Baco Exu do Blues

Bluesman

Unifying audiences in the quest for equality and peace.

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Insight

The Brazilian rapper Baco Exu do Blues is making music “for anyone who has ever felt oppressed, subjugated or devalued, and does not want to be in that place”.

His second album Bluesman explores issues of national inequality and oppression, and it needed more than a traditional music video, to empower the message and unify audiences.

Idea

Three songs from the album are scored into a cinematic short film, applying universal themes of growing up, growing old, faith, family and friendship, to engage all viewers in the quest for equality and peace.

A young man is seen running through a surreal landscape that merges reality with imagination, including re-appropriated symbolism of resistance and dominance, with an unexpected narrative twist. The film challenges the audience’s preconceptions of race and human value, with an underlying tension that ultimately gives way to feelings of joy and hope.

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Impact

Baco Exu do Blues is harnessing his platform to challenge bigotry and injustice, and has become an inspirational social force for Brazil.

The album and film have received a string of awards, and have generated 20 million YouTube views and a 495% increase in the artist’s monthly Spotify listeners. The film has sparked an important new debate on institutionalised racism, and has inspired a national movement whereby people are identifying themselves as ‘Bluesman’ in support of Baco Exu do Blues’ message.