Rio 2016 launches official song of Olympic Torch Relay
The song, “Life of a Traveller”, penned by Brazilian legend Luiz Gonzaga, has become the anthem of the Olympic Torch Relay for Rio 2016. Originally a tribute to the emotions of journeying over land, a Brazilian classic has been given a modern twist to become the official song of the Torch Relay.
Drawing on Brazil’s varied musical heritage, a group of contemporary artists have revived the traditional song, from one of the country’s most important musicians of the 20th century, to feature the recognisable rhythms of samba, funk and forró, a genre popular in the north of Brazil. The song begins with the distinctive accordion of Gonza before bringing in the voice and guitar of pop star Marcelo Jeneci.
Forró artist Luan takes over before country duo Cesar Menotto and Fabiano come in on vocals.
The song reaches a familiar rhythm with sambistas Roberta Sá and Sorriso Maroto, and then gives way to the modern beat of funk with MC Koringa. Finally, the song comes to a close with rock band Malta.
"It was a challenge to merge all these genres in one song,” said Marcelo Frauches, Artistic Director of Projetos Artísticos da Som Livre. “But it all flowed naturally and we were very pleased with the result. Those who listen to it can see how the voices and rhythms fall into place fluidly, and the music grows in every stanza, raising the tone when it comes to samba and reaches its climax with everything all together at the end.”
Bruno Cardoso, singer with Sorriso Maroto, said: “For us musicians, interpreting a Luiz Gonzaga song is a privilege. “To record this new version, then, was the greatest kick. We had a joke with Roberta Sá, mixing two areas of samba: the most traditional with Roberta and the newer interpretation of Sorriso. This gave it a very interesting spice.”
For those charged with the selection of the song, it was “love at first sight”, according to Mario Andrada, Communications Director for the Rio 2016 Organising Committee. “It’s as if Luiz Gonzaga predicted the Olympic torch would pass through Brazil,” Andrada said.
As the Torch Relay continues on its journey around Brazil towards Rio de Janeiro, it will be followed by the words: “My life is walking across this country, to see if one day I can rest happy.”
The song is available to download and stream now.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay has three Presenting Partners: Worldwide TOP Partner Coca-Cola, which continues its longstanding support for Olympic torch relays, and local Partners Bradesco and Nissan. For further information, please visit the Rio 2016 website.