NEW RELEASE from STERNS MUSIC
Convoque seu Buda
Release: Jan 19th 2015
Format: CD in digipak / Vinyl in gatefold sleeve
Label: Sterns Brasil
Cat.No: STCD2024 / STERNS2024
*Criolo live at Village Underground, Thursday 22 January. Doors 7.30-11pm
Tickets £15 in advance from Songkick, Ticketmaster, Ticketweb and SEE tickets.
NB excellent Time article: http://time.com/3624155/brazilian-rapper-criolo-and-his-social-message/
Now approaching his 40th year, Criolo is the child of migrants from the North East of Brazil and spent his first years in the ‘Favela das Imbuias’, one of the many shanty towns that surround São Paulo. Despite Brazil’s remarkable growth, a mud-floored shack and polluted drinking-water remain the harsh reality for many, and it’s this reality that continues to fuel Criolo’s passion to speak out on behalf of the dispossessed.
Stacking supermarket shelves and selling clothes door-to-door helped sustain the young Kleber Gomes as he matured from a pre-teen rapper (his first song was written in 1985 aged 10) through seven years of working with “at risk” street children, and on to his first album, the rap-based ‘Ainda há tempo’ released in 2006. But it was 2011 and the stunning ‘Nó na orelha’ that really made the difference.
Initially available in Brazil as a free download and only commercially released in June 2012, the album mixed rap with with other genres including Afrobeat, Reggae and, not least, classic Brazilian song. It has now has received over a dozen awards internationally and Criolo has performed at hundreds of shows throughout Brazil and abroad. The album also gained admirers among his fellow artists, and Cataeno Veloso, Chico Buarque, Ney Matogrosso and Milton Nascimento, have all since collaborated with Criolo.
2013 saw the release of a 10” single ‘Duas de Cinco’. Its chorus, taken from the song “Califórnia Azul” by Rodrigo Campos, a Brazilian artist of the same generation as Criolo, was the starting point for both lyrics and beats, and a disturbingly futuristic video by filmmaker Denis Cisma, cemented its direction. It’s this direction that Criolo’s new album, ‘Convoque seu Buda’ (Invoke Your Buddha) now follows. However attractive the music, however fascinating the mix of styles, what always lies at the centre are Criolo’s hard-hitting and socially conscious commentaries on the state of Brazil today, a state that the street demonstrations erupting prior to the World Cup could only hint at.
Criolo tells the story of the under-privileged in urban Brasil; in songs such as “Cartão de Visita” we look through the eyes of a poor worker who serves at parties for the rich and middle-class, in “Plano de Voo” we see the struggle of street children, and in “Casa de Papelão” we meet a homeless crack addict, expelled from the centre of São Paulo to make way for new luxury apartments (“Buildings will rise and glamour will reap bodies in the crowd”). Elsewhere, as in “Fermento pra Massa”, the archtype musical genre of Brazil, Samba, is co-opted to describe with gentle irony the day a baker was unable to get to work because of city-wide strikes by transport workers.
‘Convoque seu Buda’ is produced by the winning team of Daniel Ganjaman and Marcelo Cabral, and was recorded using the same group of musicians as on ‘Nó na orelha’. Guest artists include Tulipa, a singer-songwriter from São Paulo, the young rapper Sintese and vocalist Jucara Marcal. It was mixed in Los Angeles, California by Mario Caldato Jr., well-known for his work with, among others, the Beastie Boys and Tone Loc.
“Today there are no lips to kiss / No soul to cleanse / No life to live / But there’s money to count”
(chorus: ‘Esquiva da Esgrima’)
l First full-album by Criolo since his massively successful ‘Nó na orelha’
l With many awards and collaborations under his belt, Criolo is currently one of the most vital, popular and socially-relevant artists in Brazil
l Produced by the winning team of Daniel Ganjaman and Marcelo Cabral, and mixed by Mario Caldato Jr., well-known for his work with, among others, the Beastie Boys and Tone Loc.
European concerts, January 2015:
21/01 – Glasgow, ABC (UK)
*22/01 – London, Village Underground (UK)
54 Holywell Lane
24/01 – Berlin, Gretchen (GER)
27/01 – Amsterdam, Bitterzoet (NL)
28/01 – Gent, De Centrale (BEL)
29/01 – Paris, Alhambra (FR)
30/01 – Lisbon (PT) venue (t.b.c.)
31/01 – Porto (PT) Casa de Musica (t.b.c.)