SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Regardless of the rhythm, Brazilian music’s newest hits are spreading their beats across the Internet.
Forgoing contracts with major labels, new artists are using the web to promote their work.
“Uploads have established direct relationships between the audience and the artist,” says João Marcello Bôscoli, a music producer and president of the Trama record label. “A single laptop contains more technology than the Beatles ever saw.”
Founded in 2002, Trama has launched more than 3,000 albums and introduced thousands of artists, such as Otto and Max de Castro.
On the label’s social networking site, more than 75,000 singers and groups have provided free access to their music. If they make a name for themselves, they can earn money by putting on shows in Brazil and abroad.
This virtual escalation began between 2002 and 2003, Bôscoli says. But in 2008, with the lowering of prices for broadband access, free sharing of Brazilian music over the Internet increased dramatically.
Emicida, a resident of the outskirts of São Paulo, made a name for himself in 2006 with his freestyle rap battles, which members of the audience posted on the Internet.
In 2010, he released the album “Emicídio” over the Internet, which was praised by critics and brought rap music back to the Brazilian music scene.
In 2011, Emicida recorded new songs and videos, was interviewed by the media and won Artist and Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards Brazil. He was given a show by the network, performed at festivals such as Rock in Rio and SWU in Brazil and Coachella in the United States.
Emicida’s four official music videos have been viewed over five million times on YouTube, but the artist estimates that more than 50 million have seen at least one of his videos.
São Paulo rapper Terra Preta has followed in Emicida’s footsteps and has six videos and 40 songs on the web, with more than 4,000 registered downloads.
Despite coming from a hip hop background, Terra Preta wants to win over fans of other genres, as he spends his days on social networking sites, conversing with his more than 21,000 fans.
The effort is paying off.
During Terra Preta’s interview with Infosurhoy.com, the song “Transando a noite inteira,” released three hours earlier, was among the most popular trends on Twitter.
“I’m going to work hard because everything changes so quickly on the Internet,” says Terra Preta, who plans to launch a new song or video every three weeks until July, when his new album is expected to be released.
In addition to rap, other genres are becoming more popular over the Internet, including the indie rock of A Banda Mais Bonita da Cidade, which hails from Curitiba, Paraná, and the Rio de Janeiro funk of the Avassaladores.
And then there’s Silva, from the state of Espírito Santo, who uploaded five alternative music songs on the Internet, got the attention of record labels and is now preparing an album to be released in the second half of 2012.
Sound of the Amazon
For the past 10 years, Gaby Amarantos has been singing tecnobrega, a genre with melodic lyrics, Caribbean and indigenous influences, and electronic beats.
But Amarantos really took off with “Tô Solteira,” her tropical reinterpretation of the hit “Single Ladies.” The song earned her the nickname “the Beyoncé of Pará,” her home state in northern Brazil.
“The Internet was a major turning point in my career,” says Amarantos, who has 100 songs available for download on her site. “When I realized it, I started making products for the Internet.”
Posted three months ago and viewed more than 300,000 times, “Xirley” was the first professional music video that Amarantos uploaded onto the web.
Recently, she asked her 37,000 followers on Twitter to post the worst things they’ve ever done in their lives. The responses inspired her song “Eu não vou pro céu.”
Amarantos’ popularity soared so high it prompted the BBC to record one of her shows in Belém, the capital of Pará. She has also been written about on the websites of the Guardian newspaper of London and the Los Angeles Times.
In April, Amarantos will release the album “Treme,” in which the single bearing the record’s name will be the theme song for Globo TV’s new soap opera “Cheias de Charme.”
“I’ve got a hectic schedule,” says Amarantos, who does 10 to 12 performances monthly and is preparing for an international tour. “Without a doubt, it’s a new moment for Brazilian music.”