner in more than a dozen songs.

As the years have passed, and now no longer so young, Amud also joined with Francis Hime, Roberto Menescal, Clarice Assad, Sergio Assad, Zé Renato, Zé Paulo Becker, Luiza Brina, and Sylvio Fraga – a list that appears to have no end. 

Thiago´s work has increasingly called the attention of fellow musicians, journalists, and opinion-makers, year after year, disc after disc, from the progressive Sacradança in 2010 to the super-Sebastianist De ponta a ponta tudo é praia-palma (From tip to tip it´s all beaches and palm trees) from 2013 (both released by Delira), to the kaleidoscopic O cinema que o sol não apaga (The cinema that the sun doesn´t erase) in 2018, to the lean and serene São (Saint) in 2021 (both released by our Rocinante label).

For example, we can pick out comments by such critics as Tárik de Souza, in a review of Sacradança for the newspaper Jornal do Brasil, noting that “Amud debuted already with a complete musical personality,” and Silvio Essinger, in a story in O Globo dedicated to De ponta a ponta tudo é praia-palma (considered one of the ten best albums of 2013 by the newspaper): “There is no possible label.” Even so, American journalist Jon Pareles attended Amud´s performance at the Brazilian Explorative Music event in New York city in 2014 and labeled him as “a clandestine radical” in an article for the New York Times. That same year, Leonardo Lichote ventured the following in a review of the composer´s performance in Belo Horizonte: “In Brazilian song today, Thiago is the spearhead of the vanguard built on classical foundations.” 

More recently, anthropologist Hermano Vianna wrote in his blog that “Amud´s art balances between horror and the promise/prophecy of redemption”; singer Mônica Salmaso, posting the videos she made with Thiago for her series “Ô de Casas” (“Anybody Home?”), noted that he is “profoundly religious and atheist, restless, dense, and light”; and Guinga ventured the most unusual characterization of his collaborator´s music: “He sounds like a sheep with five hooves.”  

When his album O cinema que o sol não apaga was released, the dense unpredictability of his lyrics, harmonies, melodies, and arrangements drew the following remark by Caetano Veloso, published in Folha de São Paulo: “Thiago Amud writes incredibly beautiful lyrics and disconcerting melodies backed by complex and well-composed orchestrations, written by himself (modern, in tune with what has happened in music, but above all deeply felt and highly personal).” 

Thiago wrote the orchestration for the title track on Caetano´s album Meu Coco. On the occasion, the Bahian tropicalist proclaimed that he is “a young Carioca creator whose existence says everything about the veracity of Brazilian love for popular song”. 

Milton Nascimento and Simone Guimarães, Ana Carolina, and Sérgio Mendes, the vocal groups MPB-4 and Garganta Profunda, Alcione and Leila Pinheiro have performed Amud´s songs, but his story would be incomplete without hearing musicians from his own generation. 

For example, he conceived the group Coletivo Chama, with eight musicians, for whom he joined with Ivo Senra to write the arrangements for the concert Coletivo Chama sings Mário de Andrade, commissioned especially by the Brazilian National Foundation for the Arts (Funarte) for the 21st Biennial of Contemporary Music in 2015, and for the album Todo Mundo é Bom (Everybody´s Good) in 2016. The collective´s members have also performed in several Brazilian state capitals in shows/debates based on Brazilian poets, sharing the stages with actors Julia Lemmertz, Paulo Betti, Clarice Niskier, and Emílio de Mello.

Thiago´s work features arrangements for the album Mundo Afora: Meada (Yonder World: Skein) by Ilessi (released by Rocinante), his musical direction of the show Iara Ira by Duda Brack, Juliana Linhares, and Julia Vargas (one of the best of 2016 according to O Globo), and collaborations with various names in the current music scenes in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

According to composer and essayist José Miguel Wisnik on the back cover of São, “Thiago Amud is in the eye of the world´s whirlwind, extracting luminous powers with his embattled courage.”