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Acaptcha is a meaningful name to know from the Brazilian electronic music scene. Not just with her outstanding music productions, owning her craft and passion does she grow within herself with every project and piece she participates or releases. As a key member close to the community and linked up with all kinds of projects around her, Acapthca’s artistic sight is inspired by Brazil’s soil. The North, The west, The South, The East is where she is looking at and connecting with. Meeting point A-Mig, Veneno Live, Rio, and Sao Paulo as the metropolis to keep spinning the web. In all of this, Covid-19 seems to be a hurdle but not as a situation that is insoluble. She was one of the first artists S(GBA) got to talk to in the preparation phase of Circa Season 1 where the conversation too place back in mid-May 2020.
S: I would like to know a bit about yourself and what you do as a musician from Brazil. You come from a different part, you’re not from Rio or from Sao Paulo, you’re from somewhere else.
A: Yes, I’m from Minas Gerais but I live in São Paulo. My project is basically a platform. Here it is hard to work with electronic music because the cultures are very local. There are not many visible scenes of electronic music in other parts of Brazil. In A-MIG we can give a little space for other artists to bloom, they work from different parts of the country and the majority of these artists have never played before. I think this is the most important thing, that the curation is very open. We are not interested in a specific genre or thing, it’s open because people are starting out in a place where there is no space to show the work in electronic music. This is the main purpose of the A-MIG platform. I’m also part of Veneno, the main radio here. Everyone that works in parties and electronic music here is connected with all collectives and a lot of projects. I don’t know if people living in other countries know about the things happening here. Things in Europe are very focused there, in the United States they are also focused there, here it’s like another thing.
S: Do you think it’s good for the local scene that you keep it local and that not so many people know about the Brazilian thing and that it’s so different from the other scenes?
S: Yeah, it’s so weird. That’s the problem, everyone just comes and plays but that’s all they do, right? There’s not much interaction between cultures other than just playing there.
A: It’s more that here in Brazil we are not very interested in parties from other countries. It’s not the same with the people from Europe or the United States because here these parties, the big parties, they invite a lot of artists from Europe or the U.S. because there is this interest from artists from other countries to come here. They don’t know what’s happening here.
A: Yes, and I feel this is the same with Mexico or Uruguay or Chile. Valesuchi is a friend and she said ( add I think in an interview) that the scene in Chile is similar because when people go there from Europe they don’t know what’s happening there.
S: How do you guys know each other? All of the A-MIG network and Veneno… How does the community know each other, how do you meet new people and find other music?
A: Here in Brazil the people know the channel and they go “Ah, I want to make A-MIG” because we are very open. They send messages and they want to be a part of this. Veneno is also a very open place. I think the most important part about A-MIG is that people from other states of Brazil can send some material and we search for these people because it’s very difficult to find them. We are always looking for these people. We are not so interested if they have played big parties. In A-MIG we concentrate on small scenes, people starting.
S: Do you stay in contact with those artists? You hang out together, meet, do festivals, play on local line ups?
A: We are connected more on the internet. People living in Sao Paulo can meet and make events, some parties, but when people are in the north of Brazil it’s so difficult to travel here (Sao Paulo). I know there are a lot of these artists, I have been there, but they don’t come to Sao Paulo frequently. It’s 5 hours of a trip.
“I think the most important part about A-MIG is that people from other states of Brazil can send some material and we search for these people because it’s very difficult to find them”
S: How are the festivals there? Do you make local events in the jungle or some secret locations that people don’t know about? Something like gatherings coming from these communities?
A: The most part of the people that are doing and creating material, parties and all of that is happening through collectives. They articulate the parties and there are so many. Like the southeast part of Brazil has for example 5 collectives, the north part has other ones. Maybe people from other countries know one or two collectives. I remember when a recognized DJ from Europe came to play and she asked a friend of mine if she knew the parties here, what people were doing because she knew only one, that’s very European. so difficult to get people to know what is happening here. When they live here or when they come and stay for three months or so it’s easy because there’s lots of parties, but when they don’t come it’s difficult.
S: How do you work now or survive financially? How do you feel with all of what’s happening? Is the community still working? People feel motivated, happy?
A: The people working in the scene are very disorientated. It’s all very confusing because I think that nobody knows where to go now, in this pandemic. I have a friend that has to move away because he cannot stay in Sao Paulo, and I think this is one of the most common scenes. People cannot stay in Sao Paulo because they can’t survive. Here it is difficult, the government is terrible. I dont work only with parties and electronic music, I also do programming so I’m in another situation. I can work. But the context of most people in Brazil is difficult because there is no way to survive in big cities. People have to move out. Now I think there are a lot of live streams that people don’t know, but I think no one is making money with the streams.
