An Afro-Brazilian-Disco classic in the making. Jonny Mintaka brings a raw and authentic energy to this disco edit of Soma Soma’s Coragem. Syndrum blips & spring reverb claps drop away for classic percussion break downs. Due for release on a very limited edition 7”. This ones going to appeal to the disco chic and tropical groovers alike.
Bristol’s Anglo-Brazilian groovers are renowned for their distinctive blend of afro-brazilian sounds. Sung in Brazilian Portuguese, with winding compositions, soaring horns and driving percussion, they deliver an emotionally vibrant experience that will transport you to sunnier climes.
Soma Soma’s second album “Agua Viva” is due to be released via Mintaka Records towards the end of 2021 and the latest single Ô Meu Pai is out now.*
The Hoof caught up with Artur from the band for a chat
Tell us about yourself, when and how did you get into music.
Artur: I was born in Brazil and moved to the UK in 2013. Music has always been in my life, my father plays the guitar and at age 10 I started strumming my first chords. One of my first songs I learned was Wish you were here by Pink Floyd. My father was into Brazilian music but also enjoyed a lot of rock music from the 60s-80s. I have have always had a rather eclectic taste in music. More into rock and roll in my early teens, psychedelic in my late teens and Brazilian/African music later in my life.
What’s the inspiration behind the Coragem and the new LP Agua Viva and the overall sound of the band.
Artur: coragem is about the hardship of living. The everyday tasks we go through, faithfully hopeful that we will get somewhere, a place in heaven, selfishly not realising that the world can be cruel and unfair.
Água Viva LP focus on several themes hoping that each will speak truly to a varied audience. It opens with a song I wrote to my father, through to tracks about becoming an adult, love, it is about longing for warmer weather, for home. The title track reflects on mental health for example. So it is a journey. It is a very progressive album. The songs are like story telling.
Tell us about a classic track, something that has inspired yourself or the band as a whole or just one you all love and never get sick of listening to
Not just to me personally, but since I introduced him the band, Jorge Ben has been one of our main references. The entire ‘A Tábua de Esmeralda’1974 is a masterpiece. Errare Humanum Est plays in my head pretty much every day. It is immersively beautiful.
Can you recommend any new music, something that you have just discovered or are just really digging at the moment, maybe some tour bus music (pre covid times)
Brazilian artist Sessa’s album Grandeza is a beautiful journey. People should definitely have a listens
How have you kept busy during the last year has the pandemic stifled your creativity or the free time allowed you to experiment more.
Though we weren’t meeting up for rehearsals, we made a couple of home recordings remotely along with videos of us at home. It was a nice way to keep busy and create content. I kept playing around with some ideas for new songs and whenever there was a window where restrictions were lifted we met in studio to practice some new ideas. Of course we missed gigs and all. But the quiet time served us well too. Some of us had babies, others devoted to solo projects, it has been an important time for us to develop as individuals too.
What does 2021 look like for the band, your hope and dreams, exciting future plans, new releases, tours or gigs.
We are releasing the first single from Agua Viva on 06/08. As a big band, it has become more difficult to get booked. But we got some dates and we are studying the best time to release the Agua Viva full album. There might be a second single and videos. We are also hitting the studio to record new material. So that is exciting. The group is really chilled nowadays. We have learnt that we don’t need to push to hard, deal with the anxieties etc… we shall just let things happens as they shall.
Do you think playlists are important – what’s the future of the playlist, can you let us about any other playlists you admire or just really digging at the minute.
I think any platform that allows artists to have an audience is important. I myself find great music through playlists. I tend to follow more general, world music lists, but mostly enjoy artists radios and things such as discover weekly. Spotify’s Funk and Disco Zamaan is one I keep returning to so I am led to other discoveries.
How do you connect with your audience – email, social media, PR firms, etc.
We are trying to become more effective in social media. The necessary evil. We use it a lot as if it were our website. But for us it would always preferably be through live performance. We are working with PR firms in the UK and in Brazil to help us promote the new album. Social media accounts devoted to promoting new music are becoming more and more essential too introduce independent musicians to new audiences.
What’s best, 10k streams on Spotify or 10 albums sold on Bandcamp? Why?
I wouldn’t say it is a matter of best. 10 albums sold would mean we have an organic reach. Would mean that the work is being done right and people are buying into your ideas. If you play 5 gigs to say, 1000 people in total, 10 albums sold is pretty good going.
10k streams doesn’t mean you have made it. The algorithms are doing the work. But it looks attractive to those who are booking the bands for a live performance for example. As if 10k streams mean 10 thousand people follow you.
It is how you perceive either of those engagements. Some bands may have hundreds of thousands of streams that don’t necessarily translate into success. But again, it looks good on paper. It is all part of how the machine works . Likes and follows and numbers of views and streams are ego boosters. But we have to be careful to not let that be what drives us to keep being creative, writing and performing.
In short, any form of audience for an artist is a positive.
What’s the best way a fan can help you today? If they had a spare ten minutes – what is the best thing they could do to help you.
By listening to the music and by understanding the journey. If you like what you hear, then perhaps recommend us to friends and family. Play a song or two at a party, buy a vinyl, come to the gigs and dance with us. It just feels nice when people genuinely care 🙂
* text provided by label/artist