Arp Frique returns with a brand new release on his imprint Colorful World Records in collaboration with Rush Hour. A compilation of 12 Cape Verdean gems assembled with the help and knowledge of Americo Brito, there is a very special story behind it. Americo Brito, who
features on Arp Frique’s original Nos Magia, is a proud and important member of the Cape Verdean community in Rotterdam. His story reveals the historical connections between radio, vinyl, Cabo Verde and Rotterdam’s international music scene in the 70s and 80s.
Cape Verdean insiders say “we export all they have to other countries, only to import it back again”. Cape Verdeans have migrated all over the world, mainly to cities with big harbours, like New York, Boston and Rotterdam (Holland). Rotterdam became one of the main destinations
(next to Portugal) on the European mainland. When Americo, like many of his friends and relatives moved to Rotterdam, he quickly became infected with the music virus. Surrounded on a daily basis by Cape Verdean music in Portuguese pensions and small hotels, this was where sailors ingested a dose of “sodade” through the interpretations of their beloved music by the local Cape Verdean artists. Americo took to the stage with his band Djarama in the 70s and 80s. The live music scene was buzzing and the Cape Verdean community had their own infrastructure for arranging shows, often in nightclubs where the band had to bring their own soundsystem. Interestingly, Americo didn’t stick to performing and recording music. He found another way to help spread the Cape Verdean magical secret of music across Rotterdam, Holland and beyond: “There was this spot in Rotterdam where all foreign radio stations were housed, all these different nationalities together, Surinam, Cape Verdean, Hindustani…Guy Ramos and some of my other friends made radio in the 80s there. I got involved in their radio activities. Later on I started to work as a technician and eventually as producer and radio DJ for “Radio Voz De Cabo Verde”. Radio became bigger and there were around 4 different Cape Verdean stations active at one point in Rotterdam. instrumental in the development of this was the attic of a Dutch friend, where “Radio Babalu” came to life. Radio has always held a special place in my heart.” Americo’s music collection stems from this era, also aided by his many travels across Europe to cities with Cape Verdean communities. Alongside Rotterdam local, Arp Frique, Americo unveils some of these songs: dancefloor hits and beloved radio gems known in the Cape Verdean scene by younger and older generations alike, and so far undiscovered by a “bigger” audience. The compilation showcases the worldly view of Cape Verdean music, incorporating knowledge from their travels in their compositions. It ranges from the obvious funana and coladeira, to the more unexpected influences of deep disco, new wave, uptempo reggae, jazz-funk and Brazilian pop music; demonstrating just the tip of the iceberg, but what an amazing t(r)ip it is!