8-Bit and Acid Wash in Portuguese
If Banda UO’s breakout hit, “Shake de Amor” sounds eerily familiar through all the electro Casio punk production, it’s because it’s actually a cover of rapper and all-around-famous-kid Willow Smith’s, “Whip My Hair.” But if Jada Pinkett-Smith junior’s song is as cute as it gets, this song is about heartbreak, revenge, and bloodshed. And acid-washed starter jackets.
Formed in only 2010, the trio of Davi Sabbag, Mateus Carrilho, and Candy Mel have already become Internet sensations for that video, which features all three getting down in what looks like a junkyard. The plotline of the video is this (spoiler alert): Banda UO swear vengeance against Mick Jagger for breaking the heart of their female vocalist Candy Mel (who happens to be a bodacious transsexual), who avenges herself by shooting him (offscreen) in the desert.
The video is currently nominated for a VMB, Brazil’s biggest music prize. Of course.
Their crazy 8-bit covers don’t stop there — “Nao Quero Saber” (“I Don’t Want to Know”) is based on “Teenage Dream” by “Katy Perry,” “Foi Voce Quem Trouxe,” (“You’re The One Who Brought It”) is a cover of “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, which Mariah Carey recorded in 2009.
Their latest single, “O Gosto Amargo do Perfume” (“The Bitter Scent of Perfume”), takes it back to their brega roots with a romantic (punk electro) love song, but they also had a more contemporary influence — the song is a cover of “Something Good Can Work” by Two Door Cinema Club. The video for “Amargo,” which is just out this week, is more like a short film. Turns out all three of these musicians can really act. Especially Candy Mel, who plays vulnerable yet strong to the hilt as a housewife with a secret life as a brega singer.
Both Banda UO’s EP and upcoming debut full-length are produced by members of another Brazilian crossover act — Bonde do Role, a group that put a hipster spin on baile funk back in 2007. But although Banda UO is bawdy, just like Bonde do Role, you get the sense that UO really actually like all the genres they play with, from brega, to tecnobrega, to American top 40. It might have to do with the fact that they can all dance, and sing, and yes, even act! They’re triple threats, and they bring a commitment to the parody that makes the cheesiness humorous, not mean.
Also, their full-length will be all original material, and may not even be eletrobrega, they say. So these kids are going places, but we hope they don’t leave the cheese completely behind.
We promise that this video will make you smile:
Photo Courtesy of Banda UO