San Diego

Bebel Gilberto Turns ‘Creep' Sensual at Belly Up

Grammy-nominated vocalist releases a Belly Up recording of Radiohead song

"I decided to make this 'Creep' version because, indeed, I saw friends playing this song in a totally different touch and way of it and that had actually inspired me. And I always like to do well-known songs and have them become like my way of singing, with my broken english," Bebel Gilberto told SoundDiego by way of email.

She's a Grammy-nominated vocalist with Brazilian roots who specializes in bossa nova melodies and lyrics about love. The daughter of Joao Gilberto and singer Miucha, she's heir to a celebrated musical tradition, and she's expanded her family legacy after making her professional debut in 1986.

But her latest release, a cover of Radiohead's "Creep," is all her own. A seductive slow burn that's full of emotion and sensuality, it's an intimate version, anchored by acoustic guitar and Gilberto's thick Portuguese accent.

Recorded at the Belly Up during a live performance, the song's original fractured indifference is replaced by sultry passion as she channels the sort of pathos that hits square in the gut.

She hasn't received any feedback from the band and admits that she gets nervous even thinking about it.

"I don't like to disturb anyone because then if they don't like it they have to say that they don't like it. So I'd rather just go with the flow and, ya know, hope they enjoy it, because it's a beautiful song and I do it with a lot of love," she explained.

Even though she hasn't heard from Radiohead, the response from audience members has been positive.

"I been having awesome reactions and I'm very, very happy. And actually, when I sing 'Creep' it's [been] the high of my show for the last year. So it's been a blast to sing this song. Only voice and guitar with my accent and still have people enjoying it, for me is a real present," Gilberto said. 

And that's fair, giving to receive, but after listening to this it's quite clear -- the gift is all ours.

J. Smith, aka 1019, is a San Diego native, rap fan and one half of the rap duo Parker & the Numberman. You can follow him on Instagram at 1019_the_numberman or on Twitter

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