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Brazil’s Leo Justi and the Art of Favela-izing

Brazil’s Leo Justi and the Art of Favela-izing

From Baile Funk to Throat Singing, Justi Makes Fusion Work

By Halley Bondy
July 9, 2012

Name: Leo Justi

Where he’s from: Rio de Janeiro

Genre: Brazil ghetto beats + electronic + hip-hop + moombahton + kuduro  = Heavy baile

When he started: 2010

Most like: Diplo, Zuzuka Poderosa

Sounds like: High-grade ayuasca

At a time when global bass is wooing producers the world over, pure inspiration is hard to come by. Then there’s Leo Justi: born, raised, and living in Rio, inspired by the sounds of the favelas, creating a fusion all his own, and making his sexy-booty remixes heard around the world.

Fusing countless global sounds and very palpable Brazilian street beats and folk samples, Leo has remix skills that pack satisfying dance floor punches. His recent take on M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” made it onto the UK/Sri Lankan diva’s remix EP, putting him on the same tracklist as Azealia Banks and Missy Elliott. The alternating tinny baile funk and dirty south beats had the blogosphere suddenly using Leo’s original term, “heavy baile,” which seems to mean: a little bit of everything + hard + dark + Brazil.

Aside from MIA, Leo has remixed Blaqstarr and Savage Skulls — and the latter earned him love from Diplo himself. Leo is dropping an EP O Homem Mau, or “the bad man,” which you can preview here.

For some early day Justi, hear the remix of Savage Skulls that put him on the map.

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