Beautiful City: a tribute to São Paulo street art

I don’t think I could have learned to navigate my way around São Paulo without the street art. Artists like Eduardo Kobra, Os Gemeos, Paulo Ito, Cranio and many others were, in many ways, my tour guides. I learned a lot from their art and creative social commentary. Walking pass their artwork gave me a deeper connection to the people that live here. Their stories are right there on the walls.

It’s a shame that these talented artists are in a fight with the city’s new mayor, João Doria and his “Operation Beautiful City” initiative. Instead of trying to erase their work, he should listen to what the artists are saying. He should open his eyes and see the beauty it adds to an otherwise gray city. He should focus on the real issues that thousands of citizens have been flooding the streets to protest about. 

To honor the street artists, I’m sharing my collection of street art photos. 

Many of these have already been erased. 

“I believe that by using public spaces and talking about these issues [in São Paulo], we can create awareness in one person, one neighborhood, one city, or one country.”

– Eduardo Kobra on using street art to raise awareness about issues in São Paulo during our interview for Brasil Wire / Huffington Post in August 2015.

Revisit our conversation:

NOTE: I have total respect for the work of these artists, and I do know many of the artists photographed here. However, since I could not ID them all, I decided not to include any names. If you want to help me ID them feel free to contact me.

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Let’s Get Lyrical: RAP QUEEN EP

 

 

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RAP QUEEN EP is streaming everywhere! | Up Style Records

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Radio Stevie shares the stories behind each track on the RAP QUEEN EP.

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On Yas Queen, I started writing with a lot of anger, and I knew the beat would have to have some roughness to it. As I kept writing, it became a stream of consciousness of so many things that I was feeling at the time and still feel. But, I didn’t want to make a sad song or an angry protest song. I still wanted it to fit the theme of celebration and the Up Style vibe, so I took all that anger and made it a reminder that despite everything going on, I’m still here and I have a lot to offer creatively and I have a lot to be proud of too. Self-love is important and sometimes with so much negativity in the world, it can be hard to feel good about yourself. Especially when you’re black and queer. But, I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m ill. OK? YAAAAAS QUEEEEEN!

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I wrote Lucy about 5 years ago at a time where I probably wrote an entire album’s worth of synth-heavy tunes that were much darker in tone, but still lyrically light and playful. Depeche Mode is my favorite band ever and I love that era in music, which is why synths are very present across this EP. Also, as a writer, I love telling stories and creating characters. Lucy, is a mystery party girl who takes us to the next part of the EP, which is all party focused tracks. I hope to do a full record, full of characters and dark synths in the future.

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Recording in Brazil, I started to get worried that I wasn’t making music that would connect to the audience here. Folks would come in the studio and get down to all the tracks we were working on, but I could tell I needed something that really spoke to the people here. So, we started working on a song that focused on production, presented elements of Brazilian music, featured a familiar voice and is lyrically easy for people to understand. When I heard Aira Ocrespo’s music with Flavya, I was like, let’s get him on this record! He and Flavya gave it that extra special Brazilian touch the EP needed and we got to really play with the production. The end of the song is really hypnotizing and that was super fun to create.

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BOYS/GIRLS is the track that started it all. I wrote the lyrics after a night during pre-Carnaval with some drag performers. We were at a “bloco,” which are street parties leading up to the big Carnaval celebration, and they were planning some promo for their upcoming bloco in the Centro area of Sao Paulo. They slayed the shoot, and the party was super fun! Centro is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Carnaval is an experience everyone should have. Seriously. Not just for the parties, but for the culture. With samba being at the core of the celebration — It doesn’t get any better!

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2016 UP STYLE RECORDS

“YAS QUEEN” MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE

It’s official! Radio Stevie is here! Here is the video clip for the first single from the upcoming Rap Queen EP, which is available December 2, 2016, on Up Style Records. 

For the latest updates follow Radio Stevie online:

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VIDEO CREDITS:

Music was written & performed by Radio Stevie (Stephen J. Grant)
Music produced by DJ FlavYa
Music mixed & mastered by Carlos Hernandez
Video production by Bruno Sandini
Styling by OKAN Benin

BTS: RADIO STEVIE X SUPERJAZZ

While my debut EP RAP QUEEN is undergoing the mixing and mastering process, I am happy to announce that I have been invited to join a jazz band from São Paulo, Brazil called Superjazz for a special performance. Taking place at the elegant Bar de Cima in the Jardim Paulista neighborhood in São Paulo, I’ll be joining the band for two selections including a unique rendition of the Goldie classic, “Inner City Life” and “Searching” by Roy Ayers. Check out the short clip above to get a look into the rehearsals.

Stay up to date with the Radio Stevie music journey by following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Or, simply follow this site!

My debut EP RAP QUEEN produced by DJ Flavya arrives in November

Learn more about RAP QUEEN here.