Of all the Fi's, this Brasilia fusion band is definitely the sexiest.
Sexy Fi certainly wins for one of the best band names we’ve encountered in awhile, and luckily, they also won our Artist of the Week contest, earning us a chance to get to know them and plaster their glorious moniker all over the site. The Brasilia quintet offers a hard-to-describe fusion of jazzy Afrobeat and fuzzy rock, and a range of influences from Madonna to Steely Dan — though, it’s hard to get them to take credit for their complex musicality, since they’re funny motherf**kers.
Watch us talk shop with vocalist Camila Zamith, guitarist JP Gomes, and guitarist/keys player Ivan Bicudo.
You guys are from Brasilia originally – it’s a place we don’t hear that much about. What is it like to grow up there?
Camila Zamith: You grow up with civil servants, modernist architecture, and the humidity of the Sahara desert.
What’s the rock scene like in your hometown? How does it compare to Sao Paulo’s?
JP Gomes: Brasília used to be the country’s “rock ‘n’ roll capital” back in the eighties and early nineties, but the scene is pretty much dead nowadays. There were literally hundreds of bands and a strong concert-going culture, but at some point there was a shift towards DJing. The live venues died out and so did the audience. The bands that remained still can’t get over side A of “Loveless.”
But being away from places like Rio and São Paulo gives you some perspective and frees you up from a lot of bullshit, creatively speaking. You’re completely free when there isn’t the slightest possibility of being successful.
Ivan Bicudo: In São Paulo they’re much better-dressed. That’s undeniable.
You guys had an indie hit of sorts under the name Nancy – why change your name and start all over?
Ivan Bicudo: It’s a very different band now. The lineup has been through so many changes we thought we might as well change the identity.
Camila Zamith: Have you tried googling “Nancy”?
What are some of your influences? I hear everything from garage rock to afrobeat…
Ivan Bicudo: I listened to a lot of Steely Dan growing up, on road trips.
Camila Zamith: Nina Simone, Beth Gibbons, Madonna and Michael Stipe.
JP Gomes: Lee Ranaldo, Moacir Santos, Caetano Veloso and Jim O’Rourke.
We haven’t seen any videos from Sexi Fi yet – can you give us a teaser of what’s to come?
Ivan Bicudo: I hear there will be explosions, a helicopter and guys in thongs, but I’m not making any promises.
What is your favorite new Brazilian act out today (other than yourselves, of course!)
JP Gomes: Satanique Samba Trio. They’re like a capoeira band from Compton.
Ivan Bicudo: I like Bixiga 70, an afrobeat group from São Paulo. They stick to that trademark Fela Kuti sound. Not exactly groundbreaking, but they’re very adept.
Psychedelia seems to be really in style these days – everywhere, but especially in Brazil. Is there a Tropicalia revival happening?
Ivan Bicudo: Tropicalia will never happen again, at least not on our watch.
If your music was an animal, what would it be?
JP Gomes: A gay scorpion. Something that can give you a blissful sting.
What environment do you recommend for listening to Sexy Fi? The beach? The couch? Extreme sports racing?
JP Gomes: Flying over Brasília at dawn, while everyone is still asleep. This is where we live.
What’s next for Sexy Fi?
JP Gomes: Anxiously waiting for October 22, when our album comes out on Far Out Records.
Ivan Bicudo: We’re currently rehearsing to take the new material out on the road. While we’re at it, we might develop new stuff for the next album. A quick stop at Disneyland couldn’t hurt.
In 20 years, you want to be known for ______
JP Gomes: Our elegant guitars and quirky sense of humor.