Who is this “Total Unknown” guy?

      Mario Costa recorded his first album in 1986 with his group SAGA for Polygram Brazil (Now Universal Music). With numerous soundtracks and compositional work under his belt, he moved to the US in 1990 to attend the “Grove School of Music” in California and founded the Brazilian Pop Beat group "THE RIO THING" also playing, arranging and writing for several artists in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro. After 10 years as a Recording Studio owner in Brazil, Mario is now back to being a full time musician. Also an actor, songwriter and producer, Mario Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro and started as a musician in the 80's writing music for stage plays.

      He also performed and recorded as a sidemen and or singer/keyboardist with Katita e Marito, Ronaldos, Chuvas de verão, Zíper Aberto, Orquestra Xaca Xaca, Marquinhos Satã, Afonso Claudio, Banda Chamada Cavalo, Augustin y Rafael, Midnight Drums, Victor Z., Reni Flores, Velly Bahia, Mu Chebabi and many others.

      As an actor Mario was a founder and member of the awarded "Manhas e Manias" theater company in Brazil and worked as an actor and author in many stage plays, TV shows and films. As a voice over actor Mario lended his voices to many characters in TV, movies and series in Brazilian and North American TV and most recently lended his voices to charcters in the feature animation "Rio". He was the official voice for Turner's Cartoon Newtork in Brazil for 3 years in 90's. He also directed the TV Comedy Show "Casseta e Planeta" for TV Globo Brazil in 1999 and 2000.

      “Total Unknown” his first solo CD is a Brazilian flavored Pop album that was released on January 19th, 2011 with a concert in Los Angeles, California. 

       “Total Unknown” is an unique, singular and personal statement. With 17 original songs spreading colors on a vast canvas, but nonetheless with a stylistic unity that holds all the building blocks together. The main source of unity is Mario’s voice. A quiet bossa nova whispered vocal style. Do you like surprises? “Total Unknown” is a cinematic trip where you never know what the next song is going to sound like. Sharp turns, unexpected breaks. Emotion and discovery are the foundations of Mario Costa’s musical architecture. The multilayered quality of this album will not reveal itself at once. It will grow on you every time you play it.

        Why “Total Unknown?” Because Mario is a well kept secret in the industry and this album is a head first dive into an unconscious world of spiritual self discovery. How was this achieved? In his own words: “This album was never a project, it just happenned to me. I bought a little digital handheld voice recorder and made a deal with myself that if I turned the recording switch on, I would have to write a complete song with melody and lyrics and have it ready before I had turned it off. In about a month I had 57 songs to choose from. I had only two weeks before my studio lease expired. So I decided to record all the vocals first, with just a click to keep time. No instrumentation at all. Miraculously, I managed to stay in key from beginning to end of all songs, despite the lack of reference.”

          Then, over the next few months, in a total inversion of the usual recording process, came the players. Musicians like Renato Neto the current keyboardist for Prince, formerly with Dianne Reeves, Sheila E and Roberto Carlos. Ricardo Silveira, one of the main guitar players in Brazil, formerly with Elis Regina, Milton Nascimento and Gilberto Gil. Philippe Balatier from the electronic improvisational French group “Nojazz”. Scott Breadman, percussionist for Jose Feliciano, Lindsay Buckingham and The Rippingtons. Antonio Sant’anna master bass player formerly with such Brazilian greats as Luis Melodia, Alceu Valença, Tim Maia and Pepeu Gomes.  Grecco Buratto, another brazilian acoustic and electric guitar wizard who plays with K.D. Lang, Pink and is currently on tour with Shakira.

Please, enjoy it responsibly!!!

Best regards,

Mario Costa’s team.

CD Credits

“Total Unknown” Brazilian Alternative Pop. When Bossa Nova meets the Beatles. A quiet bossa nova whispered vocal style. Do you like surprises? “Total Unknown” is a cinematic trip with sharp turns, unexpected breaks. Emotion and discovery are the foundations of Mario Costa’s musical architecture.

