Josine Backus
Advisor - Focal Countries | Brazil
j.backus [at] dutchculture.nl

Mapping Brazil - Electronic Dance Music: Artists

Mapping Brazil - Electronic Dance Music: Artists

New mapping on dance music in Brazil (2015) – by Claudio da Rocha Miranda Filho, Franklin Costa and Carol Soares


Brazil’s leading DJ agencies, responsible for booking international acts and managing Brazilian DJs, are mostly in São Paulo (D-Edge Agency, Entourage, Hypno, Tune and Plus Talent) and Curitiba (24 Bit and DJCom).

In the EDM scene, as in art and pop culture, there is a clear separation between more popular, commercial, mainstream acts and those that appeal to more niche, cutting-edge and underground audiences.

According to some of the main agencies in Brazil today (24 Bit, DJCom and Plus Talent), the foreign artists that have performed most at Brazilian clubs and festivals in recent years include Armin Van Buuren (Netherlands), David Guetta (France), Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (Greece & Belgium), Hardwell (Netherlands), Kaskade (USA), Solomun (Bosnia) and Steve Aoki (USA). Most of them are mainstream DJs and producers.

The top Brazilian artists that have made a name abroad are Alok, Dashdot, Fabø, Felguk, FTampa, Gabe, Marcelo Cic, Gui Boratto, HNQO, Marky, Renato Ratier, Tropkillaz, Vintage Culture and Wehbba. Meanwhile, national producers Alok, FTampa, Felguk and Marcelo Cic are the leading names in the open-air scene. They are all in their 20s and tend to appeal to a younger mainstream audience. Gui Boratto is arguably the most prestigious electronic music producer working in Brazil today (on German label Kompakt’s select artist list). Alongside HNQO, Vintage Culture and Wehbba, he represents a more refined, less noise-infused sound with strong techno and house influences. Renato Ratier is the owner and DJ-in-residence of D.Edge, São Paulo’s premier EDM club, and a fixture in DJ Mag’s ranking of the best clubs in the world. Marky remains a Brazilian drum’n’bass icon – the Pelé of the pick. Finally, Tropkillaz is one of most successful electronic music projects in the country because it successfully interacts with the mainstream and underground scenes. With a strong trap repertoire and hip-hop influences, they make regular appearances at some of the biggest festivals in the country, like Tomorrowland Brasil, as well as underground clubs in Brazil and abroad.

Although Brazil’s electronic dance music is strongly influenced by artists from other countries, its home-grown talents are gradually developing a unique style that draws on national and regional musical influences. ASShake, Comrade, Flying Buff, Jaloo, João Brasil, Johnny Ice, Karol Conka, Leo Justi, Omulu, Pesadão Tropical and Tropkillaz are all part of this new generation, weaving hip hop and carioca funk into their work. Meanwhile, Mauro Telefunksoul, Lord Breu, A.MA.SSA, DaBeat28, Loro Voodoo and VNDL and M.S$ are putting a new twist on the music of Bahia and other parts of the north-east of Brazil by introducing the rhythms and sounds of axé, cumbia and other Latin styles.

With the increasing popularity of electronic music in Brazil, new space has opened up for experimental artists, including Projeto Mujique (Fabiano Scodeler), ˆL_ (Luis Fernando) and Psilosamples. The artistic director and co-founder of the Novas Frequências festival in Rio de Janeiro, Chico Dub, brings out a compilation called Hy Brazil on a regular basis, providing an international platform for local talent.

Finally, a new generation of techno and house producers and DJs are attracting attention in Brazil and abroad. Fatnotronic is set to bring out a new release with Belgian label 2ManyDJs in 2015, and Gaturamo (Zopelar and L_cio) have a busy list of engagements at clubs in Brazil and elsewhere. Diogo Accioly and the Edit Revenge project by Wehbba and Junior C are also attracting attention. The country is witnessing an unprecedented boom in the quantity and variety of electronic dance music being produced and consumed.

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