Kleber Gomes was 10 when he penned his first song about São Paulo. The year: 1985. The 1985 track: a punk rock tune about his home on its gritty southside.
One of five brothers and sisters born to migrants from north-east Brazil, the budding composers knew more than most about issues plaguing megacities – entrenched poverty, police violence, social discrimination.
Few, however, could have predicted how far such compositions would take Gomes. Today, the 36-year-old is one of Brazil's most critically acclaimed artists, a rapper, composer and urban poet, known by his stage name Criolo.
Since his album Nó na Orelha was released last April to rave reviews, an avalanche of awards has transformed a once-struggling ghetto MC into a modern-day bard for the megacity: Criolo recently played his first gig in New York and will tour Europe and the US later this year.
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