Filed under: interview, mujeres|womyn, music | Tags: carioca bass, zuzuka poderosa
Zuzuka Poderosa just did this exclusive in-depth interview with DC’s Forward Fest. Really enjoyed it and thought you would too. Catch Zuzuka at House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn this Saturday, Forward Fest in DC on May 17th and on June 1st with A Tribe Called Red & Jubilee at Glasslands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. POWHER!
Zuzuka Poderosa Gets Down with FORWARD prior to her DC Appearance @ FORWARD 2013
Prior to her DC Debut at FORWARD 2013, we asked Bass friend/fiend Nick W. to pull together a few questions for Zuzuka Poderosa. Below is what happened.
NW: How would you describe Carioca Bass to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
ZP: Carioca Bass can be described as a style of music that has my influences and experiences coming from Funk Carioca (or Baile Funk), Dancehall, Electronic Music and Drum & Bass. Carioca Bass is basically what I do and what I identify with.
NW: So you are from originally from Rio de Janeiro but now live in Brooklyn?
ZP: I’m not originally from Rio. I was born in Espirito Santo state, which is the state above Rio on the coast. I moved to Rio at early teenage years, then I relocated with my family to Grand Cayman, British West Indies.
Moving around to different places, learning different cultures and music established my signature sound.
Coming from a tropical place like Brasil, you have samba, boss nova, baile funk, MPB, just to name a few. When I moved to the West Indies I was introduced to Soca and Dancehall. After I came to the US, I was very into the rave scene and was crazy into drum & bass. I also used to deejay and am a vinyl collector, so I’m a curious about the past and the future of music. I am an interracial music baby.
NW: You are obviously multilingual, is there a particular reason you choose to express yourself in Portuguese in your music?
ZP: I feel very comfortable in my native language. I think Portuguese has tones and accents that are very musical already, but I also have done songs in Spanish & English as well. When I’m on stage, I want to make sure the I communicate with the audience, whether it’s in all the 3 languages or just one and of course, in body language always!
NW: Your video for Seda, which came out this year, is pretty intense. Can you tell us about the concept and the people you worked with on it? [designer Babatunde Ajiboye, dancer Tay of Subway Acrobats, director Artur Ratton, etc]
ZP: Oh, intense is a good word! I worked on the “Carioca Bass EP” with Kush Arora, a producer in the Bay Area, and released it on a label in Los Angeles called Little Owl Recordings. We wrote the script for the video but it didn’t go as planned, so we kind of let it flow. I had no video producer, so I had to put together everything pretty fast because we had a deadline. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
The people I worked with, like Tay for instance, I was on the J train in NYC when him and his crew were doing their acrobatic thing. He handed me the hat and I asked him how I could find him. I looked him up on Facebook and sent him a message. Months later we worked together. Very NYC and digital age thing.
Babatunde Ajiboye and I met 10 years ago, but lost contact for years. I have always admired his work. This year we connected again and I told him I was looking for a stylist for the video. He was very excited to actually design the wardrobe. Amazing, he’s just amazing and bold. How I like it.
I’m also a big fan of Artur K. Ratton’s work, so I approached him about directing the video and his agreed to do it. That was great because I know he has a good production team. The two female dancers are my good friends Charlene Foster, a jewelry & glass designer & DJ Supervixen.
Having a team of people around who you actually admire their work is inspiring and a huge bonus.
NW: So “Seda” means rolling papers?
ZP: Yup. There’s a lot of double meaning with sexy references but at the same time what I’m saying is that it’s time to legalize marijuana.
NW: So do you think we’ll see more US states and other countries decriminalize or legalize marijuana in the near future?
Yes, I think we are stepping into a new era full of new & different thinkers in society where we have leaders telling us what’s good for us, but it’s actually really bad. Money-making pharmaceuticals are killing so many people every year and we’re foolish enough to get addicted to what they’re pushing. We’re being blinded and have become so dependable on their pills. The FDA and huge multinationals are spoiling our food too. I’m really into cooking, so it’s a big deal for me.
So, little by little we’re starting to see everything that’s been hidden behind the curtain. So I’m hoping that we – the next generation - can speak out and have the guts to choose what’s good for us, not them. And that we chose the natural.
