The London “Malandro”

A Londoner since 2005, when he moved from Rio, singer and composer Ulisses Bezerra, son of Brazilian legend Bezerra da Silva, just released his first album in the UK, out now on download only from FarOut Recordings.

After playing in most of the Brazilian venues in the UK, touring Europe as part of the “latin” group Peyote for President and playing for large crowds, he focused in his solo career and now plays songs by his father alongside his own compositions. Ulisses says he tries to keep the traditional maliciousness of the “Malandros” from Lapa, a bohemian neighbourhood in Rio, and “finding his own artistic personality and project the Brazilian music culture” rather than trying to extend his father’s works.

With a sound that reminds of a modern Gilberto Gil, Ulisses shows confidence by fusing electronic sounds to his wide range of typical Brazilian rhythms, as seen in songs like “Baioneiro” and “2000 e Não Sei”, the title track. When he sings in English, somehow it feels short and out of place though. Thankfully he only does it once with “The Sentence”.

When he sings in Portuguese, Ulisses talks about our modern problems and even fantasizes as if he was in an auto-exile in the outer space, singing ”I will build a space craft and go away without a course and alone before the whole of Brazil explodes” (Auto Exílio no Espaço).

It’s definitely an interesting debut, the sound of someone trying to leave behind such a heavy burden of being the son of a Brazilian legend, finding his place among the UK music scene.

For more information, please visit the FarOut Recordings website.

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