Born Francisco César Gonçalves on January 26, 1964, in the town of Catolé do Rocha, in the interior of Paraíba state, Chico César went to the capital city of João Pessoa at the age of sixteen, where he graduated in journalism and took part in the group Jaguaribe Carne, which produced avant-garde poetry.
Soon after, at the age of 21, he moved to São Paulo. Working as a journalist and proofreader, he perfected his guitar playing, multiplied his compositions, and began to win his first audience.
As a former journalist and author of several collections of poetry, he fashions lyrics that deploy his talents in the service of his struggles for culture (he was secretary of cultures of his native state, la Paraíba, for several years), the environment and oppressed minorities, especially Amerindians and black people, victims of a racism with which César is personally all too familiar.
This needs to be kept in mind, even if one doesn't necessarily understand the lyrics of his songs. But the fighter is first and foremost a great artist, fabulous song-writer, singer, producer and live performer. His work establishes a dialogue between tradition and modernity and takes the audience to the four corners of time and of the Brazilian, African and Caribbean space.
Not that he delves into the repertoire of other artists – or at least, not that much. It’s just the astonishing ease with which he achieves fluency in all the rhythms that fall under his guitar (in 2018, his album Estado de Poesia won the Brazilian Music prize in the rock, pop, reggae, hip hop and funk categories) - especially those rhythms that draw him closer to his African, Amerindian and regional roots.