The rapper from the Brazilian state of Bahia, better known by his
nickname Baco Exu Do Blues, has said he wanted to “make a blues record,
only without singing the blues”.
In a similar way, AKQA
São Paulo has made a video to accompany his new album which bares little
resemblance to a traditional music promo.
A seven-minute short film made in collaboration with the Coala Festival,
one of Brazil’s biggest independent music festivals, it is a profoundly
Young actor Kelson Succi stars as a man running through the streets of
São Paulo without explanation.
He makes his way through an occasionally surreal landscape which appears
to combine both real life and imagination.
Soundtracked by three songs from Baco’s new album – “Black and Silver”,
“Burning My Skin” and the title track – the film embraces universal
themes such as growing up and growing old, faith, family and friendship.
It challenges viewers’ preconceived notions about what they are
watching, with a series of striking tableaux and an underlying tension
that permeates the entire film.
But the overriding emotions that emerge from this extraordinary work are
ones of fulfillment and deep joy, a breathtaking celebration and a paean
to both individuality and togetherness.
Baco has said his music is for “anyone who has ever felt oppressed,
subjugated or devalued and does not want to be in that place”.
This is echoed by the cover of the Bluesman album, which features a
symbol of resistance, a photo of a prisoner wielding a guitar.
AKQA executive creative director Diego Machado said: “Influential
artists use their creativity to echo the reality of what’s going on in
the world to oppose bigotry, injustice and inequality. Baco Exu Do
Blues’s aspiration is to use his platform to challenge preconceptions
and become a positive, inspirational force in society through his craft.”
AKQA has previously collaborated with artists on both a local and global
scale to create work that transcends entertainment, absorbing
influences, melding cultures and forging connections with creative
With Usher AKQA created a video using facial recognition technology for
“Chains”, his anthem for the victims of oppression.
AKQA’s involvement in the Bluesman project included the video, which was
directed by Douglas Bernardt of Stink Films, cover art and launch event.
The music was written and performed by Baco Exu Do Blues.
AKQA is a next-generation design and communications company. We
collaborate with forward-thinking clients to create the future of their
customer experience. We work in partnership to express the unique
characteristics of their brand, and create value for their customers.
Our approach is entrepreneurial and collaborative. We design adaptive
digital services that capture the imagination and deliver measurable
impact for our clients.