I Wandered Lonely as a Baile Funk Fan”¦

I wandered lonely as a Baile Funk fan – by Sapna Sanghvicheck Baile funk out on Youtube

One of the first conversations I ever had with John was on the last day of In The City 2008. Before I knew it, the conversation had come around to baile funk ”“ Brazilian favela music. At the time, I was playing indie clubs and pretty much clearing dancefloors with my baile funk 12s. Being a young and naïve DJ, knowing or caring little about ”Ëœreading the crowd’ I genuinely believed I was doing the people of Manchester a service by banging out Edu K and Bonde Do Role. Unfortunately the bar didn’t dig it so we parted company and I continued to spend my pennies on records that no one else particularly liked and that would never see the light of day.

Then when John told me that not only had he heard of baile funk, but that he loved it, I had faith in the world once more*. Not to mention someone I could share endless YouTube clips with.

This one’s a belter ”“ it’s the trailer for Diplo’s “Favela On Blast”. It never got proper distribution but watch this and tell me you don’t want to spend 90 minutes with the full length film? Warning: some of the dance moves aren’t for the faint hearted ”“ prudes, look away now.

In the words of The Observer “Rio funk customises raw bombastic Miami rhythms with percussive loops of samba drums and a lively and unrelenting Brazilian rapping style. It’s a music designed to be played as loud as possible, with the bass turned high in the sweltering, tropical night.” Yes, that.


*Anyone who thinks the folks associated with the Madchester scene or the Hacienda are stuck in the past then let this put you straight. Tony Wilson was massive into screamo and going to Enter Shikari gigs before he passed, and Clint Boon was last seen hanging off the speakers at Murkage, a bass/dubstep rave. Nuff said.


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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. I’ve long loved Baile Funk. I used to own a bar here in Birmingham and I resurrected one of the (to me) legendary club nights called Bongo Go, well I asked the original dj’s Zuppa Inglese and El Hombre Elastico to resurrect it. Bongo Go was one of the first club nights to play ‘world’ music and by the time my bar was operating they were spinning Baile Funk. When they dropped a track by MC Jack E Chocolate or Bonde de Tiagro the more purist latin music lovers would be disapproving. So it wasn’t just indie crowds not getting it! The Diplo film is well worth watching, get from iTunes.
    Definitely one of the things I need to do is get to a Baile Funk night in Brasil. For all sorts of reasons!:)


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