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D2 SPEAKS ABOUT YOUR MOST COLLABORATIVE DISC: SO MY DRUMS PLAY

Marcelo D2 has always been a restless artist. Since his first work with Planet Hemp, he has always looked for new paths and new sounds. In his solo career, he added even more elements, approached samba and won the respect of fans, critics and musicians, establishing himself as one of the most creative artists in the Brazilian music scene.

Now, on completing 25 years of career and in the midst of an isolation imposed by Covid-19, Marcelo releases his eighth album, Assim Tocam Meus Tambores, whose creation process was transmitted entirely through the Twitch platform.

 In a conversation with the SIM portal, Marcelo D2 talks about this experience and the importance of the community he created and named “As Cria” in the process of composing this work.

How was the process of recording the album and what is the importance of producing and releasing an album in such a troubled time?

D2: This record got me out of the depression. I was worried about the uncertainty of the future, thinking about when everything would return to normal, if it will, how I would pay the bills, I wondered what I was going to do with my life. I tried to release the Planet album, but it only got worse, I was already finishing it when everything stopped, I couldn't find the guys anymore. But I want to release that album later this year.

 Then came the invitation from Twitch. I thought that the natural way would be to do something related to art. My wife and I do a live on Mondays talking about fine arts. I did another cooking and the Quarta às 20, where I talk about marijuana with doctors, lawyers, delegates, politicians. But all of this was not satisfying, I wanted something different and so I had this idea.

I started thinking about an online festival, my wife is a producer and one day she told me that this could be a manifesto for the release of my album.

So I created an event with the following question: “Do you know how to make a record via live streaming? No? Me neither!! But, starting this Saturday, we will discover this together. ” And so it happened a live with ten hours of transmission and guests that included DJ Nuts, Zegon, Pathy de Jesus, Sacha Rudy and Gaslamp Killer.

On the 5th I opened the camera, looking for a beat, trying to organize everything. Every morning I made a video where I talked about my influences, no music, but about photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, people like Basquiat, Glen Friedman, Spike Jonze, Spike Lee. He talked about them and ended up saying: my drums are playing.

 When did you realize the possibilities of open and collaborative creation?

D2: When I was invited by Twitch, I was told that the sense of community there was very great, and I replied that on YouTube and Facebook too. But man, when I got there, the first live I saw was from Ganja, (Daniel Ganjaman), to raise money for Criolo's technical team. I saw the guys in the chat and understood the sense of community. I had to understand that it is not a social network, it is a live streaming platform, it reminded me a lot of what Myspace was in the beginning, with everyone exchanging information. And when I met people there in the chat, like Raul Machado, it seemed that I had gone to a bar to exchange ideas with the crowd. And there I thought: This fuck works, this fuck is going to be cool, and so a community started, of the subscribers of the channel that I call "creates them."

You said that after 25 years of career, 22 within a major, you found more interesting paths. What are the differences of this new moment?

D2: It is freer, owning the record is fundamental. You know how painful that relationship with the record company is, thinking that the record, the phonogram will be in their hands for the rest of their lives. Just knowing that the record is in my hands and my family's already gives me a fucked up tranquility.

 I'm 52 years old, I've been through a lot in the world of music, I don't even know if it was the path I chose, to enter the mainstream, but today, knowing that I have 5,000 people there, supporting me by subscribing to the channel, super interested in my work, and buying my album, for me it is more important than having a million people going through YouTube, who are there to see my work, from Anitta, from Capital Inicial. Here is something about loyalty and commitment to fuck. I'm feeling like a fucking punk parade.

How was the relationship with this community that you created? How did they contribute to your work?

D2: I had a lot of collaboration from the fans. I wrote a song with free chat, in front of everyone. In the end I didn't use anything they wrote, but there was an interference, with the creative process all open it is impossible not to be affected by other people's opinions.

  For example, there was a video with a countdown, and there was a guy speaking ladies and gentlemen ... and the guys suggested it be in Portuguese. And a guy in the chat said he had a few stops, and sent me a record with the recording of the man reaching the moon, "a big step for humanity".

 And when I was looking for the beats, someone told me to look for Jorge Dubman, drummer for the Ifá band, from Salvador. And suddenly he appeared on the live and gave me the phone in the chat. I called him there, live, he told me he had some beats and it ended up in a song.

I want to make a diary because there was a lot, meeting with my lawyer to talk about copyright, a conversation with the historian Luiz Antônio Simas, who told me an Bakongo myth , which says that the supreme deity, Zambi, was tired of creation, and only rejoiced when he heard the sound of the first drum, Ng'oma. And they see creation as the fruit of drums, a very beautiful story. I wrote a monologue that was read by Criolo, and will enter the disc.

Did you experience any difficulties during this period of writing and recording?

D2: The process was unlike anything I had ever done. But it was exhausting, the more people involved the more energy is exchanged and the more you spend. Anyone who has made a record knows how it is. Now, imagine a disc with 120 people. It wasn't just invited musicians. There was a choir that was recorded by more than seventy subscribers to my channel. It was the most collaborative record I've ever made. My initial idea was to make an EP, with six tracks, but I got excited and in the end it became the album with ten songs. Now I'm fucked up with the bureaucracy, it's a lot of people, a lot of contracts, but I'm happy.

This stop made me very excited. I'm from the 90s, from the pirate radio era. I feel like the rebel, the transgressor, I have a TV in my living room with which I can talk to people every day

You are a person of great sensitivity. How was it to deal with this collaborative environment?  

D2: I was touched at various times. Had an amazing live with Mamão (Azymuth's drummer), I cried a lot, I'm a crybaby and at this moment we are very sensitive.

I feel silly, I'm talking about those stops that I always thought were strange, telling people you are cool, the fans are everything to me. It seemed silly but today I say that these guys are awesome. They who are supporting me and making it happen.

And everyone agreed to participate in the lives? Do everything there live?

There were people who participated in the album and preferred to record alone, without exposing the mistakes and successes, but I have no problem, I am quite unashamed about it. I think the creative process is already part of the work. Now I'm making a film here at home, which I call a disc to see. I think the look is very important and all this thinking is something cutting edge, revolutionary, the tip of an iceberg of things that are coming around.

How do you evaluate this experience, opened new paths? Is the future digital?

D2: Things are changing a lot, this digital revolution is much more human than the industrial revolution. We are used to seeing the creative process in making of but it doesn't work anymore, people really want to see it, they want to see it live.

The relationship with the musician will change. Who likes music likes this contact, the internet, social networks.

We were pushed into the future, which is talking about lives, communicating via the internet. It is a path that has no return, why go from office to office, why give a press conference if I can do everything over the internet, why go to a TV program, if I have my own station. As Gil Scott-Heron said, “the revolution is not going to be televised”, and I think we could include: it will be via live stream.

In the face of so much acceptance in this work, how do you evaluate the moment we went through?

D2: This moment is difficult, what we expected was to see people coming together for something common, that they had more solidarity, but this quarantine exposes an abominable side.

The ideal moment is to look for a place where you feel comfortable and safe. I am from the time when I judged people by the music they heard. Today I want to look for people, who like what I like, create this community that is close to my way of seeing life.

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