Nei Braz Lopes (born May 9, 1942, Irajá, Rio de Janeiro) is a singer, composer, lawyer, writer and historian, working primarily with the Brazilian genre of samba and African-Brazilian studies.

Biography

Born in Irajá in Rio de Janeiro (a traditional samba neighborhood which also brought us Zeca Pagodinho, among others), Nei Lopes graduated as an attorney at law from the University of Brazil, but at the start of the 70's abandoned his recently begun legal career to dedicate himself to music and literature. A professional composer since 1972, Nei Lopes became prominent especially through his partnership with Wilson Moreira and by their work, recorded by almost all interpreters of traditional samba. In the 80's, Nei, already acclaimed, was one of the supporters of the Pagode movement, which took samba back to the airwaves after an eclipse period.

In the 90's, Nei started partnerships with people identified with the MPB label, such as composer Guinga and Zé Renato. He also has a song with Chico Buarque.

Nei is the author of a vast book opus concerning Afro-Brazilian thematics, and samba thematics in particular. He has been working, since 1995, in the "Brazilian Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora", his most ambitious work.