You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Heitor Pereira’s Collaborators Cite His Restless Curiosity

In a small room off to the side of Heitor Pereira’s spacious, comfortable Santa Monica studio are Pereira’s many guitars and hundreds of smaller instruments, mostly unusual percussion contraptions he’s collected from around the world.

It’s almost like a child’s playroom, which is perhaps fitting for the composer’s relentlessly upbeat attitude regardless of deadlines, endless recuts or difficult directors.

Producer-arranger Stewart Levine, who effectively “discovered” Pereira playing for Ivan Lins in Brazil in 1988 and added him to Simply Red, says, “He’s the most curious musician I know. He’s got a restless musical mind.”

“He would listen to everything, from rave music to Debussy, South African music to Russian choral music. There was nothing he didn’t find interesting or exciting. He exposed himself to the whole universe of music.”

When they met, Levine recalls, “he reminded me of Peter Pan. His childlike enthusiasm was so contagious. That’s why his
music works in film. He has a sense of humor, of drama, and this was the perfect home for him.”

Singer-songwriter Melody Gardot, who asked Pereira to produce her Brazilian-flavored 2012 Verve album “The Absence,” adds: “Heitor breathes, lives and exudes music. There is not a moment he is not dancing or singing or imagining something. He’s like a kid, always dreaming.”

Pereira’s warm, delicate guitar stylings back Gardot’s dusky voice (he sings on some tracks as well as co-wrote two). “Watching Heitor work is like watching a magician,” she says. “Making the album was like watching a flower unfold.”

Filmmakers, too, echo these sentiments. Chris Meledandri, producer of the “Despicable Me” movies, as well as the recently released “Minions,” calls Pereira “an extraordinary talent with a never-ending commitment to each film he scores. Whether he is writing a cue to support comedy, drama or action, the music is always soulful. And when you meet Heitor you immediately understand why.”

Adds director Raja Gosnell (“Beverly Hills Chihuahua”): “He’s one of the most authentic people I’ve ever met,” citing the composer’s “joyful attitude toward life and music.”Gosnell, too, mentions that little playroom, “probably 40 guitar-like instruments on racks, all with slightly different flavors and cultural stories, in addition to small sound-making oddities from various cultures. He uses these to create extremely specific sounds that pepper his scores with quirk and originality.

“That’s what I love about working with Heitor. He always finds a way to surprise, and is relentless in pursuing originality.” — Jon Burlingame

More Music

  • Wynn Nightlife Announces Residency for Roving

    Wynn Nightlife to Host Las Vegas Residency for Roving Spanish Party Elrow

    One of Las Vegas’ biggest music players is doubling down on the power of a global brand instead of just a single DJ to help them stay on top of Sin City’s increasingly competitive clubbing scene. Wynn Nightlife has announced a year-long residency and partnership with Spain’s Elrow, a respected Ibiza-born party that last year [...]

  • PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’

    PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’ Although a Potential Buyer Is in the Wings

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that has faced serious financial troubles in recent months, is down to a “skeleton staff” and payroll in the U.S. office ceased within the last month, sources close to the situation tell Variety, although a potential buyer is “very interested” in the company and has been in due diligence for several [...]

  • The Top 10 Portrayals of Record

    Music Executives on Screen: 10 Memorable Movie Portrayals

    In the Netflix biopic “The Dirt,” Pete Davidson of “Saturday Night Live” fame portrays A&R exec Tom Zutaut, the man who signed Motley Crue to Elektra and Guns N’ Roses to Geffen, while veteran character actor David Costabile (“The Wire,” “Billions”) is manager Doc McGhee. They follow in a long and illustrious line of label [...]

  • MTV EMAs to Be Held in

    MTV EMAs to Be Held in Seville, Spain

    The MTV EMAs are returning to Spain, heading for the city of Seville after last year’s edition in Bilbao, MTV announced Monday. The 26th annual MTV Europe Music Awards, which will feature acts and music from around the world, is to take place Nov. 3. “We are thrilled to land in Seville for the 2019 [...]

  • R. Kelly

    Dubai Government Says No R. Kelly Concerts Planned in United Arab Emirates

    The government of Dubai has denied that any R. Kelly concerts are planned in the United Arab Emirates after Kelly’s attorney asked a Chicago judge last week to delay a ruling on the R&B singer’s request to travel to Dubai to perform. Local newspaper “The National,” which has government ties, carried a story Monday quoting [...]

  • Singer Scott Walker Dead at 76

    Singer Scott Walker Dies at 76

    Scott Walker, the American singer who attained massive success as a pop star in England before veering off into avante-garde music, has died, according to his label, 4AD. He was 76; no cause or date of death was immediately announced. “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Scott Walker,” a post [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content