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All we are saying

Lyrics sung in Portuguese to a percussive beat and electronica could well be a first in these parts but that is what you can hear from tomorrow when BrazilBeat Sound System release their new bass and reggaeton-driven single, Saying.

The new single brings trap beats into a lush and enveloping cloud of sound with effects-glazed verses, says BrazilBeat’s media release.

Despite Saying’s fat, warm, friendly beats there is a political element in the song.

“This one was bit different for us because we are incorporating lyrics in Portuguese but we believe the vibe and the feeling will come through,” says DJ Mara.

“There’s definitely a political stance in Saying. The lyrics follow old sayings popular in Brazil that have a double meaning. The song is about people having a voice and not getting complacent. The opening line is, ‘the people speak’.”

“In Brazil they have a bad situation with the Government and Covid-19,” says Beto.

“It’s not a dictatorship but white supremacy is in power. The President has destroyed so much forest. He is burning the Amazon.”

This has resulted in destruction of many species of wildlife, says Beto.

“He has extreme, right wing, fanatical and violent supporters,” says Mara.

“He’s supported by the militia and has the support of US evangelical churches behind him. That keeps him in power. People are afraid. Working class and poor people struggle to survive.”

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has also described Covid-19 as a trifling “cold.”

“Brazil and the US are going through a similar process with far-right leaders in power, denial of Covid-19 and getting rid of environmental protections,” says Mara.

The message in Saying is for people to get up, stand up for their rights for the people because the situation is really sad, says Beto.

Along with the music video for the single, BrazilBeat will release a lyric video in which the lyrics appear as subtitles in English.

The videos include footage shot by Beto’s brother, who owns a video company, Groove Images, in Rio de Janeiro.

“He recorded everything on his super-high-tech cellphone. It has a special lens and gimbal (pivoted support arm),” says Beto.

The recording also features

Jamaican MC Winston Williams, also known as Horseman.

“Many years ago we bought some of his vocals,” says Mara.

“We’ve had these for some time and not used them before. He sings in patois and brings uplift to the song.”

While the BrazilBeat duo recorded Saying in their home studio, the single was mixed down and produced by Maaka Phat of Upper Hutt Posse, Southside of Bombay, and Wai.

“Producers often mix their own songs and get vocalists in,” says Mara.

“Because we have live instruments and percussion is an important part of our music, we like to include someone like Maaka.”

BrazilBeat drops about one single a year but early in 2021 the duo plan to release a full-length album.

“We’re open to be approached by recording companies,” says Beto.

BLURRED BOUNDARIES: Blurred boundaries between bass music and reggaeton feature in BrazilBeat’s new, upbeat single in which Nego Beto (right) sings in his native language, Portuguese, says partner DJ Mara. Picture supplied