LinikerLeila Pentead

Liniker is a political symbol of hope for Brazil's LGBTQ+ community.

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LocationSão Paulo, Brazil

    In Brazil, where LGBTQ+ people are constantly at risk of institutional and physical violence, the soulful presence and global visibility of singer and composer Liniker is in itself a political symbol of resistance, power, and hope. A black, Brazilian transgender woman, Liniker sings poetically about love and loss; her disarmingly powerful voice undulating over the silky sounds and groove of her band, Os Caramelows.

    Hailing from Araraquara, a city on the outskirts of São Paulo, Liniker is known as much for her LGBTQ+ activism as she is for her music, and in January 2019 she received the title of UN Free & Equal Brazil Equality Champion from the United Nations. “In my work, I’m connected with the truth (of) things that inspire (me),” Liniker says. “I like to look in the eyes of my audience and catch myself inside them; I’m sharing my feelings and issues, and it’s like a fresh breath in my mind. I’m driving myself in this ancestral route.”

    Since their debut album Remonta in 2016, Liniker and her band have played more than 200 shows in 20 countries. You would forgive them for taking a break, but – following the release of a second album Goela Abaixo in March 2019 – they are about to start a new world tour. Shows across Europe, Canada, and the US have been announced, with dates in Dublin and London in late May, before Liniker plays Glastonbury festival for the first time in June. “I hope to feel everything,” Liniker says, “And not lose (a single) moment of good things.”

    Biju Belinky