Note from BW of Brazil: Music from Rio’s favela slums has always been disregarded by those from the middle classes. When Samba first came out of morros of Rio de Janeiro in the early 20th century, it was panned as a “coisa do negro” or a “thing of blacks”. The same was said about “Funk Carioca“, a Brazilian take on Florida-based bass music of the 80s and 90s in the US. And like Samba crossing over and also influencing the creation of Bossa Nova in the 1950s, variations of the “Funk Carioca” sound (here and here) has also captured the attention of middle classes. Now the latest talent to come out of Rio’s majority black favela of Morro do Vidigal may have the goods to take their sound to an international market. As black youth and women are generally ignored by Brazil’s mainstream media, it’s exciting to see these three young, pretty black teens get their chance to shine! Be sure to check out the video below!
Black pearls: “we’re precious, beautiful and warriors”
by Eduardo Nunomura
Pearls Negras (Black Pearls), write down the name. From the top of the Rio de Janeiro community Morro do Vidigal, Alice Coelho, Jennifer Farýs and Mariana Alves have everything to get on in the Brazilian music scene. They’re beautiful, stylish, unique and intelligent. Natural born artists. And they’re not even 18. They first gained notoriety on the Londrina scene in southern Brazil. They were adopted by the British label Bolabo Records, who unhesitatingly decided to finance the recording of the video for “Pensando em Você (Thinking of You)” after a producer went crazy after having seen the girls’ show in Complexo do Alemão, also in Rio.
In December, Bolabo Records released the mixtape Biggie Apple on Sound Cloud, seven high-octane songs of (released for download!). They are songs that mix rap, funk beats and trap (a variant of hip hop, recently embraced by DJs, that popularized the genre amongst fans of electronic music). All lyrics were composed by the trio. About life in the community, women’s struggles for recognition, the prejudice they face, politics and young love.
What can be said about verses as cool as: “I’ll make you the happiest guy in the world, if you just you let me kiss you for ten seconds.” So today as: “Here they talk about of misery, they talk about rebellion, they talk about slaughters, famine, drought and invasion. And the people protesting for the good of this, your country, please, Ms. President, what is it that you say?” Or so full of themselves like: “black pearls, we’re precious, beautiful and warriors.”
Under the care of the English producer David Alexander, it is highly possible that the girls will soon find success beyond Brazil’s borders!
To hear more of the group’s tracks from Biggie Apple, head over to the Sound Cloud site.
Pearls Negras – Pensando em Você