Interview Series: Reggae In Brazil

Interviewee Marcello Hermont From Brazil –

ReggaePlus: Reggae has grown in popularity in your country. What reggae artists have performed there?
Marcello: International artists like Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Big Mountain, The Wailers, Andrew Tosh, Julian Marley, Ziggy Marley & MM, Pato Banton, Inner Circle, Nabby Clifford, Jamaica Steel Band, Junior Marvin and many others.

ReggaePlus: What is the reggae scene like there?
Marcello: We see reggae like a protest and a festive music that inspires the young to think about the country’s reality (the social and economic contrast) and we have good times while finding forces to face the reality. Reggae came to show the people that we have to unite because we’re all equal.

ReggaePlus: What was the first reggae song you ever heard?
Marcello: My first reggae song was Talkin’ Blues when I was 12.

ReggaePlus: Who is your favorite reggae artist? Who and what are your influences?
Marcello: Bob Marley, he is my favorite and my influence.

ReggaePlus:What style of reggae is played often in your country? What style do the majority of fans seem to prefer?
Marcello: We like what we call Reggae Roots. The Bob Marley style.

ReggaePlus: Was the fact that reggae is English and Patois a barrier?
Marcello: The language is very important. The majority of our people dont have money to pay for english courses. If English is not understandable, Patois is even more so. We love the rhythm and melody and I think it helps to understand some of the lyrics.

ReggaePlus:Is reggae main stream and played on the radio there? Any videos on TV?
Marcello:We have a lot of reggae sessions on the media.

ReggaePlus:How is reggae influencing your culture?
Marcello: Like I said, reggae helps the youth to see the reality. Reggae changes your life style and your way of thinking. Reggae helps to approximate the people and show that we’re all equal.

ReggaePlus:If someone travelled to visit your home and wanted to hear reggae music what would they have to do?
Marcello:Talk to me and we gonna have good, good times.

ReggaePlus:How would you describe your countrys’ reggae sound and development?
Marcello:Very good. We’re making reggae in the Portuguese language with direct Jamaican influences. We learned all by just listening to the music.

ReggaePlus:What are some of the names of the popular local artistes? Who would be the top 5?
Marcello: Gilberto Gil, Fauzi Beyound, Tony Garrido, Edson Gomes, Ras Bernardo, Dom Luiz and many more. In my opinion: 1) Tribo de Jah 2) Edson Gomes 3) Mystical Roots 4) DJAMBI 5) Bob Marley covers.

ReggaePlus:How did you get interested in reggae?
Marcello: A friend, a surfboarder, showed me the Talkin’ Blues album in a k7 tape when I was 12. I loved the rhythm. Now I’m 24 and my love for reggae is always growing day by day.

ReggaePlus: Where do you think reggae will be in 10 years time?
Marcello: Reggae will be a powerful world music with a message.

ReggaePlus: Do you think there is anything preventing reggae from flourishing for you and your fellow artists there? How are you involved in reggae?
Marcello:Yes but I’m a Social Communication Professional that works in Advertising and Web-designing. I’m always trying to make contact with the Brazilian reggae musicians and also through the web site.

ReggaePlus:In some countries you might see people wearing a Jamaican-style hat with fake dreadlocks attached when they attend reggae concerts and other events. Do you see anything like that in your country?
Marcello:We see the hats and t-shirts but the dreadlocks and afro hair are really respected.

ReggaePlus:Have you ever been to Jamaica?
Marcello: Only in my dreams.

ReggaePlus: Do you have any Jamaican people living there?

ReggaePlus:What is the name of the top ‘Sound System’ there?
Marcello: We don’t have one.

ReggaePlus:Do you eat Jamaican food?
Marcello:The Brazilian food is very rich because of the diferent cultures that make up the Brazilian culture. We dont have a restaurant for Jamaican food.

ReggaePlus: Thank you for this interview and for supplying us with some of your music.

Marcello: Thank you for your interest in my country and our way of doing reggae music. Irie!


Listen to Reggae From Brazil…