I first ran across Arto Lindsay’s Prize album while perusing through random CDs in the Albion College radio booth. I played the first song, “Ondina”, over the air and instantly fell for that gentle voice. His voice is calm and pleasant. You could put a crying baby to sleep with that voice!
Arto Lindsay first began playing in Manhattan and formed a few bands, namely DNA, and in the 1990s, his solo career took off. His single albums include: O Corpo Sutil, The Subtle Body, Mundo Civilizado, Noon Chill, Prize, and Invoke. They are unique because his music is a combination of Brazilian tones, samba rhythms, and special American touches. Mostly, he sings in English, but he often adds Portuguese phrases to his English lyrics. Sometimes he also sings entire songs in Portuguese.
Perhaps the most unique song by Arto Lindsay is “Pre-Feelings” from his Prize album. In this song, he breaks up his song with sections of rap. The rap is not like the rap heard on MTV today. It is more of a street rap, and is preformed by a rapper named “Beans”, who has been working with a group called the Anti-Pop Consortium, performs the rap sections. It gives a unique sound when combined with the tender melodies of Arto Lindsay’s band, while providing an intellectual insight to our perceptions of what is “real” and what is not.
Arto Lindsay likes to break norms and creates the kind of music he likes to listen to. Although he wants to reach the masses, he wants to do it on his own terms without jeopardizing his integrity. Once he was even featured in The Onion and told the interviewer, “We want to reach a lot of people, but we want to reach a lot of people with our music. If we had wanted to try to make music that sounded like the pop music at any particular moment, we could have done that a long time ago.” It’s almost impossible to not respect this man...