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Lady Jane Bongo in Brazil

Our Music Supervisor Jane Cudworth's blog looks at interesting Brazilian trends, news stories and all things Brazilian that she likes:

With Brazil being host to the forthcoming World Cup in in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, the world is sitting up and taking notice of all things Brazilian. As a record label founded on Brazilian music, Mr Bongo has noticed the country is most definitely on the up, with a distinct move away from the more traditional images of Favela gangs, carnivals and lovely bottoms in Bikinis towards a forward-thinking, economic power-house trying to address some of its social problems. 

Problems still exist but it's clear that Brazil is a force to be reckoned with and is keen to be viewed by the world for its future strengths as well as its historic stereotypes, as shown in the recent Michael Palin 'Brazil' travel series (see our blog on the program)


Brazil has always been a bubbling hub of creativity, with its music, art, architecture and dance-like football reaching iconic status. Musically, we think of it as the birthplace of genres such as Samba and Bossa Nova, however over the last few years Brazil has become a mecca of electronic music along with its European counterparts. The new upwardly mobile middle class with its disposable income and aspirations are happy to pay higher entrance fees to watch the top-end international DJs such as David Guetta, Eric Morillo and Fatboy Slim, with ticket prices sometimes up to $600 per person. The new super clubs, rated some of the best in the world and forthcoming sponsorship for these events has created a burgeoning industry in recent times.

The busy summer resort of Balneario Camboriu is fast becoming the centre of the 'expensive' end of the Brazilian electronic music scene and is increasingly compared to Miami and Ibiza, with Space and Pacha reportedly on their way. It attracts over one million Brazilian and foreign tourists each year, many just heading to sample the nightlife and houses the two best clubs in Brazil, according to DJ Magazine.

For those who like their music and clubs a little more grimy, the Baile Funk (or Funk Carioca or Favela Funk) scene is still going strong and has been shifting into the mainstream since the 90s. Derived from Miami Bass, its conception in the Favelas meant the content often discussed gritty social issues and it is still controversial due to the often rude lyrical content. Brazilians seem split in their desire to embrace it, with certain class connotations attached to it. Mr Bongo put out a compilation, Slum Dunk: Funk Carioca a few years ago which stands strong and features many classics of the genre

In 2003, Mr Bongo's tune Quem Que Caguetou (Follow Me Follow Me) by Black Alien and Speed was used in a Nissan advertisement in Europe, helping to spread the word about Baile Funk. In 2004 the success of artists MIA and Diplo helped bring the genre to the international stage and since then many exciting new variations of the style have started to come out of Brazil.  Keep an eye on the Mr Bongo release schedule this year for some exciting new electronic Brazilian music.

Next time...Brazilian hip hop.