INTERVIEW: Zuzuka Poderosa’s carioca bass revolution hits DC on Thursday night!

by Marcus K. Dowling

I am prepared to get hurt onstage for my music. – Zuzuka Poderosa

Brazillian born, now  NYC based singer Zuzuka Poderosa is a hyperactive maelstrom of positivity. She brings her unique “Carioca bass” sound to DC’s Judy’s Restaurant on Thursday night alongside DJ El Freaky and a number of local Latin sound specialist DJs. “Carioca bass is who I am. It’s baile funk, blended with hip hop, basically,” states the hyper-kinetic Poderosa about her sound.

Born in Brazil, she emigrated to the US, namely Brooklyn in the 1990s, and blends both ends of her history with an expert precision. “I definitely am a fan of the 90s hip hop sound. It was so big when I came to the US. I had a lot of friends who were rappers, you know, standing on the corners drinking Cisco (an inexpensive wine cocktail sold in many urban bodegas with a high alcohol content), rapping all night long.” There’s something inherently urban about her sound, as in mashing together Brazilian favela borne baile funk with Brooklyn street corner hip hop, a nod to Miami booty bass and other heavily percussive, seductively funky urban dance styles, there’s an insistent rhythm that makes her unique style an important standout in underground music.

Zuzuka’s hope in making music is to create “interracial music babies,” a forward thinking trend derived from a belief that “this is the future, and that everyone is influenced by everything.” “I talk to people who hear my music for the first time, and they say ‘oh, my mother played that,’ or ‘oh, I’ve heard that before.'” The awareness of her tropical influenced bass is even global, as in describing a recent trips to Berlin and Montreal, she’s “impressed by Berlin, everyone there is so musical and so aware,” and that “(she) loves Montreal. They love to dance up there. It’s my favorite place I’ve been.” She intends to take her sound to the West coast following a few East coast dates on her “ZUZUKA POWER” tour, as she is working on two EPs concurrently, one in particular with global Latin based funk phenom and moombahton heavyweight DJ Sabo.

“Sabo was a very well respected local New York City DJ when I first met him. And it’s amazing. With moombahton, everyone can be impressed with how talented he is.” Regarding the nascent but rising tropical bass creation, Poderosa says, “it’s fun, sexy music. It makes everyone who hears it want to dance.” Speaking of a recent trip to Brazil, she even took moombahton back to South America and “started a revolution.” “The producers I was working with, I played them Toddla T’s BBC interview with Dave (Nada, the sound’s inventor) and everyone (Munchi, Diplo and Dillon Francis), and they were like, hey, this is cool. Now they’ along with emcees and DJs have a weekly moombahton show on Brazillian radio.”

Zuzuka Poderosa may be one of the most genuinely likable ambassadors of tropical bass music. Blending a pleasant demeanor with propulsive talent and pasisonate vibes, Zuzuka’s skills concuss a listener with happiness. Performances like her forthcoming DC debut allow music fans looking for something more to get in on the ground floor with one of the top performers in the next major musical wave. MTV says that Zuzuka is a “provocatively rhyming hurricane, sucking up global riddims from ghettotech to dancehall and flinging them back out at gale-force speeds.” I’ll simplify that and state that when you see her perform, you’re getting next level sounds for a next level generation.