Local Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Music Scene
The local music scene of Rio de Janeiro makes up many of Brazil's national acts since it's the nation's biggest cities, as well as one of the most populated cities in the entire world. Rio de Janeiro shares some culture with another big music center, Sao Paulo, which is about a five hour drive west. Some of the most notable artists in the coast metropolis of Rio de Janeiro include singer-songwriter Amanda Bellino, spiritual artist TFCA, alternative singers Flávio Venturini and Kabas and rock band Holidays. Since the city is a resort destination that attracts tourists from around the world it is an excellent launching ground for South American talent.
One thing an indie band in Rio de Janeiro can do that many major label artists can't do is control the amount of content they release to the pubic. The heritage of the region is too deep to be overshadowed by international music. The city will long be remembered for songs like "The Girl From Ipanema." A Brazilian artist has the liberty to write, record and upload a song to the internet in one day if he or she wants to, whereas an major label artist might be restricted to do so. The fact that the unsigned artist has this flexibility opens the door to many possibilities of broadening the themes and boundaries of music.
Brazilians indie artists have the power to capitalize on a breaking news story by writing a song about it. The song "I Saved My Daughter" by MC Godo about the capture of drug trafficker Antonio Bonfim Lopes was a great example in late 2012. Getting news coverage on a local TV newscast is a quick way to get thousands of people checking out the artist's website. If the song catches on and the word spreads, it can potentially make national news. This idea rarely happens because it seems that a large percentage of the indie crowd is focusing on copying the bland meaningless formulas of national acts.
The history of local music in Rio de Janeiro has been that artists have been on the cutting edge of new technology, especially in the electronic realm. Platforms that have given unsigned artists a voice include ReverbNation, SoundCloud and BandCamp. There are many other additional places where artists can sign up from their bedrooms instead of going through music industry gatekeepers. In December 2012 Huffington Post wrote about how Rio de Janeiro's Music From the Favelas, unleashing Brazilian funk, was rising in popularity.
The likelihood of writing a song in your bedroom in Rio de Janeiro and uploading it to the internet without a label, then hitting number one on the charts, is slim, but each new day indie artists have a better shot at reaching more people with their music globally. In other words, indie music as an online revolution is still in its infancy, but opportunities are growing. There's a good chance that within a decade there will be more components in place that allow musicians to make all their money online.