We all can acknowledge that Marijuana is not a harmful drug and it should be legalized already. I see that in the US a few states are legalizing it and I’m pretty optimistic that the laws will change and decriminalize it. I admire the way the Uruguayan government is promoting the idea to pass the law to combat narco-traffic and having the state selling high quality medical-grade legally, for affordable prices.
Looking FORWARD, right? This is why I do this music; for the dancefloors around the world.
NW: How did you hook up with Kush Arora, who produced your latest EP?
ZP: I hooked up with Kush through Dave Sharma of Sub Swara, who I’ve done some work in the past alongside DJ Rekha (Check out our song ‘Pyar Baile’). Sharma told Kush I was coming to San Francisco to play at Tormenta Tropical, so Kush & Sakura, his wife, were kind enough to let me stay with them. From there we immediately started working together. It was destiny and faith. We share a musical openness and willingness to take chances.
NW: What singers or MCs have influenced your style?
ZP: I think there is a strong wave of female MC’s taking over the music scene right now and much respect to the powerful ladies out there making it happen. Recently for example, I collaborated with the amazing Swedish artist Gnucci, for a remix of her song “Goodah” and it features amazingly fierce women doing it their way like Jasmine Solano, Lady Chann and Nadia Nair. Watch the video for it, it’s amazing:
As for influences, I like to say that I have my muses. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with the style of music I do, but instead I look at their courage, their techniques, philosophy and apply it to my own expression. These are some of my musical mentors, forever my muses who are: Elis Regina, Nina Simone, PJ Harvey, Janis Joplin…
NW: Who are your favorite producers right now?
ZP: I’ve always been a fan of Nego Moçambique, a producer from Brasil who is based in Toronto. He’s also a big influence on my music. He’s also done Psicodelia remix on Carioca Bass EP. Hear the remix: https://soundcloud.com/zuzuka-poderosa/zuzuka-poderosa-kush-arora
You know it’s hard to answer that question because I’m not into the words “right now.” I think the “right now” does not give an artist long term possibility. So consistency is the key. But I’m really into music coming from Night Slugs, Mixpak, Shabazz Places, Rashad & Teklife crew, just to name a few…and of course, my vinyl collection.
NW: What’s next for you?
ZP: I’m working on music, getting the creative juices flowing after releasing “Carioca Bass” EP. I’ll be playing an amazing show in Brooklyn on June 1st at Glasslands with A Tribe Called Red from Canada and a collaborator in the past, Jubilee. I’m also building a lot with some amazing artists who I can’t wait to share with you all and working on touring in Europe this fall.
NW: Balance is the theme for FORWARD 2013. What does that mean to you and your life?
ZP: Balance is something that is hard to achieve just in the very act of being a human being. Everyone is striving for it. I think the key to having a balance in life is to be fully focused, plan and accomplish what you set for yourself. I can’t say I have full balance in my life, but I’m always working on being better and focusing on the good things. In the music, well, we have a long way to go towards the balance, but in the new digital age, I think we can use these tools for the better to get there. We have to remember we have the power. That’s why Zuzuka Poderosa is my name. Poderosa means power. See you on the dancefloor.
HELLO PODEROSOS Y PODEROSAS EVERYWHERE:
Just sharing some great Zuzuka Poderosa (Poderosa means POWER!) happenings. By the way, the quote on the title of this post was taken from this interview Zuzuka did with Ignite the Sound – I love it.
“Carioca Bass” EP is out now (singles: ‘Seda’ & ‘Psicodelia’ + 6 remixes) | STREAM IT: http://bit.ly/UAbFnk
“Seda” Music Video Out Now | http://go.spin.com/Wiwxix
**BRAND NEW** Vato Gonzalez & DJ Punish “Favela Riddim” (ft. Zuzuka Poderosa) | http://bit.ly/YJZmn1 (Happy to send you the MP3 – just ask)
**BRAND NEW** VIDEO || Sweden’s Gnučči – Goodah (Remix video) featuring Lady Chann, Zuzuka Poderosa, Jasmine Solano, Nadia Nair
Last month, Zuzuka was on Telemundo 47′s ‘El Show de Jackie‘ speaking in Spanish about her Carioca Bass. Later that night, on Brazilian National Television (via Canal O Globo), a profile aired on Zuzuka for Beco Dranoff’s ‘Beyond Ipanema‘ series. Check out the trailer – hope to share the piece soon.
