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Interview with DJ & MC Gus: The Rio de Janeiro Native Who Traded Brazil for Germany

We spoke with the Carioca DJ Gus, who is currently based in Germany. In this quick chat, we talked a bit about his career beginnings in funk and his current projects.

1. How was your journey from starting your career at 13 to becoming a recognized DJ? What were the obstacles?

I started by helping set up the sound system for some friends who lived in the same building. They taught me and let me play to learn. At that time, I was a student at Pedro II in Humaitá and arranged parties for the crew, which gave me more time behind the turntables. In the beginning, my biggest challenge was matching the music's BPM, since it was on vinyl, and the turntables were basic models from Gradiente and CCE. We couldn't afford the MK2, but over time, I learned and developed my mixing skills.

2. Who are your main influences inside and outside of Funk Carioca?

In funk, my influences are Mr. Catra, DJ Marlboro, MC Marcinho, Cidinha & Doca, and DJ Mandrake. Outside of funk, my main influences include Michael Jackson, Guns N' Roses, Queen, and Fugees.

3. Funk Carioca has always had numerous DJs, MCs, and producers since its inception. How did you manage to stand out in the genre with so many artists?

A lot of determination, resilience, and always striving to innovate and learn.

4. Funk Carioca is a musical style with extremely local characteristics, making a lot of sense in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. How was the reception of this musical genre by Europeans? How do you see the role of Brazilian music in the international music scene, especially in Europe?

The contagious rhythm and seductive dances have won over many Europeans. It's clear in my funk sets, the fascination it creates, even with the stiff dancing, seeing Germans and other foreigners dance and have fun.

5. Your productions mix other popular rhythms like Reggae Town, Trap, Proibidão, Volt Mix, Comedy, etc. Would you say Funk Carioca is the genre that best combines them?

Yes, because Funk Carioca emerged from a metamorphosis of the funk originally from James Brown. The popular rhythm of Rio de Janeiro, which now dominates Brazil and has spread worldwide, already has various branches in its beats, such as tamborzão, Beat G3, Beat bolha, Beat pandeiro, among others.

6. Over time, Funk Carioca has gained books, documentaries, exhibitions, festivals, and now it will have a biopic about a famous funk producer from Rio de Janeiro. How do you see this cultural approach to funk?

I think it's excellent because in the 90s, I faced a lot of prejudice and persecution for being into funk. Today, I've written my e-book about Funk Carioca available on Amazon titled "FROM THE HILL TO THE WORLD: The Influence of Drug Trafficking on Funk Carioca."

7. The singer Björk played Funk Carioca for a while at some events in Iceland. What do you think about such diverse artists being interested in funk?

I am very happy to see the style I have defended so much become an inspiration for great artists worldwide. This only inspires me to produce more content about this popular art from the favelas of Rio.

8. Besides being a DJ, you work at a restaurant in Germany. How do you manage this double journey?

It's great because I also like cooking and I try to be present at the restaurant in my free time between shows and events.

9. Regarding your musical productions, what can we expect in the future? Can you give us a preview?

Yes, I have projects with DJ MARLON MATRIZ for a June release of a song that mixes Reggaeton and Funk. Also, a Techno with funk project with DJ HALLEY SEIDEL.

Additionally, we've been working together on soundtracks for the karaoke at the best Brazilian restaurant in Berlin. The Tucano Restaurant.


After the interview, DJ Gus announced the release of another track, titled "Vini Jr Baila," made in collaboration with DJ Marlon Matrix in honor of the player Vinícius Junior, currently at Real Madrid.

The track is scheduled to be released on June 9, 2024.

Below is an exclusive preview of the song for DJMUSIC MAG.


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