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DJ K Bruxaria Sound
Illustration Jethro Nepomuceno

Dazed Mix: DJ K

For his exclusive Dazed Mix, the Brazilian DJ presents ‘an introduction to funk from the favelas of São Paulo’

If you’ve been keeping up with the soundwaves lately, you’ll be familiar with ‘bruxaria’ (meaning ‘witchcraft’), a punishing and experimental take on baile funk coming straight from São Paulo. One of the rising stars of Baile do Helipa, the street party that takes place in the city’s biggest favela, DJ K is one of its purveyors. Producing music since he was 17 years old, the Nyege Nyege-backed artist is behind Bruxaria Sound, the 17-strong collective of DJs and MCs whose sinister music is the sonic equivalent of a drug trip gone wrong. Wreaking havoc on our ear canals with horrorcore samples and high-pitched percussion, there’s a lawlessness to his music – best experienced on this year’s PANICO NO SUBMUNDO – that feels like the world is ending, but at least you’ll have a good time until it does.

For his exclusive Dazed Mix, DJ K presents the finest bruxaria sound has to offer, with a selection of original tracks from himself and other artists from the collective. “My Dazed Mix was thinking about the type of sound I like most in my songs and also about making an introduction to funk from the favelas of São Paulo,” he shares. “I put on my own productions and those of other Bruxaria Sound artists, but focusing on what I like to hear most.”

How would you describe the music scene in São Paulo? How has it influenced your sound?

DJ K: São Paulo’s music scene has changed drastically in the last few years. Currently, what is causing a musical transformation for many people is trap, rap and funk. I think funk is one of the main trends, probably the main one. In the favelas, funk is the best way we've found to be able to compete on equal terms with mainstream artists, because in funk you only need a computer and a microphone to produce music. That's why funk has been taking over from many genres considered famous and well-established in the country.

Tell me about your collective Bruxaria! How would you describe it?

DJ K: Bruxaria Sound is a project that I created. It’s a label that has a little more than 15 artists including MCs and DJs with the aim of creating different aspects of mandelão funk, which is the funk of São Paulos street parties. We were considering working with trap, but much later because we still need to consolidate funk. At Bruxaria Sound I seek to train artists who want to follow the same path that I followed. We work together and have big goals. Like every label, we started from scratch but we’ve already had a couple of hits – “Fode com os Raul Bigode” and “Então Brota, Eu Sei Que Tá Pensando em Mim”. It’s not much, but I’m already happy with the progress. I want to continue with Bruxaria Sound for my entire life. DJ K may end one day, but Bruxaria Sound won’t.

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

DJ K: My first musical memories were with my father. He was always my reference, he showed me a lot of music on the computer, of all types. He showed me Racionais MCs, Planet Hemp, Charlie Brown Jr., gospel, sertanejo, forró... He showed me everything so I could always have a basis when choosing and deciding what I wanted. I’m a big fan of rock and reggae. I also listen to a lot of trap. But my musical taste has a very strong influence from my father and my uncles too, who are musicians. I think rock had a big influence on the funk music that I do today. 

What would you say are some of your most formative musical experiences? 

DJ K: The experience that I think I will never forget was the first time I performed on stage. Not because it was a big show, a great performance or anything like that, but because of the experience of going on stage and having people looking at you. That show was really bad. I confess, I didn’t like it. People didn’t even pay much attention to me, because I didn’t know what to do, I was ashamed. But it was an experience that changed my life. Regardless of the number of shows I do today, I will never forget the first one I did. It was a catastrophe, especially because people didn’t know me. But I felt like I was going to start there. I said: this is what I want. I’m going to get on stage and do better and better.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

DJ K: The best advice I have received to date was from my father and mother, which is for me to keep all my progress silent and confidential so that no one finds out, no one puts evil eyes or tries to take down my work. There is a lot of evil in the world, so I always worked in silence and waited for my work to speak for me. So not talking about my plans was the best advice I received. Professionally, one of the best pieces of advice I received was from a friend of mine who recommended the Nyege Nyege crew to me and encouraged me to make this album with them.

What are you listening to at the moment?

DJ K: I like all types of music but lately I’ve been listening a lot to MC IG’s album, which was released a week ago, and I can’t stop listening. I also listen to Brazilian rap icons a lot. Practically every day I listen to Racionais MCs and Trilha Sonora do Gueto.

Tell us about your Dazed Mix.

My Dazed Mix was thinking about the type of sound I like most in my songs and also about making an introduction to funk from the favelas of São Paulo. I put on my own productions and those of other Bruxaria Sound artists, but focusing on what I like to hear most.

DJ K will perform at Unsound Festival, taking place between October 1 and 8, 2023 

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