Since emerging from São Paulo, Brazil, onto the global music stage just five years ago, Brazilian phenomenon Céu has captivated the world with her beautifully simple melodies, sophisticated arrangements, and disarmingly honest songwriting. Crooning with a warmth and sensuality far more interesting and complex than the warbling of the sex-kittens-of-the-month that perennially inhabit the American R&B charts, this young vocalist sings as if she were imparting secrets. Her songs sound like they're informed by life as it is really lived, in all of its emotional difficulties and complications, rather than by gauzy romantic illusion or sexpot posturing.
It is this integrity and this allure that have catapulted Céu to international musical success. Her 2007 self-titled debut sold close to 200,00 copies worldwide, including almost 100,000 in the US. She was the first international artist featured in the Starbucks Hear Music Debut series, which led to unprecedented Billboard chart numbers for a Brazilian female artist – No. 1 on the World Music and Heatseekers Charts, and No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 – the highest position reached in that category by a Brazilian since Astrud Gilberto's "Garota de Ipanema" in the 1960s. Her album was also the iTunes US Editor's Pick for World Music Album of the Year. If all of that wasn't enough, she also received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2007 and a Latin Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2006.
Since her debut release, Céu has only continued to build on her success with her typical grace and artistry. Her second full-length effort, 2009's Vagrosa (which translates to "slow, easygoing, and leisurely"), peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard's World Music charts and earned a 2010 Latin Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Brazilian Pop Record. Her latest release, Caravana Sereia Bloom (2012), finds her expanding the scope of her artistic vision with radically successful results. Her boldest work to date, the disc eschews much of the laid-back bossa nova and samba that made her famous, in favor of a sound that seems to have more in common with the psychedelic oeuvres of early Tropicalia artists and Os Mutantes than the restrained musings of Jobim. For this girl from São Paulo, the album is the finest moment yet in a career that shows no signs of slowing.