By Chris Gomes
Translation Damien-Adia Marassa
Photo Gina Dinucci

Some time ago, walking through a large department store in São Paulo, the musician Kiko Dinucci found three of his CD's (the artist has recorded four albums) exposed in different segments on the music sector inside the store: one of them was at the pop rock section, another one was at the regional and the last one in the MPB space. "I don’t care about a specific thing. I try to expand my musical abilities as much as possible", says the artist, that reveals his musical versatility and often mocks at the labels imposed by the market.

However, beyond the noise assumptions and common places about his history, Kiko worries a lot about artistic freedom, and such state of mind may be precisely manifested by the diversity found in his music, partnerships and his foray into other artistic forms such as documentary and arts.

Kiko began his career in music when he was a teenager playing guitar in Necrophobic metal band. Subsequently, he joined the punk group Personal Choice. The transition to Brazilian music, linked to African traditions, did not happen so fast. It appeared in a natural way and fueled by curiosity and concern that, since that time, it has marked his work. "When we played with punk band, the guys didn’t want to sing in Portuguese because they believed the language didn’t fit. So I took a song in Kimbundo (African language widely spoken in Angola) to the music test. Crudely written, I put all the vocabulary together and made the lyrics. I arrived at the music test, and showed it to them and everyone looked at me with a question on their faces: “Is Kiko crazy?".

Of course I wasn’t crazy. There was a “baby” that would represent an intense connection with African culture and african-Brazilian. By the time he got interested on samba composers that in his opinion, talked a lot about his punk attitude, Kiko also wanted to know about the black production that preceded the emergence of rhythm, as jongo, congas and drums. Hence, reaching the Candomblé (a religion developed in Brazil from the syncretism of West African's culture and traditions) was “quite fast” as he says. "Nowadays I don’t separate faith, music and dance. It's all together like a package called Candomblé and I believe it is more than a cultural expression. It is spiritual."

Here is a way that people love to call him, the composer of Macumba (in Brazil it refers to any ritual or religion of African origin (as slang), but most people use it as a pejorative word meaning "black witchcraft"). Although candomblé makes a great presence on his work, he wants to expand. "I can do anything. I can I sing a romantic bolero, reggae, a Paraguayan guarania. I try to expand the possibilities as much as possible". And it’s a fact. Kiko has recorded four CD's: Padê (with Juçara Marçal), A Portrait of the Artist while requesting for something (by Duo Moviola, formed by Kiko and Douglas Herman); Pastiche Nagô (with Bando AfroMacarrônico) and In other people’s mouth, where several performers sing his compositions. "Every time I get inside the universe of the specific artist with whom I'm doing a partnership I learn a lot”, said Kiko, who notes that the musicians he works with are also the creators and not just supporting cast.

“He is open to share his musicianship with other artists of different styles and this is confluence, the partnership in works is enjoyable “said Iara Rennó, a partner of Kiko who created with him the dance show Xirê Onin.

Writer of urban life, his compositions are real stories of the stone jungle. You listen to the song and then you can build on your mind all images of those stories, full of shrewd intelligence and sarcastic humor. These characteristics, which are close to other great writers from São Paulo, such as Adoniran Barbosa and Itamar Assumpção, define him in another way: the legitimate representative of the new generation of avant-garde in São Paulo. But during this process, Dinucci has fun with all these comparisons. "I'm happy because they never define me the same way".

Even with so many changes throughout his musical journey, Kiko punk of the 90’s is still alive. "The way Kiko play the guitar is really special. It is a hybrid between a samba guitar and a hardcore guitar, a result that only someone who has experienced deeply the two styles could notice" affirms the saxophonist Thiago France, another constant partner in Kiko’s work.

"One day I want to look back and see that I was like Frank Zappa, who made records one different from other, each one in a different way. I want to proudly say that I'm free. I'm still in the process and I so is every one of my generation, I think, but I won’t focus on a specific point, or on any definition people give me. I can make a CD with an orchestra if I want. If nobody hit me or hold me, I’ll do it ". Nobody can doubt it.


Padê (2007)
Pastiche Yoruban (2008)
The Portrait of the Artist While asking (2009)
In Others’ Mouth (2009)