22 November, 2023
Originating in Brazil in the late nineteenth century, Samba music is upbeat, uplifting, and communal – its ability to bring people together is an inherent part of its DNA. With links to both jazz and bossa nova, samba is defined by its fusion of singing and dancing, syncopated rhythms, emphasis on melody, and contagious beats.
If you’re a samba musician, or simply a fan of the genre, you may be wondering how to get people to sit up and take more notice of samba’s positive, inspirational, and profoundly danceable message.
Make the Most of Innovative New Platforms
There are more ways than ever before to get your music in front of a new audience. SoundCampaign is a great example. This platform is designed to connect artists and playlist curators – and give these curators the chance to earn rewards as they discover new music: which could be your samba band’s newest track.
Bandcamp is another great platform that helps listeners find exciting new music and connect with and support new and unsigned artists. You’ll find every genre represented here and a welcoming community of fellow music lovers to chat with, too.
Build a Striking Visual Identity
If you’re trying to get your music – and the samba genre in general – in front of a wider audience, then it’s not just about perfecting your sound. To really have a chance at cracking the mainstream, you need to create a distinctive visual identity, too. Luckily, samba, with its insistence on visual and aural vibrancy, is perfect for this.
Music might be what you’re all about, but creating your own ‘brand’ visual identity will help build and grow your audience, and offer the sort of ‘put together’ proposition that could get you noticed.
Consider Dabbling in NFTs
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) seem to be everywhere right now. These digital tokens are being used by everyone from legendary musical icons to unsigned bands to generate revenue, connect directly with fans, and develop a brand.
NFTs are underpinned by blockchain technology, and each is entirely unique. As well as being the ‘thing’ itself (such as a digital copy of your samba-based album), an NFT also represents ownership of the ‘thing.’ It may sound complicated, but it’s actually super easy to create and sell digital NFTs – for fans, they’re a great way to support an artist or band, make a potentially profitable investment, and get in at the ‘ground roots.’ For new artists, they can be a perfect solution to generating revenue and finding their tribe, without a label middle-man getting in the way.
Connect with Influencers in Your Niche
Obviously having a robust online presence is vital in getting your music noticed, but this isn’t enough. As well as being constantly active on your various online platforms, it may also be a good idea to contact a successful influencer in your niche to explore ways of promoting your music. While your follow count is at the still-growing phase, it’s probably more realistic to connect with a smaller influencer, who can help you develop your brand and get the word out there. Don’t forget to be forthcoming with offers of cross-promotion, too.
Incorporating Samba Influences into Your Music
And if you’re a fan of the genre and would like to inject some samba vibes into your music? You could try adding some more emphasis to your percussion: samba music is typically percussion-heavy, with a hypnotic, driving beat throughout. Add some distinctive call-and-response elements, too: the majority of samba songs feature a soloist alternating lines with an ensemble of backing singers.
Repetitive chord progressions are a largely defining element of the samba style. Simple chord progressions and harmonies tend to serve the more dominant melody and rhythm, to create those insistent samba beats that you just can’t help but move to.
Final Thoughts: Recognizing Samba’s Cultural Heritage
Samba is not just about music: it’s intimately connected with a rich cultural heritage. Entwined with the vibrancy of Carnival, the genre has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. During Carnival itself, thousands of dancers from samba schools perform their interpretation of the year’s theme, with visitors coming to Brazil from around the globe to watch the awe-inspiring, joyous spectacle.
Taking the time to understand the cultural heritage of which samba music and dance is an intrinsic part is an important way to fully honor this genre, and express it in your life and musical work.
Subscribe to the Sounds and Colours Newsletter for regular updates, news and competitions bringing the best of Latin American culture direct to your Inbox.