By: Rafaela Piccin
SIM São Paulo catalyzes meetings: professionals from various areas of the market attend the event and expand their horizons and connections. The #HumansofSIM series features stories of people who take part and make the best of SIM. This installment is about Luís Viegas, director of Ao Sul do Mundo.
The partnership between Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) countries has grown a lot in the last few years we expect the dialogue to intensify. As far as SIM Sao Paulo and Luis Viegas are concerned, this will become as reality. Viegas is the director of the Portuguese production, booking, management, consultancy and label business Ao Sul do Mundo (“South of the World”, in free translation).
He found out about SIM through industry peers, and he first attended the event in 2016. That year, he participated in the panel “The Music Market in Europe today and the Possible Connection with Brazil”, alongside David McLoughlin (BM&A), Paul Cheetham (Reeperbahn Festival, Germany), Ruben Scaramuzzino (Works Zone, Spain), Henrik Friis (Nordic Days, Denmark) and Frank Abraham (F-Cat, Germany). Luis had just completed Elza Soares' first European tour and stressed the strategic importance of Portugal as a gateway to Europe.
Last year, two artists selected by Luis took part in the daytime showcases at the Centro Cultural Sao Paulo (CCSP): Mozambican Selma Uamusse and Portuguese Conan Osiris. He mentions that the relation with Brazil is very fruitful: “My partners at Let’s Gig; the Fronteira Difusa, with whom we work actively and both ways; the Dragão do Mar group in Fortaleza (in the Northeastern state of Ceara); René, from Se Rasgum, from Belém (from the Northern state of Para); Lú and Alê from the BR-135 Festival, in São Luís (from Maranhao); Gutie, from Recbeat, in Recife (Pernambuco); Fióti, from the Ghost Lab. And many others ... A whole family that gets together at SIM! And it has been possible to establish new partnerships, to realise new opportunities and cultural crossovers.”
With so many music conventions in the world, Luis comments on strategies for choosing the most suitable ones. “It depends on the style of music and which circuit fits your profile. There is a huge range of fairs today, from rock and mainstream to jazz and electronics. The most important thing is to choose, ask those with market experience for advice, and to gage the investment level. Certainty about the results only comes afterwards. And the follow-up, the post-music convention work is just as important”, he recommends.
Luis has a very broad view of the market - both in terms of local artists and foreign bands in Portugal - precisely because he circulates, and is actively engaged in international tours “The Portuguese-speaking market has distinct characteristics, different from the Anglo-Saxon, the French-speaking ... There is an imbalance of cultural transactions, with Brazil clearly having the greatest weight, quantity and quality of cultural production. But I think Brazil still knows little about the culture of Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Timor and Portugal. There is a lot of good music to be created by stirring this great Portuguese-speaking cauldron. I think that the future will enable a greater connection and a growing interest in getting to know each other. Artists and cultural professionals are moving towards mixing knowledge, so that beautiful and unique things come out of it”.