Tropicália was a short-lived artistic movement that exploded out of Brazil in the late 1960s, with Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil as its chief instigators, and Glauber Rocha as their counterpart in cinema. It was a reaction to the country’s turbulent socio-political history of the 1960s and 1970s. Like the Brazilian Modernists before them, the Tropicalistas believed in ingesting aspects of the European and American vanguard as well as traditional Afro-Brazilian and indigenous cultures, with the aim of creating a contemporary music that was uniquely hybrid.
The influence of the music, with its heretic use of elements ranging from 'imported' electric guitars of The Beatles to traditional pífanos (flutes) played by folk musicians, had in return a long lasting effect with contemporary musicians. Beck and David Byrne, Nelly Furtado and Sonic Youth are some of its most well-known acolytes.