“Os Tincoãs have always enchanted me since I was a little girl when I heard my mother sing the group’s songs,” said Margareth Menezes, Brazil’s minister of culture, who is also a musician, in a phone interview. “They represent the African roots of Brazilian music.”
Despite critical praise, appearances at festivals and the recognition of artists like João Gilberto — who recorded a version of the group’s “Cordeiro de Nanã” alongside Maria Bethânia, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil — Os Tincoãs did not take off. In 1983, the group (with a new member, Badu, replacing Heraldo) traveled to Angola, accompanying the sambista Martinho da Vila. The tour was supposed to last a week, but Aleluia and Dadinho decided to stay in the African country after the shows.
“We found another Bahia in Angola,” Aleluia explained. Dissatisfied with the duo’s decision, Badu returned to Brazil, precipitating the end of the group.
During the almost 20 years that Aleluia lived in Angola, he worked as a researcher and art teacher. Dadinho, who had opened a bakery in Luanda, the capital, died in 2000 of a stroke. With their three main albums out of circulation, Os Tincoãs seemed doomed to be forgotten.
But in the 2000s, record diggers and D.J.s began to compete for the few available vinyl copies of the band’s albums in Rio, São Paulo and Salvador record stores. Little by little, its music began to echo in the work of artists from new generations, such as the Afrobeat group Bixiga 70 and the rappers Criolo and Emicida, who sought to bring more Brazilian elements to their work.
“Os Tincoãs revolutionized Brazilian music by harmonizing Afro-religious singing,” Emicida, 37, said in an email interview. “They represent an insurgent Brazil that, despite being a victim of the worst colonial ills, never gave up on producing beauty. The group’s work is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for me, even more so now when the country is experiencing recognition of Black culture.”