I first heard of the Brazilian singer, Liniker, late last year when my housemate played me his single, Zero. I was instantly struck by how soulful this guys voice was and so I quickly joined Liniker’s Facebook group. Then, before carnival this year, I managed to get my hands on tickets to his show at Z Carniceria in São Paulo.
The day after buying these I decided to do some homework and learn a bit more about Liniker. Here is what I found out:
- He is from the city of Araraquara, which is also where my friend Gabriel is from. Gabriel and Liniker have never met though, which I know is only interesting to me! But I didn’t know anyone else outside of Gabriel’s family who came from this city. On a side note, I find this city name quite a challenge to pronounce. Araraquara has a suspiciously high number of ‘ra’ sounds for a 10 letter word, right? It feels almost as unnatural for me to say as Anhangabau and cabeleireiro.
- Liniker’s mother named him after the former England international footballer, Gary Lineker. As a Brit, reading about this link back to the UK is very random!
- Liniker is only twenty years old. Like seriously, he is just twenty. I was surprised when I heard this, given how mature his voice already sounds.
- Within just one week of releasing the video for Zero, he had accumulated over one million hits on Youtube.
- Liniker is quite vocal about the fact he has set out to break down barriers with how people see gender. He has a moustache, is proficient in the art of applying lipstick and is also a big fan of dresses and skirts. Needless to say, Liniker is an artist with something to say. This was further confirmed by interviews I’ve read in which he says things like: “Sou negro, pobre e gay e tenho potência também” (I’m black, poor, gay and I also have power).
For those of you who haven’t heard of him yet, here is an acoustic version of Zero.
The thing that frustrated me about going to this show with my Brazilian friends was that when they saw that the show started at 11pm, they all collectively aimed to get to the venue for around 11.15pm. I was like COOOMMMEEE OOONNNN! (I’ve already talked about my frustrations when it comes to Brazilian punctuality in a previous post, but it is still an aspect of life here that still gets to me!).
“Guys, if we get there earlier we will avoid the line of people trying to get in at the same time AND not miss the first couple of songs.”
“Andrew” one of my friends said (in a patronising, have-you-quite-finished way), “Relax! We do’t need to be there early!”
So when we arrived at 11.20pm there was, naturally, a huge line of people waiting to get in. But no sooner had we joined the back of the line than my friend began reading a Facebook update from the event page; saying that Liniker would also be late on stage.
“You really should have figured out how we Brazilians do this time thing!” joked one of my friends. “Not even the singers are ready for their own shows on time!”
Actually, I remember once talking to a friend who went to see Ed Sheeran, and she had this to say: “I couldn’t believe it, the show started at 8pm and at exactly 8pm Ed walked on stage. I wasn’t expecting him to perform so early, but then he is from England!”
“Early?” I asked, wondering if she was joking. One look at her face told me she wasn’t though.
So the venue, Z Carniceria, is fairly new to Pinheiros. It used to be located on Rua Augusta but moved in December last year. I hadn’t been to these new premises before, so I was quite curious to check the place out…and I was impressed. Z Carniceria is decked out like a Wild West saloon with animal heads and neon signs hanging off the walls. There is a great selection of drinks on the menu too, which I was keen to take advantage of; what with it being a Friday night and also because I was intrigued by the gin and tonics served with peppercorns. As Z Carniceria is fairly intimate concert venue, after getting our drinks we were able to watch the show from within just a few meters of the stage.
Then Liniker and his band came out to perform and I was instantly taken by the intensity and power of this guys voice. I mean, I knew that it was going to be impressive after listening to a few of his songs on Youtube; however, I hadn’t expected it would sound even better live. There was a real authenticity to it, and it became clear very early on that he was also someone with a lot of personality and stage presence.
As was expected, the stand out moment of the gig came from his performance of Zero.
Afterwards, I reflected that in the whole time I’ve been in Brazil, most of my friends and students have been keen to tell me about how great the Brazilian music scene used to be. Very rarely do people tell me about the artists they’re excited about nowadays..Yet this show has made me wonder just how many other current Brazilian artists I’d enjoy seeing live, and that maybe it’s time to start opening my eyes (and ears!) to what else is out there.
Any suggestions of current Brazilian artists I should be listening to?