Afrocidade

It is quite clear that the band Afrocidade was born from a gathering of percussionists. The first members met in 2011 and co-founded Afrocidade when the music core at Cidade do Saber, a not for profit organization located in the city of Camaçari, Bahia offered percussion workshops. The percussive rhythms evident in the music and present in several genres provide the basis for the formation of the musical identity of the band.

The sound is a result of the various expressions and dimensions of black music, which the group calls Afro-Regional-Beat. “It is a mixture of politicized lyrics, with popular rhythms such as arrocha and pagode, as well as afro, Jamaican dub, reggae, ragga and afrobeat,” explains the drummer and producer Eric Mazzone. In addition to paying homage to African drums, Afrocidade reaffirms strength, importance and influence from the ethnic values of the people of Bahia and Brazil in its lyrics.

“Our histories are rooted in Africa. Between the coming and going of the people oppressed by slavery. Afrocidade has been breaking the diaspora. Nations rise and throw the chains for unity.” DIÁSPORA – Afrocidade

Aware of the surroundings and issues present in everyday life, Afrocidade brings reflections on the oppression of black people and black consciousness, thus expressing its perspective of the world. The band consists of Jose Macedo, Rafael Lima, Fernanda Maia, Ueslei Melo, Marley Lima (bass), Fal Silva (guitar), Sulivan Nunes (keyboard) and Eric Mazzone (drums). The woodwind triplets are formed by invited musicians. In this way, Afrocidade can easily be called a Big Band influence and distinct musicality that form one unit.

Before defining the current identity of the band, Afrocidade played live music for a local dance group. Afterwards, Afrocidade began performing at events promoted by this dance group. During this period, their repertoire was filled with re-writing of popular songs by Bahian artists and bands, such as Olodum and Caetano Veloso  as well as covers of the Nação Zumbi  a band from Pernambuco, which has a strong influence on the writing of the group’s lyrics. On the same note, it is worth emphasizing that these influences permeate several universes. “All music from Bahia influenced the construction of our sound. From groups like Ilê Aiyê and Malê de Balê to Igor Kannário  From Rumpilezz to Silvano Salles. From Timbalada to FelaKuti. We follow the alternative circuit scene both locally and nationally. From the cultural scene from Recife to Belém, Pará. Also, a great deal of national and international rap,” says the drummer.

The band has a captive audience in its native city (Camaçari) that has songs such as the hit ‘Que Swingue é Esse?’ on the tip of the tongue – and feet. Afrocidade recently released the first EP titled ‘Cabeça de Tambor’ (Drum Head) in 2016, which was financed by Funceb, the Bahia Cultural Foundation through the Calendar of Arts edition. Afrocidade continues on a mission to embody aspects of contemporary life and reflect the city in movement, revealing its nuances and valuing differences. The drums spread out and honors the ancestry of the people from Bahia.

Most of the compositions are a result of the partnership between Macedo and Mazzone. To them, what strongly represents their identity as a band are the meanings and fusion of words embedded in the name of the band “Afrocidade,” which is also the opening track of the “Cabeça de Tambor” EP. The song begins with a minute of instrumental music and follows with lyrics that reflect and capture the contemporary daily life of large urban cities.

“Asphalt, cement, houses, buildings, automobiles, large metropolis, megalopolises, poor spirits. Where the lower fall lower and the upper rise higher, weakening the majority while the minority live as a hobby. If they steal, in Babylon I do not imprison myself, free, I light the fire and watch everything happen.” AFROCIDADE – Afrocidade

 

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