Movement: an act of changing physical location or position or of having this changed; A change or development in something; A group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas.
That’s The Groov, a collective that promotes events and artists, working together to bring change and progress to the funk/soul/hip hop scene of Rio De Janeiro in Brazil.
To understand a little more about The Groov, we interviewed Rodney; Dj, producer, and one of the minds behind this crew that have been up and rising for around 3 years.
What’s happenin’ Rodney? How’s everything?
Im good! Better now (laughs)
Thanks for getting together with us for this interview! Tell us a little bit about The Groov and what sparked all this mighty heavy funkiness you guys been puttin out
Brotha, that’s a hard question because even thou I started it, we’re a team on The Groov, but lets get on it…
My father was friends with the owner of Rio Sampa, a famous venue here in Rio, so when they had funk shows there my father would take me and put me back stage with all the heavy names of that time; people like, Mc Galo, Suel e Amaro, William e Duda, Danda e Tafarel, Marcinho e Goro, Mc Charlote, Cidinho e Doca…
I loved all that! They would get on stage with me, dance with me and my brother, it was everything a kid that loved funk would dream of. On Sundays there were shows for kids that our father would take us, there I would meet all these MC’s too. All this shaped my soul and everything that makes this crazy brother here that fights for this culture roots.
So little after that my father became the manager of this rap group called Nocaute, from there it was all magic; backstages, studio visits, I would see Falcão from O Rappa and lots of other important figures on the scene. By 12 I was listening to Racionais Mc’s, Planet Hemp, 2Pac, Charlie Brown Jr, and of course Nocaute, I can say that was my school, if you know what I mean (laughs).
So back to The Groov, I did a music production course when I was 20 and I decided I wanted to work with music, so I tried creating other events but they didn’t went forward. Then one day my friend and partner Pedro Lanat went thru some trouble, when he was back on his feet, I called him to talk about all my dreams and thoughts, from there on its on the move and you can follow in our page the everyday fight! But I can tell you that it was the beginning of a lot of fight and love for something we will never give up. We’ll never give give up in representing art and culture.
That’s deep; we’re together with you on this fight brother. Who would you say that were the names of music and arts that influenced The Groov ?
Man, that would be an impossible answer, because as a music research lover, I could tell you 30 names and that wouldn’t be enough, by let me try… To make this simple imma name a collective (laughs)
Hip Hop: Soulquarians
Funk: James Brown (what he created its surreal)
Jamaican Music: Mikael Rose
Masters of the craft … What’s the relationship between The Groov, street art and arts in general?
Everywhere, all our events don’t happen if every element of hip-hop isn’t involved; so graffiti, dance, and music of course.
Represent! Nowadays what are the core elements that The Groov carries on the movement?
The fight for the essence, even if that means an event with fewer people (which we’re blessed to be something rare). I see it as a differential, because many walk away from their roots, and instead on staying strong until the light show for them to follow to success. So we stay true to our roots, forever.
Right on, and what’s the main thing that has to always be present on a The Groov event?
Good artists and our people involved and of course, original black music.
Rio De Janeiro have a strong tradition in producing very original funk and soul music (names like Gerson King Combo and Banda Black Rio to name a few). In your opinion, who are the main figures in architecting this amazing music scene?
TIM MAIA, Jorge Ben (yes, hes funk, samba and soul), and I can tell that even in their own heavier way, O Rappa; they inspire me just as The Roots do (of course its not funk, but carries the same essence), and of course the ones you said. Banda Black Rio it’s always on my universal groove sets.
And about the Rio de Janeiro scene right now, which names of the Funk and Soul music would you been listening / recommend?
Man, I think that the original funk bands scene its almost dead, there’s the brothers from Funky Nos Chama (which played at The Groov 3 times) that are really good, but out on the big names, I haven’t heard anything that called my attention (sorry anyone) (laughs). There is always someone screaming, “hey look at us!” but nothing…
Gets hard now that I have been finding all amazing nu funk and rare from outside, but from this thing they been calling funk that’s on the mainstream today, I don’t listen to not even one of them.
And on a world level?
There’s so many names… I really dig Soulive, Orgone, Hipnotic Brass Ensemble, The Galactic, Lettuce, Quantic, Alice Russel…
Good Stuff. As a DJ/Producer, what sounds and elements you see as essential in your music?
Groove and brass instruments.
What paths have you been working for The Groov to follow? Events, productions?
So, besides our events, this year we will be starting our own label, and release two artists, Luana Karoo and Ayo Da Poet. This year we want to take a step forward towards bigger events; a 3000 people festival.