Chal started studying English at the age of 7, eager to understand his favorite songs’ lyrics. Chal also took piano lessons, and by his 10th birthday he was filling notebooks with his own efforts in poetry. “With that small sorrow deep in the soul”, details Gustavo Balduino, in his recollection. Gustavo had many nicknames before deciding to settle for Chal, following advice from his father’s meditation master.
As a teenager and young performer, Chal lent his strong delivery to rock bands of different styles (from Pink Floyd covers to nu metal). But after some time, observing a similar feel between blues and rural folk idioms of Central and Southeastern Brazil, he started writing songs in English with his own mix of country rock influences.
Musical heroes like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young and Bob Dylan as well as alternative country inspired his first records, EPs “Singing for the fools” (2009) and “Up-Country” (2010), and also his 2012 single, a cover of folk classic “Wayfaring stranger”.
“Up-Country” started Chal’s association with Toca do Bandido, one of Brazil’s most renowned studios and also a music label (Toca Discos).
From day one at Toca do Bandido, Chal’s songs benefitted from some of Brazil’s finest rock musicians. But his breakthrough came with first album “Aonde o tempo é solto” (2014), with original material in Portuguese and proudly rooted in other Brazilian influences: the so-called “rock rural” of 1970s supergroups like Sá, Rodrix & Guarabyra (Brazil’s answer to Crosby, Stills & Nash).
For the follow-up, “Enlace” (2016), Chal came up with solid songwriting helped by lush arrangements and personal lyrics with reminiscences of childhood.
Far from being the difficult third album, “O céu sobre a cabeça” was made with the same team of musicians and producers who’ve been working and sharing creative experiences with Chal for the last four years. The record expands the artist’s appeal by exposing his most simple – and popular – features.
The first single “A vida continua” (featured on the soundtrack of a TV soap opera, “O outro lado do paraíso”) is a ballad that deserves this treatment.
After living for six years in a ranch in Cezarina, 50 miles from Goiânia, raising cattle and making music, inspiration is never a problem for Chal. His relentless commitment to songwriting keeps impressing producer and Toca Discos artistic director Constança Scofield: “He develops ideas overnight, very quickly. And achieves beauty in simplicity”.
By 2019 september 24th “O Céu Sobre a Cabeça” became one of the five choosen brazilian portuguese spoken rock albums for the current Latin Grammys. On this stream the singer-songwriter is releasing till the end of the year his first live vídeos compilations made at Toca do Bandido studios with some of these musicians that enriched his songs.
Seems that Chal is building a solid career for last.