I’ve been taking Portuguese on Duolingo for the past year and am this close to earning my Legendary Purple Owl. So naturally I’ve been trying to show off that comprehension as much as possible. But with the exception of Michael Crockett’s Horizontes every Sunday from 7-9PM, we simply don’t have a ton of Brazilian music coming through the Austin Music Experience. That said, there’s a Carioca who recently made his way into the continental United States that could soon become a new personal favorite.
I’m talking about Rio de Janeiro’s Roger José Cury, better known by his stage name Rogê. Rogê spent years immersed in Rio’s nightlife refining his idiosyncratic style of Brazilian Soul and Samba Funk. That hard work soon heaved Rogê into a household name, thanks to a co-writing credit for Brazil’s 2016 Olympic Games theme music. In 2020 Rogê hit the road with fellow Carioca Seu Jorge for a U.S. tour, which ultimately got cut short due to COVID. But now that’s Rogê calls Los Angeles home, he’s begun what may be his biggest chapter yet.
Rogê’s debut American release (semi-eponymously titled Curyman) was created in deep collaboration with Budos Band guitarist/Menahan Street Band founder Thomas Brenneck, who’s lent his talents to Mark Ronson, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and the late legends Amy Winehouse, Charles Bradley, and Sharon Jones. According to o anúncio from esta manhã, Curyman comes out February 2nd, and Rogê has two gigs with Gipsy Kings next weekend in L.A.. But with summer in full swing, Rogê’s gone ahead and handed us Curyman‘s lead single, “Pra Vida”. Perfeito na praia or just in a mid-week mental resort, “Pra Vida” channels Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 with sandy acoustic guitar and breezy group vocals for an experience that’ll have you reinvesting in the magic of life, language barriers be damned.