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Linn da Quebrada - Music Made Together

Words:

Edd Norval

Photos:

Vera Marmelo and Midnight Madness
July 7, 2021

Hailing from Brazil, the singer believes that music is not created, nor exists, in isolation, rather its creation and performance are collaborations between everyone involved at all stages - from songwriter to producer and eventually, the audience.

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The story of Lina Pereira is an unlikely one. There are millions of people in the favelas of Brazil, with São Paulo’s densely populated urban city areas mirrored by the cramped and impoverished living conditions of its shanty towns - houses built on hillside with no real architecture or infrastructure. It's chaos. 


Perched precariously, these houses are just like the people there, doing what they can to survive with the bare minimum and it is this harsh environment that sculpted Linn da Quebrada’s outlook as a musician and multimedia artist whose 2017 Pajubá album drew comparisons to Beyoncé’s Lemonade - thrusting her into the spotlight of Brazil's contemporary music scene and making her an icon of new Lusofone culture.


Ebbing between funk and hip-hop, the Brazilian’s music channels her home country’s influence and rhythm, whilst voicing something international too, like she’s bridging where she’s from and where she can see herself going. As a result, her music isn’t complete, but continually evolving, like an internal stream-of-consciousness made manifest, charting her version of reality and how she sees herself within that.

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Being a trans woman, the artist found her early life of religious study both a source of love, protection and guidance, but also a point of departure as her identity deviated from that of her youth. It was music that filled this void, a vessel that de Quebrada states, “carry this relationship between the sacred and the profane.”


With immensely performative shows - one can see them as similar to religious experiences - for the artist who immerses herself in a role the same way an evangelising preacher might seek to do so when rousing his parish. Despite the commonly made connotations of the artist as an activist, this is not how she views herself. There is no politics, only self-expression, to be interpreted as the audience sees fit, but without the weight of expectation or a pre-designed purpose beyond that of immediate feeling.


Interested in the body, Linn da Quebrada uses her own as a physical manifestation of various ideas, further developed through her own songs that feature autobiographical details of her life experiences. Beyond this, the artist is able to fictionalise narratives and identities, to tell stories that she witnesses as much as experiences in a swirling ficticious output. 


In the same way as we admire the method acting of Heath Ledger in his role as the Joker, we too should admire the full immersion of Linn da Quebrada, whose commitment to others - telling stories to help and enhance and creating music as a holistic experience - will surely lead others down a path of, in this day and age, arguably the most important thing - that of being willing to be entirely yourself, embracing the madness, weirdness and individual character that breaks from the tyranny of homogeneity.


You can see more of her here on YouTube, or hear more on Spotify.


Video by @expandingroots.

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