The Atlantic: It’s Beach O’Clock Somewhere: Songs of the Southern-Hemisphere Summer
Zuzuka’s #1 on the list! (plus lots of other new #worldwild acts I had not heard of, sans Bajofondo): http://bit.ly/10asXr6
“This kind of world music meets raucous electro fusion is something you don’t see everyday, and stands out as unique in a sea of cookie-cutter big room house tracks.” – Your EDM
“When you add Zuzuka’s sultry vocals and powerful desire to create “interracial music babies” into the equation, it’s pop gone crazy, a freewheeling, next-generation party.” – Brooklyn Bodega
“Zuzuka Poderosa’s bio is a lot like the story of global bass music itself. The Brazil-born, Brooklyn-based bass vocalist is inspired by baile funk but her music has taken on the flavors of everywhere she has been and everything she has heard. Now she spreads her ass-shaking hybrid inspirations around the world.” – MTV IGGY
LOS ANGELES | Thursday, April 18th @ La Cita (INFO)
CHICAGO | Saturday, April 20th @ Beauty Bar (INFO)
NEW YORK | Saturday, June 1st @ Glasslands (INFO)
NOW BOOKING: EUROPE for mid-Oct/November. Hit me up!
Zuzuka live on stage with Locos Por Juana & Bomba Estereo at the TransAtlantic Fest in Miami last week!
Filed under: conrazón, interview, music | Tags: Afropolitan Dreams, Baloji, Belgium, Congo, Worldwild
“By now, we all should know, being African doesn’t explain who you are, what you have to wear, where you have to stand…they try to but us in a box, and they call this fucking ‘WORLD MUSIC’, ‘Ethnical music’…this is not gonna cover up my fucking scars, this is not going to cover up who the fuck I am – so this is not WORLD MUSIC, this is OUR MUSIC!” – Baloji
I love Baloji – a Renaissance Global Pop Star (aka Super Black Man!) in the making who is Belgium-based with deep, complicated roots with his home country of the Congo. I had the honor of collaborating with Blitz the Ambassador in 2011 to help make Baloji’s USA debut at Joe’s Pub, where he brought us his ‘Blues of the Jungle‘. Make sure you check out his videos – which are cinematic and beautiful as fuck.
He rocked Summerstage (watch this backstage interview with Afropop) later in the summer in 2011, and since has been touring globally, landing a slot on the collaborative boundary-smashing Africa Express tour (featuring Damon Albarn, Baaba Maal and others).
As Baloji’s star continues to shine bright as the Pan-African sun – emanating vision, quality, freedom and true self-expression- he’s also been bringing his sharp look all over, posing for huge Fashion labels and magazines over the years.
Baloji in Gentlemen’s Quarterly : Jocks & Nerds Magazine
Just caught this awesome live set on Boiler Room which reminded me of just how big and classy an artist he is for the world. I love that he hasn’t stopped spreading his light and love. I also admire his bold words for the movement he sees himself a part of. MOJA! One! World Music is OUR MUSIC! All of ours.
Watch the whole amazing performance here (via OkayAfrica).
Filed under: conrazón, events | Tags: Los Rakas, SXSW, Vive Latino, zuzuka poderosa
Another SXSW (recaps from 2010, 2011 & 2012 – comedy to revisit!) came and went; I must confess, I went to Austin kicking and screaming, not wanting to run thru the labyrinth of confectionery displays and the tragerrificness of watching bands come from all over for the madness of shitty sound, ego presenting disconnect and subpar audiences. On the other hand, such a high percentage of colleagues in the biz are in town, both Zuzuka Poderosa and Los Rakas had intimate showcases and a shot at showing their live show to a slew of new folks across different mundos…so Texas was messed with. Friends were seen, new music was absorbed (highlights: Keys N Krates, Las Cafeteras, Red Baraat & lowlights: your most hyped hip-hop crew) and BBQ was had.
