A bilingual blog by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero dedicated to all things fun, like music, cinema, comedy and sci-fi. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org - Un blog bilingüe de Carmelo Ruiz Marrero dedicado a todo lo que sea divertido, como música, cine, comedia y ciencia ficción. Contacto: email@example.com
Our guest DJ this week, singer Seu Jorge, says he recognized himself in the character he plays in the Brazilian film City Of God: a bus driver named Mané Galinha who’s caught up in violence in 1970s Brazil.
Before he became an internationally acclaimed Brazilian music star, Seu Jorge was a kid growing up in a similar favela to the one portrayed in the film, right outside Rio de Janeiro. His own brother was killed in the ongoing violent confrontations with the police. “I lost my brother. … My life was really hard,” Seu Jorge says. “I didn’t have a job over there. … Education was very, very poor. And it’s still like that. The only thing that is different is my choice. … I think I was a product of luck and hard work.”
While the character of Mané Galinha turned to a life of revenge and crime, Seu Jorge chose music and acting. It nonetheless cost him dearly: By his early 20s, he was homeless. But he was also acting in a university playhouse, performing at a bar in northern Rio and playing in bands; his big break came when rapper Marcelo D2 invited him to play drums with the group Planet Hemp. “Marcelo D2, he saved my life,” Seu Jorge says.