Jorge Ben Jor is a living legend and undisputed grandmaster of the Brazilian music scene with his fusion of samba, funk, rock and bossa nova and lyrics that blend humour and satire. The announcement of his concert during our Out Loud Festival created quite a stir with music lovers and the Brazilian community living on the Gold Coast.
Sharing the bill with Jorge are Liniker e os Caramelows, in their first-ever Australian performance. Headed by the incredible Liniker Barros it’s impossible to escape their sound in Brazil just now.
Perhaps not as widely known outside of Brazil as Jorge, Linker is a new kind of South American artist. Capturing hearts and minds with her dynamic voice, smooth style and the rawness of her performance, Liniker’s blend of Brazilian pop music with soul has made her a breath of fresh air and one of Brazil’s fastest rising stars.
A trans black woman who was born in Araraquara. a city in the southern state of São Paulo, Liniker was raised by a single mother in a musical household. Her early influences included samba rock, as well as jazz, soul, and R&B. Bands like Banda Black Rio, Clube do Balanço and Itamar Assumpção and contemporary artists such as Tulipa Ruiz also influenced her development as a songwriter.
After a brief foray into theatre studies, she realised music was her passion and she formed Liniker e os Caramelows in 2015. A video of one of their first songs, Zero, went viral with more than 1.5 million views on YouTube in the first week and propelling them to worldwide attention.
‘I remember when we went viral. People could recognize me on the streets, people sang our songs, but we didn’t have a career and the respect yet. I’m proud that nowadays we are able to travel around the world singing about love,‘ she said.
She’s previously said that being black, poor and queer was empowering and she’s something of a trailblazer in a country with the highest rates of LGBT hate crime in the world.
Her mother, one of her staunchest supporters, has always encouraged Liniker to be herself and her confidence, strength and resilience shine through in her songs.
She hopes to normalise the conversation around trans people in Brazil and uses her position as a musician to promote social change and represent black trans culture. She regularly speaks up about the violence against queer people in Brazil.
‘My visibility as a singer helps me to occupy spaces that aren’t the usual ones for trans women. That representation is so important. Brazil remains a very transphobic, chauvinist, racist country, with a lot of hate speech. When a trans woman takes the stage, that alone is political,’ she said
You can hear more from Linker, how she came to music and what’s important to her in this clip.
Performing for the first time in Australia you don’t want to miss seeing Liniker live, this will be one of those nights you talk about for a long time.
See Jorge Ben Jor + Liniker e os Caramelows on Friday 6 March at our Outdoor Stage, tickets here.