Benjamim by Vera Marmelo


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Benjamim by Vera Marmelo

A Portuguese singer-songwriter who lived in the past, but makes music for tomorrow.


by Gonçalo Castro
28 February 2017

It’s hard to put Benjamim in a box. Or should I say, to put Luis Nunes, the man behind Benjamim, in a single box. He’s a musician. A multitalented musician who plays guitar, piano, violin, keyboards, percussion, and occasionally the maracas. And of course he sings, in a soft tone, if you only listen to his record – but except him to be loud playing live. And he’s also a producer. He worked with plenty of Portuguese acts, such as B Fachada, Márcia, Golden Sumbers or You Can’t Win Charlie Brown.


In the past few years, he recorded as Walter Benjamin. Before that, he played in a few bands, for example Jesus the Misunderstood and Goodbye Toulouse. After living in London for a few years, he returned to Portugal to start this new era. He had recorded in English for several years, but now he wants to be understood by the common people of his country. And he would understand himself. It’s hard to describe Benjamin’s work.


Auto Radio is Benjamim’s first solo album. The songs are meant to be heard while driving across the plains of Alentejo or in the Netherlands, for example ‘O Sangue’, or they’re inspired by his father’s memories of Africa, like in ‘O Quinito Foi Para a Guiné’. But you can also hear some dylanesque influences in ‘Volkswagen’ or Portuguese folk singer Zeca Afonso in ‘Do Céu e da Terra’.

To fully understand Benjamim’s work, you have to see him live, with a full rock ensemble that grabs and takes you on a trip inside an old Volkswagen, windows open and the radio blasting.

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