dadá Joãozinho is a rising artist from Brazil whose debut solo album, tds bem Global (translation: all too Global) is due to be released on September 1st, 2023. His real name is João Rocha, and he was a member of the indie-pop group ROSABEGE, formed in 2017. Rocha was raised in a musical home; his father teaching him to play acoustic guitar at early teens. He wrote song lyrics on his mother’s computer and loved to listen to artists such as Akon, Sade and Marisa Monte on the family radio.
It was during the 2020 pandemic that Rocha created a new alter ego, dadá Joãozinho, which allowed him to, “be open to possibilities, other ways of singing, other sources of courage.” During the pandemic, Brazil experienced phases of intense isolation as well as toxicity within its politics. Under these circumstances, music became an even more important part of Rocha’s life; it became his driving force, stimulating his body to “move differently.” He sings what he means and plays what he feels.
Throughout this sombre time in Brazil, Rocha moved from Niterói to São Paulo at the age of twenty-three. The change of scenery influenced his sound; “there is a punk feeling about São Paulo for me. The multicultural aspect of it strokes me a lot too [sic], got me into a lot of things I hadn’t made sense of.” tds bem Global reflects past darkness, and the fear it repeating.. Rocha’s intention was to change and live life with new perspectives.
This album differs from previous endeavors with ROSEBEGE created in the Carioca Zona Sul, the neighbourhood that birthed Bossa Nova and synth pop. Rocha’s creative influences for tds bem Global are diverse: Bob Marley’s Exodus and Gilberto Gil’s Um Banda Um were frequently listened in the studio. In his spare time, he listened to Arca, Bad Brains, Itamar Assumpção, Black Alien, Playboi Carti, Talking Heads, Fela Kuti, Pharoah Sanders. Some of the production was undertaken from home, in Niterói with producers Ullmann and Chabudé. They experimented with instruments and samples, creating collages of sound and improvisation, and brought in friends to record percussion and wind. Last but not least, tttigo post-produced and mixed, adding the more electronic wave to the record. These factors culminated in an eclectic album of dub, hip hop, Latin, baile funk, punk and samba. Additionally, Rocha brought in a plethora of instruments, from electric and acoustic guitar, organ, electronic production to drum programming, among others.
Ô Lulu mixes an acoustic groove with organ stabs, hand drums and guitar ballistics.
Cuidado! (feat. Alceu, Bebé) has hip hop chops as the analogue synth and drum machine track weaves.
Minha Droga feels like a psychedelic dungeon with a syncopated mantra.
Outro Momento is a reverb-laden reprieve from the rhythm nation, Bossa-nova inspired.
Pai e Mãe is a sweet experimental samba.
There are multiple genres and instruments intercalated with stacked vocals, imposing horn stabs, organic and inorganic beats to be found in VEJA(feat JOCA).
There is no particular order to tds bem Global that guide the experience. Many of the songs express the theme of freedom, searching for ways to live, taking risks musically and in life, and trying to find joy within global madness. Each one of the songs means as much. His advice for the anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps is, “Keep doing, keep experimenting - I’m just getting started too.”
The release of tds bem Global resurfaces the debate of the creation or use of the arts during the sombre moments; it heals while it entertains. Art makes us reconnect or connect with our feelings, while providing comfort. It helps us to find the meaning of the lotus flower, which grows from the mud bottom of a lake and blossoms into an immaculate flower.
Rocha demonstrates that art can be a vital way of communicating and connects us all through humanity and experiences. In darker times, art can be the light to find the force and resilience in us.