Guilherme Arantes has had success with his interpretations for hits like "Meu Mundo e Nada Mais," "Planeta Água," "Cheia de Charme," "Coisas do Brasil," and others, all written by him with different partners. His songs also had success in the interpretation of other artists like Elis Regina, Caetano Veloso, Roberto Carlos, Cláudia Telles, Gang 90, Biafra, Ana Belém, Quarteto em Cy, Jessé, Cauby Peixoto, Belchior, Ney Matogrosso, Luiz Ayrão, Sandra Sá, MPB-4, Fafá de Belém, A Cor do Som, Vanusa, Zizi Possi, Joanna, Eliete Negreiros, Emílio Santiago, Barão Vermelho, Os Cariocas, 14 Bis, Flávio Venturini, Verônica Sabino, Ná Ozetti, Pena Branca & Xavantinho, Nenhum de Nós, Klébi, Chitãozinho e Xororó, Maria Bethânia, Leila Pinheiro, Sá e Guarabira, and others. His compositions also have been included in more than 20 soap opera soundtracks. Influenced by his father, a surgeon and amateur violonista (acoustics guitarist), he learned the cavaquinho, the mandolin, and the piano at six. In his teens, he formed the amateur group Polissonante, which played in some parties at clubs. Soon Arantes was backing Jorge Mautner. He made some jingles for Pauta, Sonotec, and Vice-Versa. Enrolling in the Architecture course at FAU's, he formed the Moto Perpétuo with Cláudio Lucci and Diógenes, and later, Gerson Tatini (bass) and Egydio Conde (guitar). The band soon recorded the precarious first album and played at Iacanga and at the Águas Claras festival with O Terço and O Som Nosso de Cada Dia.
In late 1975, he left the band and departed for his solo career. "Meu Mundo e Nada Mais" was chosen as the theme of the soap opera Anjo Mau (TV Globo). The success opened the way for the first LP Guilherme Arantes (Som Livre), which was released in mid-1976. In that period of success, he performed shows and appeared on TV. But in the next five years and with the next four records (for WEA), his commercial performance was bad. Then Elis Regina, always concerned with revealing new composers, asked for a song of his. In two weeks he wrote "Aprendendo a Jogar," which became a hit with Regina's voice. She would record also "Só Deus É Quem Sabe." In January 1981, Arantes recorded "Deixa Chover," which was included in the Baila Comigo soap opera's soundtrack. In the same studio session, he recorded "Planeta Água," which won second place at the MPB Shell Festival, 1981. According to Guilherme Arantes, he co-wrote the hit "Perdidos Na Selva" with Júlio Barroso, presented by the Gang 90 & The Absurdettes in the same festival. He wouldn't be credited because it was not permitted for a composer to have two songs in that festival. The next LP, Lance legal (1982), was an immediate success in the radio with excellent airplay for "Lance Legal," "O Melhor Vai Começar," "Prelúdio," "Todo Mês De Maio," and "Luz Verde," but sold less than 30,000 copies. He returned to the Sigla label (Som Livre) and recorded Ligação with three hits, "Pedacinhos," "Graffitti," and "Grávida." In that period, he also wrote songs for children's TV Globo specials, all with the poet Paulo Leminski: for Pirlimpimpim "Lindo Balão Azul," for Plunct Plact Zuum "Brincar De Viver," recorded by Maria Bethânia, and the ones included in Pirlimpimpim 2. In the same period, he wrote songs with Nelson Motta, which was included in the soundtracks for the films Menino do Rio and Garota Dourada; he also wrote the soundtrack of the latter. In 1984, he moved to Rio and signed with CBS. He had several hits in that phase: "Olhos Vermelhos," "Cheia de Charme," "Gaivotas," and "Oceano." "Coisas do Brasil," with Nelson Motta, included on Calor, was a big hit. In August 1987, he recorded "Um Dia, Adeus," which was included in the Mandala soap opera. "Sob O Efeito De Um Olhar," included in the soap opera Vamp, also was a hit. In 1993, he returned to São Paulo. In July 2000, he released the CD New Classical Piano Solos. The CD, sent to Steinway Co., got Arantes included in the Roster of Stenway Artists. In the same month, he gave a concert at the Steinway Hall, accompanied by musicians of the Juilliard School (2 violins, viola, cello, double-bass, flute, oboe, and clarinet, arrangements by Arantes). Together with Emílio Santiago, he performed in the Brazil Fest at the Lincoln Center, New York, on August 27, 2000. ~ Alvaro Neder