We all need to release, feel and heal and Glenn helps us to do that through his own experiences.
A: You’re in Mexico, no?
S: Right now under lock down in Berlin at a friends house in Neukölln, so no. We are a small family, with another firend, his little daughter, girlfriend and fluffy dog but usually do I live in Mexico City. I work a lot with Mexico at the moment and it’s similar to what you’re saying. They have a lot of collectives but Europeans don’t really know much about it. But with clubs or platforms like Yuyu or Naafi, they’re the projects that break through bigger audiences. Also Onda Mundial…
A: Onda Mundial is very new right? It was born last year!
S: Yeah. It’s super new. It’s a good platform. There’s a few people from Brazil that I love, Teto Preto for example. So…Where does the music come from? When you go to the north or south regions, is it still very electronic, or is it different? Is it more native, local?
A: The style is not very general. We hear different styles of house, techno… Here in Brazil we have folk but it changes according to the region of the country. We have the Rio de Janeiro folk (funk) which is different from the Sao Paulo funk and the north part of Brazil is different, completely another thing. Belo Horizonte is also different. Electronic music is like this! When you hear it you can perceive it. Belo Horizonte is very minimal, for example, focused on the little things, there are not so many elements in the music. In the north, there is another style of electronic music.
S: How do you know about this music? You sound very deeply interested in the country’s roots and the music. How do you know so much about music and where did you get all this knowledge from?
A: When we go to the street we listen to funk, pop, and things like that. When I travel to the north part of Brazil I get to know the music. Also I have a lot of friends living there and we send each other a lot of music. A lot of the music is pop, I think it’s easier to know about it.
S: Because it’s on the radio, taxis…
A: The folk specifically, yes. (maintain only yes)
S: Ok, cool. So it’s not very globalized. Because when you listen to the radio in Germany or the UK it’s a lot of American music. Its global theme, the top 100 of the world. So you don’t really have German or European classical music as the main cultural representation of music.
A: Here people still listen to Beyonce but local music is present.
S: Interesting. Where exactly are you coming from, the north right?
A: Minas Gerais. Centre-East.
S: Above Rio in São Paulo?
A: Near to Sao Paulo and Rio?
S: How is it there? How is life there? How is it different from Sao Paulo musically? Do you also have a big scene or a popular scene? Would you move away there because the infrastructure is better in Rio/Sao Paulo?
A: I moved to Sao Paulo because everything in Brazil is concentrated here. To work and do things, to work with culture and work with art things like that you basically have to live here. Because in other states it’s really hard. All my friends live in the north part of the country and they tell me it’s really difficult. They don’t have a lot of places to work with art or music, it’s very hard. Most of the people working in those areas live in Sao Paulo or Rio. They want to make it more sustainable.
S: Yes and that’s why the situation with the government right now is so terrible because everything is concentrated and it’s very easy to have most of the country under control, right?
A: Yes. The people working here with art and music have to move away because there’s no way to stay in Sao Paulo. It’s so delicate right now.
S: What do you think would help from all those powerful platforms of the electronic music scene in Europe that could generate, potentially, money? What would help you guys and what would help the scene? Is there even a way to help?
A: I believe the way to strengthen the scene in Brazil is through other countries of Latam. People are working but there is no space to show these things. It’s what I do in A-MIG. And I think the music here is very plural, people do different things, it’s not homogeneous. It’s not similar to Europe. (I think you can remove the comparison)
S: I’m basically doing this call because I want to put everyone together in this. The struggle in Latin America is that there is too little space for artists to present their work. You have a lot of Boiler Rooms, right? Do you like them?
A: Yeah… but the curation is always the problem. There are a lot of people working in different scenes but when Boiler Room comes to Brazil they talk to a specific group of people and it’s always the same people. There’s no space for other people. It’s difficult in general because the people that make the curation don’t care a lot about this thing about making space for others. It’s a problem, because in the end it’s a little bit poor.
S: It has to do with time because people have to curate so many shows and there is no time to really think outside of the box and do research on the actual scene because it takes time to find things. And it’s usually the same theme. You have those parties every weekend and you have residences and then those are the ones that play at Boiler Room because it’s easy.
A: But these things have to change at a certain point.
S: I’m happy that we got to talk.
A: Me too. And I think your work is very important.
S: Do you know Kenya?
A: Yes I do! She is a genius. She has a particular vision and is a great artist.
S: I see a lot about her and it’s very refreshing. Did you know, Valesuchi sent me your music for the Rinse FM podcast?
A: She is amazing, she always sends me emails and is always interested in the work of other people.
S: There are a lot of strong people in Latam that must be in conversation.
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