Oi, Boiler Room

My earliest memory with music research goes back to the 90s when I used to look for album releases on CD catalogs I was given by my parents once in a while. Fortunately it didn’t take too much time for me to start my own music researches on KazAa. Both the software and those catalogs may be dead these days, but its content is spread, growing and evolving all over the world networks.

One may think that music research, in this world, is just about scrolling webpages. I disagree. I am Felipe Maia Ferreira, a Brazilian journalist currently pursuing a Music Master’s degree. I believe that music research lives rather in Soundcloud then in Shazam, but, by the end of the day or the night, it has to be in the streets.

Prepaid music phones in São Paulo, mechathronic soundsystems in Belém and itinerant-parties down the brazilian countryside are some of the main elements in the stories that I could work on during my career as journalist. Some of them are highlighted in this page, as well the skills and assets I would like to bring to your team. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed working on these projects.

What about music?

Most of my work as a journalist is related to music. Even when I was reporter for a tech magazine, I wrote stories about digital culture that had songs and artists as essential part. During six years I’ve been staff writer for many media outlets such as VICE, Trip Magazine and MTV Brazil. Since 2015, I am freelance journalist for publications such as Folha de S. Paulo, MKSHFT Magazine and Trax Magazine.


This is an article about the “trenzinhos”, a phenomena that took Brazil first as a meme in 2015 but in fact it’s a subculture on its own. It has taken me three days of field work and many researches to connect every aspect of it: the party goers, the clown-kids and their crews, the soundsystem makers, the government, etc.


I’ve been in Belém, one of the biggest cities in Amazonia rainforest, to write this article about the “aparelhagens”. This soundsystem culture was born in the 60s and it never stopped to add new influences and technologies to keep alive. Nowadays groups such as SuperPop throw immense parties in the northern Brazil with amazing mechatronic sound machines and high-tempo music.


MC G15 is the latest one-hit-wonder from baile funk in São Paulo. He’s a result from a powerful network of independent labels, clubs and mobile networks running on the poor neighborhoods of the biggest South American city. He’s also a turn from Rio, where baile funk was born in the 70s, to São Paulo, where this genre is being recreated these days.


Still on baile funk, this interview with MC Bin Laden is his first one to Brazilian media. Way back before his huge success in Brazil or in clubs around the world — as a sample, ad-lib or MC sided by artists such as Branko —, he was a humble funkeiro from northern São Paulo with whom I could talk to.


São Paulo also has its own rap scene, and you’re aware of it. Nevertheless, a city that has became a gateway for many South American migrants will not stop to cross genres and influences. This is what about Latam Esquad, the first hispanic rap crew in the city: a youth group made by boys and girls who feel both Brazilians and South Americans.


In France, I’ve wrote about the close relationship between football and rap in the banlieues of Paris. Beside of many social and cultural aspects, an interview with the afrotrap hitmaker MHD and a research on football players mentions in rap songs were essential to connect every inch of this story.


One of my latest articles was published by Trax Magazine. It’s a six page in depth story about baile funk in São Paulo, based on an analysis on the power of this music in the city sided by interviews with DJs, producers, party promoters and fans.

What about research?

By the end of September I will be graduated with a Music Master’s degree at School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). My final essays covers a range of music aspects, from musicology to ethnology, in a comparative study: a research about digital music making in poor neighborhoods of São Paulo and Paris.

Once again, both theoretical and empirical research are essential to confirm or deny some hypothesis, such as the power of 3G network for sharing music in baile funk and the use of technical tools such as AutoTune as an aesthetic resource for french rap.

This modus operandi has driven me in other projects: I was fact-checker and archive researcher for the awarded biography “Nem Vem Que Não Tem“, about the Brazilian singer Wilson Simonal; I wrote a paper as final bachelor’s essays about communication, music and live concerts; and, as a hobby, I dig some vinyl crates for collecting and DJing in a party I promote with some friends in São Paulo.

What else?

I am currently working as a project manager for Sikana, a non-profit startup for learning and sharing non-academical knowledge and inspiring initiatives. Content managing; translation and proofreading (Portuguese, English, French and Spanish); implementation of SEO strategies; analysis and reports on driven data (YouTube); and voice-over recording are part of my daily tasks.

My path endorses the reasons that make me believe I am the right candidate for Boiler Room Music Researcher position: passion for music and storytelling, deep interest in discovering upcoming trends, experience in field and internet work and a grip on academical and daily dynamics. Yet I would learn a lot everyday being part of your team. Moving from Paris to London is not a problem.

Nightclubs in Durban, home studios in Beijing, outskirts neighborhoods in Caracas are just an example of where new, exciting sounds can be found in these days. Music research is about persevering exploration, cultural exchange, bringing people together (in both URL and IRL), listening and also dancing. I see and, more important, listen all of this in Boiler Room and I would be glad to be part of it.

I hope to hear from you, Boiler Room 📧 felipemf@gmail.com 📞 +330623220962

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