On May 3, 2016, a full-page review published in the cultural supplement of O Globo newspaper – Brazil’s most important media outlet – commented on the edition of João Fênix’s fifth album, Back to the Beginning . In a philosophical text, the renowned journalist Leonardo Lichote defended that the album, edited by the label Biscoito Fino, proposed a return to the origins that extrapolated the individual route of the Pernambuco artist born in Recife (PE), proposing a return to the beginning of a deeper Brazil , revolved by the affective and musical memory of the artist.
Twenty years earlier, in 1996, the same newspaper O Globo opened a generous space to highlight the performance of Phoenix – born João Oliveira – in a report signed by the journalist Mauro Ferreira about the theater musical Os four carreirinhas, then staged in the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ) under the direction of Wolf Maya, one of the most important directors of the stages and the TV studios. The two journalistic approaches in the celebrated morning in Rio, separated by two decades, exemplify the coherence and the right course taken by João Fênix in an ascending, cyclical trajectory, that already counts, strictly speaking, 23 years since the artist has been in professional activity since 1993 .
The rare androgynous timbre – evoked and celebrated in the album Back to the beginning in the re-recording of the feminine voice of the singer (Milton Nascimento and Fernando Brant, 2002) – is the guiding thread of João Fênix’s skein in these two decades. A contralto voice that reaches masculine and feminine tones and that was sculpted, like true diamond, in classes of lyrical song taken by the artist in Conservatory Pernambucano of Music, at the beginning of the artistic journey. A virtuous voice, but not only based on technique, but also provokes emotion with singing. As noted by the journalist Leonardo Lichote when analyzing the album Back to the beginning, the re-recording of Chalice (Chico Buarque and Gilberto Gil, 1973) has chilling power by drinking from the bitter national news. It is explained: in the track, Fênix inserted voices of students who occupied the school of São Paulo and the affirmative voice of the deputy from Bahia, Jean Willys – “I am homosexual, yes!” – among the heady verses of 1973) censored subject of Chico Buarque and Gil.
Respected by the critics and the audienized public that had awakened attention to the rare voice of the singer, João Fênix is an artist with free traffic in Brazilian music. Has albums produced by Jaime Alem and JR Tostoi – this a contemporary touch guitarist; one, a conductor, guitarist and violinist who drinks from the best musical traditions of Brazil. He has had the privilege of recording with first-time singers such as Ney Matogrosso, whose noble Phoenix vocal line is proud descendant. With Ney, Phoenix shared the studios as equals when recording with the music partner, End of the World (Patrícia Mello), of the first album, Eu, cause and effect (Nikita Music, 2001), zero mark of solo discography that reached the recognition apex with the recent Back to the beginning