By: Bella Papadopoulou
It doesn’t take long until visitors that come to Itacaré fall in love with the mellow atmopshere and the calm lifestyle. Except for the sun and a nice company, there is nothing like a good song that can fix your mood. A soft melody with a smooth rhythm that relaxes your thoughts and takes you on a trip to the end of the horizon.
There is no doubt about the fact that Reggae is the leading music style in Itacaré and judging by the laid back vibe, one can figure out quickly why that is. While samba and bossa nova are frequently played at the local bars, reggae tunes are coming from every corner and being sung by passing pedestrians through out the day.
Local Rógerio D´Lucca has been playing reggae for the Itacarénians for many years. Having one CD already produced and a new on the way, he constitutes one of the towns many talented artists.
”When I came here ten years ago people were already listening to reggae. Even though Itacaré is associated with being a surf town today, reggae is still very popular here” says Rógerio.
Growing up in Sao Paolo, where hip hop is dominating the musical scene, it was inevitable that he would not mix those tunes into his reggae songs.
”I identified with the rhythm and when I started listening to Bob Marley I could see myself playing this melody and feeling of the sound” says Rógerio.
The messages that reggae songs are forwarding is what makes it so special. It is a way to forward messages regarding human rights and justice through music” he says.
Being one of the favourite vacation spots in the world, Itacaré has recieved many international influences over the past years. One of them is, Argentinian bass player and singer, Belen Martos.
”I believe that Reggae in Itacaré is a more cultural thing. People don`t want to listen to types of music that requires intensive attention, they just want to be relaxed and have fun” says Belen.
Many compare her voice to a mix of Eryka Badu and Janice Jopplin, others find similarities in the style of Lauryn Hill. Either way, Belen is a beloved artist who is followed by the crowd when she performs on a weekly basis in the local bars.
”The special thing about reggae is that it kind of empties your mind. Not only for the dancing crowd, but also for myself when I am playing it” she says and continues ”I love to live and play in Itacaré beacuse it is a different feeling then back home. Here people work to live and not live to work”.