by Rosie Robbins
So a month or so ago, you’ll see from Tim’s post below, the consumer team here at OPR, have been working on Embratur. As a teenager, I used to leaf through the NME and dream about one day becoming a music journalist, and a decade later, our recent work for the aforementioned Embratur (Brazilian Tourist Board) enabled me to fulfil my long-forgotten ambition. Fifty years ago this year, the bohemian beach scene in Rio de Janeiro threw up its most enduring musical form – bossa nova– so to celebrate, we helped to put on a festival on the South Bank in London. The idea behind the exercise was to bring Brazilian culture to a new audience, so the bands hired to play at the show weren’t necessarily of Brazilian origin. We wanted to show that Brazil is a cultural superpower, and its bossa nova music – just like jazz in the USA – should be recognised as a timeless international genre, rather than dismissed as little more than elevator music. No one demonstrated this better than our headline act, Nouvelle Vague – the French band who are popular for their breathy covers of classic British punk songs, though few would identify the bossa nova inspiration. By ghostwriting a piece by them for The Guardian (in amongst the copious amounts of other coverage the event received), we helped bring a little taste of Rio’s Zona Sul to the urban English music fan (and I rekindled a passion that really, had never gone away).