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

  • major r&b grammy fox star recurring

    R&B Artist MAJOR. Lands Recurring Role on Fox's 'Star' (EXCLUSIVE)

    R&B artist MAJOR. is on “cloud three million” right now. His track “Honest” scored a 2019 Grammy nomination for best traditional R&B performance, and, as he tells Variety exclusively, he recently landed a recurring role on Fox’s “Star.” The singer-songwriter, born Major Johnson Finley, is currently shooting the musical drama in Atlanta, and will make his [...]

  • Lars Ulrich

    Lars Ulrich on Paying Tribute to Chris Cornell, and Metallica's New Beer

    Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has been in the music industry long enough to remember when bands teaming with corporate brands was detrimental to a group’s image. “Remember 20, 25 years ago when the Who got a corporate sponsor for their tour? People said, ‘Ooh, they sold out, they have a sponsor.'” How times have changed. Speaking [...]

  • Childish Gambino Concert Review

    Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne to Headline 2019 Broccoli City Festival

    Childish Gambino — who made a surprise performance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series in Los Angeles last night — and Lil Wayne will headline the third annual Broccoli City Festival, taking place April 26-27 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, it was announced today. 6lack, Ella Mai, Lil Baby, Teyana Taylor, Wizkid, Gunna, City Girls and YBN [...]

  • Donald Glover'Atlanta' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Childish Gambino Surprises Beverly Hills Crowd With Reimagined 'Redbone'

    Donald Glover made an unexpected appearance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series on Tuesday, held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and presented by the HFPA. Joining “Black Panther” composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who was the subject of a Q&A conducted by “The Treatment” host Elvis Mitchell, [...]

  • French Montana performingCelebrities at BASE Dubai,

    Gucci Mane, French Montana, Tiesto Tapped to Perform Super Bowl Weekend

    Gucci Mane, French Montana, Tiësto and Kaskade are among the artists headed to Atlanta at the end of the month as part of Super Bowl weekend festivities in the city. The four performers will be playing at The H.wood Group’s annual Bootsy Bellows “Big Game Experience” pop-up, taking place this year at the new live music venue, [...]

  • apple music

    Verizon Bundles Apple Music With Top-Tier Unlimited Wireless Plans for No Extra Charge

    Verizon has expanded its ties to Apple — offering wireless subscribers on its two most expensive unlimited plans access to the Apple Music for no extra charge. Starting Jan. 17, Apple Music will be included in Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans, the telco announced Tuesday. For Apple, the bundling agreement promises to augment [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content