Baden Powell de Aquino was born in Varre-e-Sai in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His father, a scouting enthusiast, named him after Robert Baden-Powell. When he was three, his family relocated to a suburb in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The new surroundings proved profoundly influential. His house was a stop for popular musicians during his formative years. He soon started guitar lessons with Jayme Florence, a famous Choro guitarist in the 1940s. He proved a young virtuoso, having won many talent competitions before he was a teenager.