This article explores the practices and strategies of three groups of musicians, each in a different city in Brazil, in order to understand how musicians and the markets in which they operate co-construct present-day musical careers. Depending on their musical and geographic histories, as well as their career goals, these artists navigate a national music industry that takes interest in and rewards representations of national music, regional identity, and genre hybridity, often in combination with one another. While these market pressures occasionally intersect with the artists’ aesthetic demands, this article focuses on the way such pressures are negotiated and reflected in the music of these midstream musicians. The article centers on the interactions between musicians and a competitive bidding process known as an edital, with a particular focus on Natura Musical, the edital administered by the cosmetics company Natura. Within such interactions, Brazilian-ness (or brasilidade) is considered as a pluralistic, market-driven notion and less a strict aesthetic choice or sonic characteristic.
Multiple Brasilidades: Musician-Market Negotiations within the Brazilian Midstream
Jacob Wolbert is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Berkeley and a professional percussionist. His forthcoming dissertation looks at encounters between popular musicians and corporations in urban Brazil and the way these encounters dialogue with notions of political economy, gift exchange, and musical Brazilian-ness.
Jacob Wolbert; Multiple Brasilidades: Musician-Market Negotiations within the Brazilian Midstream. Journal of Popular Music Studies 1 September 2023; 35 (3): 102–127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2023.35.3.102
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