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October 17th, 2023


MaisCéu is the brainchild of Jimmie Griffith, a musician who hails from the mountains of Minas Gerais, Brazil. His music is a fusion of American and Brazilian musical traditions, reflecting his upbringing steeped in both cultures.

Inspired by the Blue Ridge mountains and the “Mares e Morros” of Minas Gerais, MaisCeu’s unique sound, featuring heartfelt Portuguese lyrics, is a reflection of his deep love for the outdoors and his passion for bending music genres. With an authentic and soulful approach to his craft, MaisCeu’s music speaks to the heart and soul of his listeners, drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of his childhood home and the rich musical traditions that have shaped him.

MaisCéu is a finalist in the 2023 NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition, which will take place on Saturday, November 18, at Citizen Vinyl in downtown Asheville, N.C. Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.

NewSong Music: What sort of music was playing in your house when you were growing up? 

Jimmie: There was a pretty wide mix, from jazz to Brazilian music. I distinctly remember a lot of Dave Brubeck, Baden Powell, and James Brown. 
What was your journey to music? 
Mostly self-taught. Although my family is very musical, they do not have a formal musical background. Growing up, my mom and siblings liked to sing, and my dad, who now studies piano, used to play guitar and got me started on the guitar with a few chords when I was younger. In my teens, my neighbor and great friend Daniel started playing guitar, and we would teach each other songs and share music. This is when I started developing my musical tastes, branching out to other artists, styles, and developing songwriting. Music continues to play an important role in my life, whether it’s to regulate my emotions, inspire me, or connect with others. 
What is the first song you wrote that you were proud of, and why? 
Although not my first song, the song “Madrid” I composed helped me realize that I need to trust my musical instincts more often. This song helped me understand that if I try to control the songwriting process too much, I will feel stifled and frustrated. This could cause me either giving up on an idea that could turn out to be a great song or block out new ideas due to the creative constraints we can put on ourselves.  
What is your writing process like? 
There are a few different ways that I compose music. The most common process is to find a great-sounding chord, chord progression, and/or open tuning on the guitar that sparks an excerpt of a melody. I pull that thread to see where it leads me, revealing a melody, harmony, and rhythm. The final part of the process is to create lyrics that fit the mood of the song and match the melody. Too many times I’ll give the song a title before I write the lyrics, making it challenging to write something related to the title. Composing usually happens at night, in a quiet corner of the house, with a recording device close by to capture my ideas. 
Share a musical adventure from this summer with us.

This summer, my former band Banana da Terra had a couple of reunion shows at festivals Boone in Blossom and Boonerang. It was such a great experience to reconnect with fellow bandmates and with old and new friends and fans of the band.