Oruã Releases “Real Grandeza” Off Upcoming LP ‘Passe’

Oruã releases “Real Grandeza,” the first single off their upcoming LP, Passe, which is due for release on July 19th.



Oruã, photo by Pan Alves

Oruã releases “Real Grandeza,” the first single off their upcoming LP, Passe, due for release on July 19th. “Real Grandeza” epitomizes the noisy, lo-fi, experimental sound with which Oruã has rocked the Brazilian underground scene for years. It’s also a song that embodies a central tenet in the band’s ethos – resistance to fascism. Band member and producer Lê Almeida describes how “‘Real Grandeza’ and many other tracks on this album are from a time when 3/4 of us lived in a house together in Búzios, a beach town on the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The topic of this track was inspired by a real event, when we saw the news reporting that a young white man with blue eyes had robbed many chic apartments in Southern Rio. With his privilege, he left the scene unnoticed and unpunished. It’s like he was endowed with real internal grandeur.”

Their upcoming LP, Passe, draws on other social and political issues within Brazil. Specifically in Rio de Janeiro, the band drew significant inspiration for their album. The band found that “it’s often at the margins of Rio where creativity flows most freely.” Lê Almeida says that violence fuels this work, in contrast to his gentle demeanour. Since he was young, Lê has had several experiences where the violence that he’s witnessed or been a victim of has been used as a source of power and control, just as it has been in Rio for centuries. Oruã’s music can be seen as a reaction or resistance to this violence, particularly during a particularly turbulent time in Brazil’s history. Oruã works out of Escritório in the Centro neighbourhood, in a “somewhat forgotten” area of Rio. The space is not far from Cemitério dos Pretos Novos, a mass grave where 30,000 bodies of slaves are buried. A gruesome memory, literally under the surface, of Brasil’s long and violent history of slavery.

It’s hard to identify anything traditionally “Brasilian” about Oruã’s sound, but the band comes from a centuries-long tradition of resistance. They come from Brazil’s indigenous people defying the seizure of their land. They come from a series of slave rebellions in Brazil, which continued until slavery was finally outlawed in 1888, the last country in the Americas to do so. They come from quilombos, communities around the country organized by fugitive slaves. They come from the traditions of Candomblé and Umbanda, syncretic religions of African origin with strong musical components that were often practiced in secret for centuries, practitioners claiming they were Catholic to avoid persecution.

Oruã “Real Grandeza” single artwork

The album title “Passe” is a practice in Umbanda in which people exchange energy; it also means to pass, where “passing” is a means to avoid detection. Oruã are descendants of this history of resistance. Their music is an energy exchange with their audience and an attempt “to persuade them by hook or crook,” as Nina Simone urged, to defy the oppressors. Oruã are encouraging their audience to rise. Against racism. Against brutality. Against state-sponsored oppression. To refute violence; seeking to live free, with equality and fellowship.”

Passe Track Listing:

1. Real Grandeza
2. Caboclo
3. Nascença
4. Escola Construtivista
5. Ramais
6. Me Acontece
7. Passe
8. Miragem
9. Insensatez Abolição
10. Análise De Conjuntura
11. Brutos Amores
12. Avesso A Fim
13. Espiritualmente Aceso

Oruã ‘Passe’ album artwork


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