"Sounds Good: A Rhythmic History of Brega" - Screening + Presentation with Creator/Director

Mateus Santos, UNM PhD History Student

Thursday, March 02, 2023 | 03:00 pm - 04:30 pm

Latin American and Iberian Institute (801 Yale Blvd NE)

801 Yale Blvd NE (campus building #165)


The LAII is pleased to host Mateus Santos, UNM PhD history student, for a screening of "Sounds Good: A Rhythmic History of Brega," the fifth and final episode of his Brazilian-based research project series. All episodes can be found on YouTube as Esse Som é Massa. This is a hybrid event - in person at the LAII building (801 Yale Blvd NE) or register to join via Zoom.

Brega is a Brazilian musical genre marked by marginality. It projects itself nationally and simultaneously has a historical background in the national recording industry. Throughout its history, it has been linked to the cheesy and romantic hit songs of the 1970s, and it has constantly metamorphosed until today. Historically, what defines Brega is more linked to its audience than to the musical style itself. The working classes represent an overwhelming majority of listeners, but Brega artists have expanded their group of admirers over the decades. Class and race are decisive elements regarding the audience and artists involved in the composition of Brega, which today has diversified as a genre and dialogues with other musical and social segments. Brega songs usually do not have subtleties or metaphors: they are explicit messages about the daily life of the poor Brazilian that counts on Brega as their own voice within the local and national cultural scene. I aim to investigate how Brega became an expression of subjectivity and emotions of the poor Brazilian population. This research seeks to investigate how this style narrates life on the marginalized areas of the state. This fieldwork will provide audiovisual content to edition and public release of this digital public history work, which aims to democratize an academic interpretation of this Brazilian artistic phenomenon.


This hybrid event (in person and Zoom) is free and open to the public.