Criolo | Brazil
The global voice of Brazil’s favelas; Criolo, was born in Sao Paulo and is a singer of rap and soul who started his artistic journey at the age of eleven. After familiarising himself with composition and his own vocal ability, Criolo’s career began to take off in the late 1980s by becoming the creator of ‘Rinha dos MCs’, which is a relatively well known group in Brazil. However, the real popularity boost was gained by the album ‘Nó Na Orelha’ (‘Knot in the Ear’). Its recording was overseen by the experienced Nação Zumbi, producer Daniel Ganjaman and helped further by Marcelo Cabral. The result is that Criolo has received, among others, both a ‘Best Show Of The Year’ and a ‘Best Newcomer’ award, this mark of success shot him into the eyes and ears of worldwide fandom.
Although Criolo became a local celebrity with his talent for Hip-Hop, it was this album that really got him to explore a diverse palette of World Music. Bogotá is the first song to capture my interest; it has an Afro-Funk feel and is perfectly decorated by the timbre of Criolo’s masterful vocals, which effortlessly glide on top of the groovy beat. With the addition to some well placed floating harmonies in the chorus, it is my personal favourite from ‘Nó Na Orelha’. The track Grajauex is also noticeable, it brings his roots back to the foreground, delivering rapidly fired lyrics which sit on a beat that wouldn’t be out of place in Hip-Hop’s golden era.
Criolo has embarked on a worldwide tour, bracing major stages in London, Paris and New York. I can only hope that this is the beginning of a long and successful road for him, I will be awaiting his next major project with great anticipation.
Written by: Teto Parvanov – TETO World Music Magazine