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With the World Cup going on all the attention seems to be focused on Brazil, and eventually the country’s social situation becomes a topic. It’s no news that Brazilian favelas are a main issue that, until recently, seemed to deserve little attention from the side of the country’s ruling class. But with the mass cleansing of favelas and the spending of some outrageous millions in the construction of megalomaniac stadiums and improvement of city infrastructure to welcome the foreign visitors, a lot has been said and done and eventually these issues caught the attention of the media, thus putting (some) pressure on the government.

But Brazil’s rich musical tradition is not unknown for the most attentive ones — who never heard of Tropicalismo, the art movement that influences international musicians, filmmakers and artists to this day — and the political discussions led to an increasing interest in what’s currently coming out of Brazil, musically speaking. At a first glance, favelas are not the places where one would expect some of the best music talents to sprout. But not having a very promising future, many youngsters turn to music not only as a way of escaping the dodgy surroundings where they grow up, but also as a way to protest and speak up about what’s going on there, about their lives, their values, their stories.

A recent release — Rolê, New Sounds of Brazil — will take you on a trip to Brazil’s freshest underground tunes (you can listen to it on repeat, it’s ok). And if you want to know a little bit more about the music scene in the favelas, Nowness just published a short film on Pearl Negras, the charismatic 16-year olds’ trio who comes from Vidigal, a favela quickly becoming cool and attracting all sorts of people from other parts of Rio.