Brazilian night at SXSW captivates the audience and its success resonates in the international press
In March 8 through 17, in Austin, USA, it took place South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the largest creative economy events in the world. In March 16, during the official program, at Lucille Patio Lounge, occurred the Brasil Music Club, a night event dedicated to the Brazilian music that had the performances of six artists: Karol Conka, Xenia França, Boogarins, Luedji Luna, Bixiga 70 and J Brasil. The bar, which has room capacity for 500 people, was crowded. Among the participants was one of the most important journalists and critics of the USA, David Fricke, senior editor of Rolling Stone.
The Brazilian night at SXSW was led by Brasil Music Exchange (BME), a Brazilian music fostering project carried out by means of a partnership between Brasil, Música & Artes (BM&A) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). “The eyes of the entire world were turned to SXSW during the month of March and we took that moment to disclose our production by preparing a night event that showed some faces of the new Brazilian music”, says BME manager, Leandro Ribeiro.
In his review, for which he selected the top 10 out of over 2,000 shows that took place at SXSW, Fricke highlighted two Brazilian bands: Boogarins and Bixiga 70. Regarding Boogarins, a band from Goiânia, the journalist wrote that for him it was like “an exuberant whirl of psychedelia and tropicália” and that Fernando Almeida, the singer, sang with the “sensuality of young Prince”. Fricke was all compliments to Bixiga 70, a band from São Paulo: he wrote that the band started its show at a party rhythm that was getting more exciting through the performance, comparing them to the James Brown’s band in the 1970’s – The JB’s – “with a samba-school undercurrent”. According to Fricke, Bixiga 70 “is the type of discovery that makes SXSW still vital, rewarding and necessary”.
The shows were also highlighted in media such as NPR, the main public radio station in the USA, and on newspapers The Austin Chronicle and Austin Amerincan-Statesman. All of them emphasized the Brazilian participation, including artists Luedji Luna, Xenia França and Karol Conka.
Leandro also points out that this initiative is the result of years of experience with such festival. “We have been participating in SXSW since 2014 and we have always been modest enough to understand the difficulties in finding a good place for the Brazilian music in the festival. There are over 2,000 bands performing in this event, among them delegations from countries that are very powerful in the music industry, such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. So, it is easy to imagine how difficult it is to turn the spotlights to the Brazilian Music”, he explains.
The idea of having an initiative involving Brazilian artists only came naturally, as a consequence of such experience, and its purpose was to show some music that could surprise the international audience, overcoming the stereotypes of Brazil overseas. “To us, getting all this attention from the international specialized media is a great result, even better than we were expecting. We certainly opened some doors, not only to the artists directly involved in the initiative, but also to the Brazilian music as a whole”, he adds. “Besides our Brasil Music Club stage, we managed to include performances of Brazilian artists into other important nights, such as Bixiga 70, which played on the Womex night; Karol Conka, on the Global Fest stage, and Xenia França, on the International Day Stage at SXSW. In 2020, we intend to surprise the audience once again”, he completes.
Check out the media highlights to the Brazilian music:
Listen to the playlist Brasil Music Club @ SXSW 2019:
The Brasil Music Exchange (BME) is a Brazilian music internationalization project carried out through a partnership between Brasil, Música & Artes (BM&A) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).