I had the fortune to hang out with the good people of Sacramento’s Sol Collective and make homebase a beautiful lakehouse about 25 minutes away from ground zero (aka 6th Street). From there, I was able to wake up with the sun and ripples of the water to calm and prepare for the long days/daze while being surrounded with family: Estella Sanchez (Sol Collective founder) and her family, the folks from Trust Your Struggle and a cast of crazy creative folks.
Running around with artists makes it a little difficult to really see much else at SXSW and with a schedule like this, even more so. But it was a great opportunity to catch up with both Raka Rich, Raka Dun and Zuzuka Poderosa – who I don’t always get to see face-to-face all year in this sort of setting. You are constantly interfacing with folks who may have never heard your band’s music – everyone becomes a hustler. But then, such a high frequency of friends and industry colleagues are around too – so it’s a wonderful time for reunion and re-connecting. Luckily I was able to make some SX homebases, like Converse Rubbertracks mobile studio, FADER Fort and the c3 Virgin Mobile House – with drinks flowing and battery chargers available (and steak tacos!) I also took the time this year to carve out oasis’ of time for meet-ups and dinners, which added a nice pace to the usual madness and took me out of the regular limbo.
What made this year particularly special was helping with some promotion for Sol Collective’s ‘Listen Global. Act Local‘ showcase at Kenny Dorham‘s Backyard next to the Historic Victory Grill, which Austinist called, “one of the most off the map and lovingly curated events of the festival” and featured A Tribe Called Red, Los Rakas, Sonora, Mandeep Sethi, Zuzuka Poderosa w/ King Louie, World Hood, Las Cafeteras, Chorizo Funk, El Indio, DLRN hosted by Andru Defeye. Pop Matters dedicated almost its entire post-SXSW coverage on the mini-festival, in a piece called “SXSW Music: Finding the Diamonds in the (Very) Rough.” I’m so excited for this project to grow in the coming years and add some organic community-minded global programming to SX.
The trip was cut short (and welcome) as I made my way late Friday night of SX to Mexico City for their equivalent to Coachella – Vive Latino – which was a treat! Check the coverage in NPR’s Alt.Latino, Remezcla, Panamerika and MTV Iggy (peep me in the shot for Ari Puello #soyfan) for a well-rounded summary of how great it was! Will definitely be back.
Some photo highlights of the week: Zuzuka Poderosa & Peligrosa’s King Louie @ 505 Warehouse (Photo by Subcomandante Quito)
Los Rakas @ Mixpak vs Tormenta Showcase (Photo via XLR8R)
#LocalGlobalSXSW: Read about it in Pop Matters!
Los Rakas and Sol Collective’s Estella Sanchez @ #GlobalLocalSXSW
Sunshinin’ on myself & Bear Witness from A Tribe Called Red #GlobalLocalSXSW
One of my favorite charachters from SX: Molefi and his Shea Butter!
Touching down in Austin’s SXSW manana & Mexico City’s Vive Latino on Saturday. See you!?
“Los Rakas is one of the most talented & multi-faceted globalized voices in hip hop & R&B.” – Austinist
▲▲THU, 3/14: Mixpak vs. Tormenta @ Speakeasy Kabaret (412 Congress)- 12 AM | http://on.fb.me/VVed08
▲▲FRI, 3/15: Listen Global/Act Local Day Party (1106 E. 11th St/East Austin) – 7:30 PM | http://on.fb.me/VxftaT
▲▲FRI, 3/15: Heart of the Map @ Cielo 505 (505 Neches) w/ Souls of Mischief, IAMSU, J Stalin, Roach Gigz+!
