From Fado to Rap

Brasil Observer - Apr 15 2016
Photos: Divulgation

(Read in Portuguese)


The Portuguese singer Ana Moura and Brazilian rapper Criolo represent the Portuguese language in Latin festival La Linea, in London


By Gabriela Lobianco

On one hand we have Fado, a musical style with sad tones that appeared in Portugal at the beginning of the 19th century, today with a world heritage title and played by a new generation of great musicians, such as Carminho, the group Deolinda and Ana Moura.

On the other hand there’s Rap (short for rhythm and poetry); a genre emerged in the 1960s that declaims in manifest the struggles of the peripheries. Established in Brazilian mainly with Racionais Mc’s group, in the 1990s, it has recently returned to the spotlight with the rise of new artists such as Leandro Roque de Oliveira, the Emicida, and Kleber Cavalcante Gomes, Criolo.

It is in this tune that the London Latin music festival La Linea, which takes place in April, brings in its 16th year, two exponents representatives of the Portuguese language universe that at first glance seem to have nothing in common. The Fado singer Ana Moura, who’s concert on the 19 April is completely sold out (tickets are available for her show at the Barbican on 26 September), and the Brazilian rapper Criolo, who will do a tour in the United Kingdom, starting in Cambridge on 21 April and passing through Bristol (22), Leeds (23) London (24), Brighton (25) and Manchester (26).

Some may think that Rap and Fado are music styles completely different with their dissonant harmonies and melodic construction. But both bring poetic verses to tell stories. Ana Moura had the idea of ​​joining the two styles when she went to Brazil. “I thought then it might be interesting to join Rap and Fado, these two musical genres so diverse, but at same time equally urban, styles that tell concrete and real stories,” she said to the Brasil Observer. Criolo agreed. For him, there is a “fusion of everything with everything in music.” He added that “only men have borders, arts don’t.”

The event producer, Andy Wood, said the festival emphasizes a comprehensive representation of contemporary Latin music. “We have worked with Ana Moura in La Linea before but she is now reaching new heights as an artist. Criolo has never played La Linea before, although it was the festival that gave Seu Jorge his UK debut and we always are looking out for what is new and interesting from Brazil.” In June, by the way, the producer Como No, which organizes the La Linea, brings back to London the Bixiga 70, instrumentalist band from São Paulo that debuted on British soil in last January. Wood believes that an audience that is open to different types of music can benefit from the diversity of the festival. “We love audiences who are open to everything and we hope that some of Ana’s audience will come to hear Criolo and vice versa. Both Ana and Criolo are great voices for their own communities but with the ability to reach out far beyond,” he said.

Although they are going to play on different days, both the Portuguese and the Brazilian artists are in a fertile period of their careers. The two are releasing new albums. The new album of the Fado singer, called Moura has emerged, according to her from “a new will I have to reinvent myself on each album, that’s why we have a butterfly on the cover, symbolizing the idea of ​​metamorphosis.” Although composers and production are the same of her last works, the singer considers that the new one is “musically bolder than the last.” No wonder it has a duet with Omara Portuondo, diva of Buena Vista Social Club orchestra, which also appeared in London in early April. Ana Moura participated in a concert with the Cuban group two years ago in Portugal, and when recording “Eu entrego” she thought it had similarities with the rhythms of Cuba. “I thought it made sense to tell this story from two different points of view, from my and from the point of view of a more mature voice,” she said.

Reinvention is ultimately the theme of Criolo’s new work as well, as he re-launches his first and little known CD, Ainda há tempo, first recorded in 2006, to celebrate the ten years since the beginning. The first version sold only 500 copies, which motivated the rapper to revive the album and create new concerts. “I think I bring a bit of my story to the world and take a lot back to mine.” In this idea, each track is accompanied by a presentation on a big screen that refers to his career as an artist. In addition to the shows in England, the artist will perform in several cities in Brazil. “I hope the audience comes with an open heart to divide the good energy that will be generated at the time and beyond,” Criolo said to the Brasil Observer. The highlight is the song “Chuva ácida”, which has a video clip.



The two artists have already played together in a duet at Fado Festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. The song “Amor Afoito” was the result of this partnership. Ana Moura said she likes genres like Rap, R&B and Soul, and invited Criolo to sing with her because she finds him extraordinary. “I think he’s an extremely creative and complete artist, rare these days.” For the rapper, “Ana Moura is a fantastic person and a great artist, owner of a supreme voice, and that’s life sometimes presents us with some wonderful things and be able to be with the beloved Ana Moura, live this moment, it is of great satisfaction for me.”

Thus, La Linea promises to please the listeners of the Portuguese language. The festival also features presentations of Daymé Arocena, La Yegros and Chico Trujillo, among other artists.


When: 17 to 28 April

Where: various venues