Yesterday was Pelé's 80th birthday, and acoustic guitar maestro's Rodrigo y Gabriela are celebrating the soccer legend with a song they wrote with him called "Acredita No Véio (Listen To The Old Man)," which arrived this week worldwide via Rubyworks.
LISTEN TO "ACREDITA NO VÉIO (LISTEN TO THE OLD MAN)"
Pelé has always been crazy about music and songwriting, but he never really spoke about it, he says, because "I didn't want the public to make the comparison between Pelé the composer and Pelé the footballer. That would have been a huge injustice - in football my talent was a gift from God, music was just for fun."
Rodrigo y Gabriela add: "We are both big soccer fans. Growing up in Mexico City, we heard many stories about Pelé and the legendary Brazilian team that triumphed at the 1970 World Cup in our homeland. Imagine our surprise and delight to find out that not only is Pelé the greatest footballer of all-time, but is also a very talented singer and songwriter? It is a huge honor for us to collaborate with Pelé on the occasion of his 80th Birthday."
This special collaboration track began when Rodrigo y Gabriela, fresh from their Grammy win for their latest album Mettavolution, were invited by fellow Mexican music producer Jorge Berlanga to contribute a song for a tribute to legendary Hispanic composer Armando Manzanero. On discovering that Rod and Gab are soccer-mad, Berlanga mentioned that he was a good friend of Pelé, and asked if they would be interested in working on a song together. Quicker than you can say Edson Arantes do Nascimento, the music was flowing between Sao Paulo, Brazil and Ixtapa, Mexico. "Acredita No Véio" was originally written by Pelé in 2005 when working with his regular musical partner, the Brazilian jazz musician and arranger Ruria Duprat, best known for his work with visiting jazz stars Diana Krall, Randy Brecker and Ron Carter.
Regarding the song, Pelé says: "I wrote this one because when I used to play with Santos, the coach used to say that when we lost, it was the players' fault, but when we won, it was the macumba (black magic) that had helped. The song is joking about that - of course, macumba doesn't win games at all." *
On October 23rd, Pelé will celebrate his 80th birthday at home with his family in Sao Paulo. "Acredita No Véio" is a little birthday gift to his fans all over the world, and also a little present to himself.
The track will be released with the full support of the Pelé Foundation. Pelé has 2.5 million followers on Twitter, 4.1 million followers on Instagram and 5.2 million likes on Facebook.
*Pelé quotes from conversations with Alex Bellos.