(An Arkadia Records Release)
“M E E T T E T E L”
Scheduled for release in early 2022
1 – Lullaby of Loveland 3:54 Lyrics
2 – For One Man Only 4:46 Lyrics
3 – Clean Cut 3:56 Lyrics
4 – Upright Lad Blues 4:02 Lyrics
5 – Mea Culpa 3:50 Lyrics
6 – All and More 4:20 Lyrics
7 – Not About Love 4:00 Lyrics
8 – Hello, Hon’ 3:27 Lyrics
9 – Você (radio version) 3:39 Lyrics
10 – Willow, Don’t You Weep 3:55 Lyrics
11 – Someone To Watch Over Me 3:40 Lyrics
All songs composed by Marcela Sarudiansky,
Published by Larador Music, Inc. except
Someone To Watch Over Me by George and Ira Gershwin
Executive Producer: Bob Karcy for Arkadia Records
Produced by Bob Karcy, Tetel Di Babuya, Igor Sarudiansky
Recorded at Arsis Studio, São Paulo, Brazil 2021
Recording, Mixing, Mastering Engineer: Adonias Souza Junior
Music and Lyrics: Marcela Sarudiansky
Musical Arrangements: Daniel Grajew
Photography: Igor Sarudiansky
Tetel Di Babuya: voice and violin
Daniel Grajew: piano, accordeon and Rhodes
Nilton Leonarde: acoustic bass, electric bass and guitar
Emilio Martins: drums
Richard Fermino: sax, trumpet and trombone
Thoughts about my first album, Meet Tetel
By Tetel Di Babuya
All I ever wanted as a musician was to have enough room to express myself as authentically as possible. I find songwriting to be the most fantastic vessel for communicating creative thoughts and conveying emotions. To me, songwriting is a first class ticket to artistic freedom.
And to be able to sing the songs I write is, to me, the closest thing I know to a religious experience. Having a brain and functional vocal chords seems like one of the real miracles in life. Of course, I can express myself on the violin, but the violin can’t help it, it lacks something I can’t do without….lyrics.
When writing your own material, the possibilities are endless and that can feel a little overwhelming. But whenever I hit a metaphorical wall, I turn to good friends like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Tom Jobim, Amy Winehouse, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone and so many other musical pals, old and new, always ready to selflessly reach out to me with loving inspiration. Isn’t music recording one of the most beautiful human inventions?
I think songwriting is a safe road to self-knowledge for an artist. You never really know who you are until you gaze at that cellulose uncharted territory (or LCD or whatever you kids are using these days).
My first album, Meet Tetel, is a collage of the musical styles that have touched me as a musician: Jazz, Classical, Blues, Folk, Bossa Nova, Samba, French Chanson and Soul.
The arrangements are by Daniel Grajew who has as much musical sensitivity as he is tall. He is either gigantic, or I’m just an awful music partner employing some uncalled for distasteful humor.
When I wrote the songs from this album, I wanted two things to pop into the mind of the listener: this album kind of sounds like a vintage recording but it can’t be because the lyrics have something contemporary about them. I like that, tradition with a twist on the rocks.
I have a couple of tunes I wrote as tribute to jazz standards I love, and these are Lullaby of Loveland and Willow, Don’t You Weep. The titles I chose leave little to the imagination for jazz lovers. These are songs about true love, for someone else as well, yes, but, mainly for oneself.
Hello, Hon’ is a big band style song inspired by Count Basie, Duke Ellington and other jazz giants of the big band era. No one should take my lyrics too seriously; I don’t really sit at home all day doing nothing but thinking of my loved one. I also find time to groom my cats.
Two of the songs I wrote, Mea Culpa and Você, might trick the listener into believing I’m from a Portuguese speaking country (perhaps Brazil) and not Babuya, wherever the heck that is.
Upright Lad Blues is the ultimate proof I simply must complain about my partner. In this case, complain about having nothing to complain about. This is quickly turning into a drinking game: take a shot whenever the singer says “about”. About.
For One Man Only and All and More are folk inspired love tunes. Guess who I’m singing about? Right you are, my friends. My husband is a very patient man.
But I took the underrated art of complaining about one’s romantic partner to a new level in Am I Losing You? I’m sorry for the deafening scream and don’t worry, no wrists were cut in the making of this song. Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is where I drew inspiration for this free improv.
Clean Cut is a Shaft soundtrack inspired tune sung from what seems like a femme fatale perspective. SPOILER ALERT, it’s really about my 14-year-old diabetic cat who was in a bad place and in need of reassuring.
Not About Love is a song I wrote when I was trying to write what? You guessed right, a song not about love. What an inventive title.
That’s it, I hope you have as much fun listening to my album as I had making it.
ABOUT MY SONGWRITING
Ever since I was little I enjoyed writing poetry as a form of (very private) self-expression, sort of like a diary. I always kept it just to myself except for the time one of my older sisters found some of it, read it and came to me showing a lot of sibling concern. I was around 12, and I vividly remember her saying: “I didn’t know you were in so much pain”. I explained to her that I really wasn’t, it was just a nice therapeutic game I played by myself where I exaggerated my emotions and put it in some form of art. A kind of make-believe with some truth to it.
My main topics were always love, at the time (and for a while) platonic. It was fun to exacerbate emotions to the point they sounded esthetically pleasing. I never thought much of it and never voluntarily showed it to anyone. The fact is when I got older I completely stopped doing it, maybe because real love started being more fun.
Much to my surprise, a few years ago I got the unexpected itch to start writing lyrics, setting them to music, singing and recording them. I guess the years of suffering for impossible loves and turning them into poetry paid off because I just did what I used to do and the lyrics started flowing from my mind. This time I had a great guy by my side and the hopeless romantic in me couldn’t find a better theme to talk about.
Lyrics have always been very important to me when listening to other artists. I feel that lyrics make or break a song. I guess I get inspiration and learn from everyone I’ve listened to. Then I try to sound like myself as much as humanly possible, though I’m aware there is nothing totally original under the sun. If I had to pinpoint my biggest influence or inspiration to start writing songs that would surely be Amy Winehouse; and I’m positive it’s something many songwriters say.
Like everyone, I feel a lot of stuff. The next step is I magnify these feelings so it naturally becomes art, not real life. Then I sing it and get to live my self-created alternate realities. Then I keep trying to do it all again and again, but better.
I believe life would be chaos without humor (specially the ironic sarcastic type) and love; that’s what I try to combine in my songwriting. I hope it comes through.