Brazilian singer Luedji Luna re-connects with African ancestry through soulful world music
By Sound Check
June 1, 2017
Back in the days our parents and grandparents vaguely dreamt of our motherland Africa. But now more than ever, the children of the diaspora are connecting through art, travel and social media. The anticipating album Um Corpo no Mundo (A Body in the World) by sultry Afro-Brazilian singer Luedji Luna is an example of such encounters. A Facebook post led to a magical short film directed by myself, DC-based filmmaker Falani Afrika, shot by Carol Aó Freitas and starring singer Luedji Luna.
During a layover in Sao Paulo, I met Luedji in route to Salvador, Bahia to complete the production of upcoming documentary a Maestrina da Favela. We met again in Salvador bonding through the music of Oddisee and discussing the plights and parallels of African-Americans in the US and Afro-Brazilians.
By Falani Afrika*, AFROPUNK Contributor
In a racist society where the power of black women is often stereotyped as the “angry black woman,” Luedji’s music comes to me like a breath of fresh air. Her voice is strong but delicate, as she sings with the same fluidity of the waters separating us from Africa. An Afro-Brazilian lullaby, chanting of nostalgic desires to have a deeper connection with Africa and our ancestors. Although more than half the population is black, Brazil is a country with a systematic policy of whitening. Positive images of black people are not portrayed in mainstream media, politics and positions of power. Through music Luedji serves as a voice for the millions of Afro-Brazilians who are marginalized in everyday society.
Born in the Cabula quilombo (a runaway slave community), Luedji is the newest promise of Brazilian music, and why not say world music. The project will feature 10 tracks, the title track “Um Corpo no Mundo” has already been released and is a Youtube sensation due to the cinematic visions of Joyce Prado of Oxala Producoes. Luedji is raising funds to record the album on Brazilian crowdfunding platform Catarse. The album will be produced by Swedish musician Sebastian Notini, who produced Tiganá Santana’s last two albums, and the most recent work by Bahia’s Virginia Mama Kalunga.
Collaborate and make a contribution on Catarse and don’t hesitate to share the campaign with friends. From Salvador, Bahia we appreciate your support to bring this album to the world.
Photos by Tassia Nascimento