▲▲FRI, 3/15: Peligrosa Party @ Chupacabra (400 E. 6th St) – 12:00 AM | http://on.fb.me/XrPoKe
▲▲SAT, 3/16: San Antonio, TX headline-debut at The War Room | http://on.fb.me/YBgTzP
“Bailefunk turned inside out!” – SPIN
▲▲THU, 3/14: Chaindrive (504 Willow St) w/ Mike Q, Nick Hook, Jubilee & more! – 2 PM
▲▲THU, 3/14: Peligrosa @ Chupacabra (400 E. 6th St @ Trinity) – 12 AM | http://on.fb.me/YAvv28
▲▲FRI, 3/15: Listen Global/Act Local Day Party (1106 E. 11th St/East Austin) -2:30 PM || RSVP: http://on.fb.me/Xkdt5u
Filed under: conrazón, mujeres|womyn, music | Tags: carioca bass, zuzuka poderosa
Great in-depth interview with Zuzuka Poderosa and MTV Iggy. They went to Zu’s apt in Brooklyn to shoot this video interview and take some fly photos, but I most enjoyed reading Zu’s interview here, so posting some excerpts below. Click on the link all the way below to read the entire in-depth piece. ‘Carioca Bass‘ EP with Kush Arora is out now on Little Owl Recordings.
Zuzuka Poderosa Is Ready To Show the World Her Beautiful Carioca Bass
February 21, 2013
Zuzuka Poderosa’s bio is a lot like the story of global bass music itself. The Brazil-born, Brooklyn-based bass vocalist is inspired by baile funk but her music has taken on the flavors of everywhere she has been and everything she has heard. Now she spreads her ass-shaking hybrid inspirations around the world collaborating with producers like New York’s DJ Rekha and DJ Sujinho and (soon, we hear) Serbian folkstep duo Shazalakazoo.
We’ve been waiting for awhile for a new statement from her and now we’ve got it in the new Carioca Bass EP, out now on Little Owl Recordings. Produced with Kush Arora, it’s a molten ball of socially conscious funk composed of the tracks “Seda” and “Psicodelia” with remixes from Nego Mozambique, Jubilee & Burt Fox, Chrissy Murderbot, Sonora, HxdBc and CEE. But what is this Carioca bass?
In a recent interview at her colorful, record stocked Brooklyn apartment, its creator was happy to tell us. We talked to her about the EP, baile funk culture, the complex mixture of musical influences that make up her sound, and how, growing up in Brazil and on Grand Cayman Island, she fell in love with all things bass.
What is “Psicodelia” about?
It’s about what you were kind of asking me before about living in the favelas. There has been a lot of distress in the favelas because they have been pacified by the police. Now, people have curfews they can’t really throw baile funk parties anymore. You have to have an approval. You can’t talk about certain things while you are throwing these parties. It is less violent, but at the same time I feel like people really lost their freedom to express what they need to express.
What I’m saying on the hook is that when you look up at the sky and you think it’s beautiful fireworks, it really all this violence with guns and explosions. Psicodelia means psychedelic. It’s the psychedelic skies full of bombs and explosions. Basically, whether it is in the ghetto or the favela or it is in the Middle East. those people that live there don’t deserve all that suffering. The innocents are the ones who end up paying for it. All they want is peace and then people come in and there’s no peace. And I’m, like, “who is going to save us from all this?”
What about “Seda”?
Seda means rolling papers. There’s a lot of double meaning with sexy references but at the same time what I’m stating that it’s time to legalize marijuana. There’s all these people, kids and rock stars, dying from prescription medication. I wish I could just go somewhere when I have a pain because I need to smoke marijuana. I don’t even smoke marijuana every day. I smoke when I need it. I smoke when I work. I get really focused. I smoke when I have pain. It’s really medicinal. I think it’s time to do it. It’s happening in a lot of places already.
Los Rakas drop a FREE SONG today in honor of Valentine’s Day, a milky sweet tropi plena soul version of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” or in Raka language “Pa’ Encima” – complete with constellations and airhorns. Can’t wait to celebrate Raka Love in DC tonight with the lovely ladies of Maracuyeah, who got the idea and ovaries to promote in DC after driving up to see Los Rakas in 2011. Love the circles. Love the ladies. Get the song:
Love this little note from Breakthrough:
Bumping this mix from one of my favorite musical aestheticians, Wonway. Get the mix here.
My friend J-Zone (read his book, Root for The Villian) wrote this list of Anti-Valentine’s Day songs for Ego Trip – highly enjoyable.
I may be single, but my heart is so full with all the amazing music out in the universe. GreatFULL.