We greet a new member of the family Tropical Diaspora of whom we are very proud. This is a project that represents everything that Tropical Diaspora® Records stands for. Nhocuné Soul is a band with a story that we at Tropical Diaspora® Records are proud to give a voice.
In 1996, Renato Gama recognized in the show of Fernanda Abreu a mixture of samba rock never heard before by him. The style inspired him to dedicate himself to the formation of a band. In college he made friendships and decided to create the “Clan”, a band that later became known as Nhocuné Soul.
With around 15 years of history and three albums recorded independently, Nhocuné Soul is a consolidated band in the Sao Paulo musical scene. The Band appeared in the 90ties in the district of Nhocuné (Vila Nhocuné) in east periphery side of São Paulo, a former slave quarters.
Most of the members of the band originated from the Vila Nhocuné and the band name couldn´t have a more emblematic meaning. The word Nhocuné is related to how slaves adapt the imposed unmusical and not melodic colonial language to the current spoken language in Brazil. The word comes from the abbreviation of “sinhô coroné” i.e. Mr. Colonel also sinhô = Nho and coroné = cuné. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony the colonel title was usually bought by the richest man in the district to impose respect and so this colonel was probably only another colonialist, the owner of the slave quarters and the estates that gave birth to this district as known now.
Between the 80ties and 90ties, the neighborhood came to be considered one of the most violent in São Paulo´s eastern, often people must omit that they were residents of that area to get a job. To name the group Nhocuné was one of the ways to rescue the self-esteem of that place.
If there was an analogy in this for Nhocuné Soul, it would have been about the accumulation of skill sets. The sum of the previous challenges into one more. A tribute to that path, to everything they become and more than that: a celebration of a place where hope has overcome misery. It is a tribute. An articulation of reverence to all the people in the world that lives in the same conditions. This is that sound. That place.
It is also a band with musical finest sensibility. The roots of samba, soul, rock and funk, with intonations of hip hop and the weight of the guitar, results in a contagious dancing sound. Among some of extreme’s musical influences by masters like Itamar Assumpção, Benito de Paula, Gerson King Combo and Tim Maia, the lyrics speak of the valorization of the human being.
Nhocuné Soul was invited to events such as the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Rights Declaration at SESC Itaquera in 2008, the band was part of the Black Consciousness commemoration festivities (Batuque na Cozinha – Negro é Resistência) at SESC Santo André in 2009 and the project Experimenting Music, in Diadema city 2010. Furthermore, Nhocuné Soul was featured at Favela Attitude Show in the 5th Black Party, in the favela of Real Parque and at the Hip Hop House, also in Diadema. Nhocuné Soul was also featured in the 5th edition of the Project Antidote – International Exhibition of Cultural Actions in Conflict Zones at the Itaú Cultural in 2010. They also participated in festivals such as Mistura Som at SESC Ipiranga in 2008 and ABC do Som in 2007. Finally, they were selected among more than 540 artists enrolled in the SESI MUSIC BRASILEIRA 2009 project. These few invitations reflect the engagement of the band to translates the everyday life of the peripheries into songs that speak about racial prejudice, the lack of perspective of the young person, the issues in housing and the relationship with a careless state. Issues that are not restricted only to the lyrics but are part of the real day-to-day life of its members.
Right now Nhocuné Soul is getting their first two songs on a 7 inch vinyl record to be released by Tropical Diaspora Records as a bonus record in the also new solo music project of front man and founder Renato Gama called Olhos Negros Vivo.
Garrincha & Dr.Sócrates