Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Spaniol. Let’s start with the story behind Sonido Trópico and your involvement in its creation, its goals and philosophy?
I helped create Sonido Trópico in a time that São Paulo was in a great cultural and peoples freedom in the city. I was very inspired by the forms how artists back then like Thomash and Urubu Marinka were uniting classical Brazilian sounds with this contemporary clothes around the sounds and wanted to explore it. Back then, we were kids in college who wanted to discover and rediscover Latin American and Brazilian sounds and the freedom that we had back then. We started throwing illegal parties in abandoned spaces in São Paulo Center, and this connected us to the world. Once we brought Rampue and made in an old shoes factory complex in the center that was completely taken by trees and made a special night to 10k people. Today Sonido grew. Our goal is to be a force that helps and develops cultural and music projects that symbolizes what we believe musically and culturally. That the contemporary sound of the Brazilian and worldwide generation is a melting pot of cultures that blend every stimuli that surrounds the artists culturally. This is what we want to show. How everyone is beautiful.
Your new single: Suites do Amar features six tracks on The Gardens of Babylon Records. Tell us about your relationship with the label and why you felt it to be the right home for the music?
Gardens has always been my second home. It all started when I did back in 2017 a b2b with Kurup, an amazing dj and music producer from Brasília. Since I’ve put my feet in there, that first day in De Markantine, the whole team, the friendship and love with everyone involved made me fall for them, and I was embraced with nothing else but love and care. I knew this was the place for me. Working alongside Shishi and Yvette has been a blast since day one.
The EP’s title in English is Ocean Songs About Love. Can you talk us through the meaning and inspiration behind each number?
When the pandemic started I was touring in Istanbul and living in Barcelona. I got stuck for a month in Turkey for a month without knowing what will happen in my life. I lost my apartment in Barcelona with all my belongings and had to take a repatriation flight to Brazil. I was forced to go back home…I’ve been living my life since forever and now (for me and everyone else in our tiny but amazing planet)…I did not know what to do. How to handle with the total powerlessness in this new confront of the world. Simultaneously my grandmother died, one the women of my life, lost love…friends…I felt I had lost myself. In a desperate attempt to save myself from myself I went to my families house in an Island in Brasil called Ilhabela and stayed alone there for 7 months in the middle of the jungle trying to refind me. This EP is me trying to hold on to myself. My true self and the meaning of love for me. Suites do Amar (Amar is the verb to love in Portuguese). It was my confrontation with destiny and my only companion in this journey, who was the ocean. I became very inspired by artists that honored the ocean and love in Brazilian culture like Dorival Caymmi, João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Amor:Perdão – is my ode to how I felt in 2020. Who I wanted to become. Learn to love, you’ll learn to forgive. That was my quest, to be more kind to myself and my loved ones.
Lundy de Santa Maria da Tempestade – this one I was in Ilhabela, which is very famous for its very windy vibes, had a massive storm, that I thought was gonna blow my house. I was studying at the same time in the piano Chiquinha Gonzaga, one of the pioneers in brazilian classical music. Lundu, is a piano style that derives from samba and afro-brazilian culture. I tried to incorporate the elements and the harmonic way that makes the track a Lundu.
Algernoia Brasiliensis – while alone in the middle of the jungle with my dog Nina, my only companion in this journey. I started to notice this tiny beautiful flower everywhere in the island. I went to research it, and its a native flower from ilhabela and the Mata Atlantica Bioma. I wanted to make something that remembered the sweetness of this flower.
Nina – my love, my dog. She stayed with me this whole journey. I made this track while she was annoying me to throw her little tennis ball for the 12873618273618762 time…and it just remembers me of her. This amazing love and happiness energy that she emanates. She deserves more than just one track to symbolize how she was important to make to try to be my best.
Papaya Azul – I was a little (a lot) depressed in my journey. It’s not easy to face your demons, yet alone. My friends came to visit me. We have this shared love in common me and Salvador Araguaya; which is a deep love for Jazz, Samba and Bossa Nova. You could even say that those styles of music are cousins from the same grandma, Africa. Sometimes you need your friends to show you how life is not that hard.
São Pedro – It’s my homage to my neighborhood in Ilhabela. This is my way of showing, sound wise, how my environment was. Flowers, jungle, storms…completely overwhelmed by nature. This is my thank you. For giving me home, for taking care of me.
The music creates a distinct, unique atmosphere with the flair of musicality running throughout. What/ who first inspired your love of music? What lessons did you learn at the São Paulo Conservatory which have then translated into your production of electronic sound?
My first love with music was with the Guitar. My mom is a big psychedelic rock and mob fan. I remember when I was too young to know my age I was watching on TV this guy schredding this amazing solo…was love at first sight. My love of music comes from the necessity I have with music for my own life. For me music is like breathing. I think music in my head all the time. Like its accompanying me throw life. Makes me feel more. It’s more than love, it’s life for me. I started music at 5 years old; it’s like I don’t know how life is without it – The Conservatorium I studied classical and Brazilian guitar alongside composition. It made me who I am musically. The Brazilian music system is based in its own history, harmonies and melodies. It made me learn how to dig deep in my own culture. How to find the gems in such a vast country with so much history and peoples. Also we put the guitar in the centre of study. One professor that I studied a lot was Almir Chediak. He used the popular Brazilian songs to write a book with two volumes called: Harmonia e Impovisação. He takes a totally Brazilian way of teaching how to understand the bedsheets of how our mix of cultures musically and our own way of composing.
Outside of electronic music who are your most important influences in term of writers, painters, poets etc?
I love Carlos Drummond the Andrade (1902-1987). He’s a poet from Minas Gerais, that really understands the daily pain; and with such finesse and gentleness he always shows how the despair can be turned into hope. I’ve been also inspired by artists that value our ancestors and change completely with our surroundings and how we grew. This artist called Catarina Gushiken – she studied her Japanese ancestry (Brasil has the biggest Japanese population outside of Japan) and dug deep in the Jidai periods of art in Japan; mixed this with her own experience as Brazilian, creating something unique, beautiful and deeply hers. I also love the movies from Alejandro Jodorovsky. The way how he shows the beauty of human feelings, making total simesrty between directing a movie, but seeing the movie as a poem, and himself as a poet. It’s marvelous.
Tell us about the guitar which is most precious to you?
It’s my safe place. When I am happy I play guitar. When I feel sad I play guitar. I think I love it so much, and feel so safe when I feel my fingers around it…it’s this almost child feeling. Like a kid having just fun playing with something that it really loves. That’s how I feel every time I touch my strings.
Do you think that club culture will change in any way after Covid-19?
I actually don’t know…here in Brazil, our government is so incompetent that I have no idea what’s going to happen here. We have a president that is actually trying to destroy any type of culture or any kind of activity that embraces the different and the diverse. It is a shame really. He and what he represents disgusts me profoundly…around the world I think when we have the vaccination we’ll see a big increase in our industry for sure. In countries that take their citizens seriously.
Listening to your excellent mix: “Oh! Sweet Nothing” for RAMBALKOSHE it’s such a refreshing combination of styles and sounds. How important is being yourself and having your own voice, while not sounding like everyone else?
I think that as an artist I have to find something that show who I am…not anyone else. I grew with a blend of genres of all types of music thanks to my mom. It’s my way of telling histories. Giving a big tour on the globe, but in the end, still good old Felipe ;p
(illustration by: Khoren Matevosyan)
And finally. What plans to do have for 2021?
Well…music wise I have an EP for Sonido Tropico coming on March this year, and remixes for Camel Riders and a remix to my brothers from Istanbul Headwaters for trndmusik. Show wise…we’ll see how the world flows…