1. CODA CAPE Vocals: Mario Costa

2. FUTURA MENINA ANDINA Piano: Délia Fischer | Electric, Nylon and 12 string guitars: Grecco Buratto: | Upright Bass: André de Sant’anna | Percussion: Scott Breadman | Vocals, Trombone samples: Mário Costa

3. COM ELA NA FITA FICA TUDO BEM Keyboard solo: Renato Neto | Bass: Fábio Girão | Guitars: Grecco Buratto | Vocals, Keyboards, Drum Loops: Mário Costa

4. THE HAMPTONS Violins: Pedro Mibielli | Steel Guitar, Glockenspiel, Toy piano, String Grecco Buratto | Strings arrangement: Délia Fischer | Vocals, Tuba and Trombone samples: Mário Costa

5. DAY IN DAY OUT Guitars: Ricardo Silveira | Bass: Fábio Girao | Drums: Léo Costa | Vocals, MiniKorg, Vocoder: Mário Costa

6. SINGING TO ELECT YOU Keyboards, Arrangement: Philippe Balatier | Bridge Keyboard Solo, Coda fills: Renato Neto | Guitars: Grecco Buratto | Vocals, Additional keyboards: Mário Costa

7. A SIMPLICIDADE, SIM Bass: Fábio Girao | Brushes, Crashes: Zé Bruno | Vocals, Keyboards, Loops: Mário Costa

8. ULTIMATE FIGHT Guitars: Grecco Buratto | Bass: Fábio Girão | Vocals, Keyboards, Loops: Mário Costa

9. SHE IS IN MY HEAD Keyboards, Arrangement: Philippe Balatier | Bridge Keyboard fills: Renato Neto | Guitars: Grecco Buratto | Vocals: Mário Costa

10. ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD Guitars, Mellotron, Bells: Grecco Buratto | Organ: Renato Neto | Bass: Antonio Sant’anna | Drums: Zé Bruno | Additional Hi Hat: Gabriel de Sant’anna | Vocals: Mário Costa

11. STEADY NECK NOW Main keyboards and arrangement: Philippe Balatier | Coda Keyboards: Renato Neto | Bass overdubs: Antonio Sant’anna | Guitars: Grecco Buratto | Vocals, Incidental keyboards: Mário Costa

12. ÁVIDA EM SETE Guitars: Ricardo Silveira | Upright Bass: André de Sant’anna | Vocals, Keyboards, Loops: Mário Costa

13. FORRAP Accordion sample: Renato Neto | Vocals, Keyboards, Loops: Mário Costa

14. HAPPILLY, I HAD A FALL Vocals, All instruments: Mário Costa

15. CARA DE CANÇÃO Bass: Antonio Sant’anna | Nylon guitar: Grecco Buratto | Pandeiro: Scott Breadman | Drums, Percussion: - Zé Bruno | Vocals, Loops: Mário Costa

16. APARE AS ARESTAS Keyboards: Newton Cardoso | Bass: Fábio Girao | Vocals, Bass Vocoder, Loops Mário Costa

17. DE VOLTA AO PONTO INICIAL Cavaquinhos, Nylon Guitar: Grecco Buratto | Muted Guitar: Antonio Sant’anna | Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion Loops, Vocoder: Mário Costa

All songs written by Mario Costa Produced and arranged by Mario Costa (except where indicated)

Vocals recorded at Trix Brasil Studios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Instruments recorded at De Sant’anna Studios, Los Angeles, USA Breadman Studios, Eagle Rock, CA, USA Jobi Studios, Northridge CA, USA Balatman Studios, Cannes, France and lots of musicians home studios in 3 continents.

Art direction by Luciana Araújo Grand Canyon picture by Denise Studart Drawings by Mariza Dias Costa

Mixed by Andre de Sant'anna at De Sant'anna Studios