The meteoric rise of young funk musicians


They are young, rich, famous, wear jewelry and designer clothes and buy imported cars and supped-up motorcycles. And believe it or not, they don’t play football. The rise of ‘light’ funk on the charts is creating a generation of MCs and dancers who, often, earn their first R$1 million before they come of age.

In line with pancadão which makes the middle class ‘hit the floor’, a wave of new artists fill their piggy banks at a speed that few professions allow. And that money allows them a new level of consumption.

For starters, the fee begins at R$1,000. Not bad for those who do up to 15 shows in a single weekend. From there, the progression is geometric. If the song, as well as making the rounds on social networks, plays on the radio, the fee jumps to R$10,000. And when they’re on top, as what happened with the singer Naldo, a single performance can yield R$250,000.

Weddings and debutante balls on the schedule

Doing shows is not the only source of income for funkeiros, who have busy schedules of performances at weddings, debutante balls and agricultural fairs, earning paychecks starting at R$5,000/show. Arriving at ‘Olympus’, however, does not mean abandoning their roots. Money to live at more sophisticated addresses is not lacking, but an MC on the rise will rarely give up their community. Nego do Borel, for example, already has an imported fancy car, but he still lives in the favela. His family home, though, has been renovated.

Viviane Queiroz, 18, MC Pocahontas, is building her mother a duplex with a pool in Campos Elíseos, in Caxias, where she was born and raised. An exponent of funk ostentation, she is able to spend R$10,000 at handbag stores. Before diving into consumerism, however, she had one concern:

– Three months after becoming an MC, I told my mother that she would no longer need to work as a maid because I was going to support her. I want to give her the best.

The mother, Marinês de Queiroz, 48, is proud to have faced criticism when allowing her daughter, then a minor, to become a funkeira:

– I was right when I let her follow her dream.

Brunninha, the Princess of Funk, has a different story. A young woman, aged 19, she lives with her mother and two brothers in Tomás Coelho. The fame has not changed where she lives, but it has altered, and by lots, the quality of family life thanks to the shows.

– My family comes first – she says.

In the case of MC Jean, 19, from Rocinha, helping his mother is also a priority. However, with an eye on a more solid future career, he invested part of his paychecks in artistic training. Jean is an exception because he didn’t quit school, like many young people:

– I take voice and guitar lessons. After high school, I think about college.

Source (PT)

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