Eduardo Louzada is a key figure in the music scene of the Espírito Santo State, in Brazil. Without false modesty, he knows he was largely responsible for the appearance and encouragement of many independent bands and even the rescue of the local folklore like the Congo music. This cultural agitator works with music for over 20 years, has been an entrepreneur of some artists, producer and today he is a creator of opportunities for new artists. Edu Louzada is the director of Espírito Mundo project, a cultural exchange between Brazil and the world that includes music, workshops, business roundtables and Festivals Espírito Poitou (FR), Espírito Provence (FR), Espírito Brum (UK), Hay Espiritú Madrid (ES) and the Espirito Mundo Brazil. “That’s what moves me, but this is not what sustains me (unfortunately),” he says.
Next Wednesday, 17th, the festivals starts: Espírito Poitou – Celles Sur Belle, FR (17-20 August), Espírito Provence – Aix-en-Provence, FR (August 30 to September 5 ) Hay Espiritú Madrid, ES (Sept. 6), Espírito Brum – Birmingham, UK (14-18 September). Among the Brazilian artists are: Alexandre Lima & Radio Experienza (ES), Babilak Bah (MG / PB), Flavia Bittencourt (MA), Forró BEM TIVI (ES), among others. During a conversation with BRMusic Exchange, Edu explains how he could raise so many festivals in Europe.
How did you start making music?
For 20 years I was a shopkeeper and I started sponsoring some shows in Vitória City Then, I was already producing the events. I worked with great artists such as Roberto Carlos, Lenine, Maria Rita, Cidade Negra, Skank, Olodum. But I decided to do something for the music of my state because I realized that the Espírito Santo had great potential, but his musicianship was totally unknown in Brazil. I met a band called Mahnimal and dropped everything and work with them. Mahnimal threw me in the world and allowed me to do what I do today. I am also sure that with these Mahnimal trips to Europe, i gained experience to help many independent Brazilian bands to position themselves in the European market. In 2005 I joined the BM&A and started to attend international music fairs, where I had a new vision of the market.
How did the Espírito Mundo Program began?
The project began in a very unpretentious way. In the summer of 2005, French filmmaker AntoineViollet came to Vargem Alta, a mountain town in the interior of the Espírito Santo state and we were there playing with Mahnimal. The french was excited by what he saw, made a documentary with the band, which mixes world music with the popular culture of the Espírito Santo. Just the other year, we were on tour in Europe, when suddenly we were out of money and no place to sleep, so we decided to do a “visit” to our french friend … With this single visit to Antoine’s house in the village of Celles sur Belle, we started to go back oftenly. In the early years the house was simply a “shelter” for the group, and after a “little show” in the backyard, another in the central square, a largest one at Abadia Real, we received an invitation from La Ronde des Jurons Association to participate in government events. After a few years, in a concert in the Abadia Real, the mayor of Celles sur Belle became excited, and offered us the “key to the city.” Soon we got a festival in the city.
Back in Brazil in 2008, I was still Mahnimal´s manager and I joined Aline Yasmin and founded the Quorum Institute, which is responsible for a project called “Espírito Poitou.” In 2010 we created the project “Espírito Mundo” with the same concept of Poitou. In these four years, we took over 100 artists from Espírito Santos to France. In 2010 the city of Aix-en-Provence hosted the first extension of the festival. This year we will have (in August and September) the fourth edition of Espírito Poitou in Celles sur Belle and the second edition of the EspíritoProvence in Aix-en-Provence, France, and even the first releases of Espíritu Hay Madrid, in Spain and Espírito Brum, in Birmingham, England.
Why the band Mahnimal pleased France that much?
The Mahnimal is modern with popular culture. The rhythm, the drums, called the unprecedented attention of Europeans since the first presentation at Expo 98 in Lisbon. Where we arrived with $ 50 dollars to do only one show and ended up doing 11. After 34 days of travel, the Portuguese press regarded us as the revelation of Expo 98. Long before that, the Mahnimal had also won the prize of RFI (Radio France Internationale) as the best work in Latin America and the Caribbean.
What is the importance of BM&A in all this project?
BM&A was one of the first partners to believe in the project and was also responsible for introducing us to a large market in the world. Before we know the BM&A, we were all without the knowledge of the mechanisms available in the foreign market. It was through partnership with BM&A we decided to turn a simple Espírito Santo music festival in a program called Espírito Mundo, involving artists from all over Brazil and conquering new countries.
How is the selection of artists to perform at each of the festivals?
Will be around 30 Brazilian artists for music festival areas (Classical, Choro, Pop / World, MPB, Forro, Electronics), poetry, visual arts, video and dance.
We seek artists through a cooperative research in national and international fairs, and we receive material of artists interested in us through site of the Quorum Institute. As soon as one festival ends, we begin a pre-receivership, where you select an average of 100 bands and send to international partners. From there we begin to adjust according to interest / profile of the local public.
And you have a fifth festival in Spain, right?
I am a producer and director of The Cantos Na Maré - Brasil, Festival Internacional da música Lusófona that happens for eight years in Galicia, Spain. The intention is to form a network of agents leading the festival to all countries of the Portuguese language. But with the current crisis in Spain, our partners have delayed the event. Let’s hope we go back to Galicia in 2012.
The cities hosting the event are 100% prepared to receive our musicality?
What the world is.