Rapper HOT is releasing his latest album, entitled “Não Vou Voltar”, after a period of hiatus in his career.
This new disc, with 11 tracks, represents a marked return for the artist to the music scene. In the songs, HOT reflects on a variety of themes, including human relationships, social issues and the impact of cancellation on social networks.
The sound of the album is a mixture of styles, with influences ranging from electronic beats to touches of samba, with the track “Tempo” standing out by incorporating elements of candomblé terreiro music. “Calma Zé,” the second track on the album, addresses issues related to anxiety.
HOT also explores relationship themes in the album’s songs, such as “Corrente,” featuring Tainá Evaristo, and “Chave,” which celebrates a strong friendship. In addition, the rapper does not fail to address critical issues, as in “Shadowban,” which talks about the incessant search for approval and attention on social networks.
“Não Vou Voltar” represents a musical and lyrical journey that reflects HOT’s experiences, from its cancellation on the internet to its return to the musical spotlight. The album features musical production by important names on the Brazilian music scene, giving the tracks a special touch.
Can you tell us more about your album “Não Vou Voltar” and what central message you want to convey with it?
So I don’t think the album has a central message, right? I think it’s divided into three main themes. They are ways of relating and existing. So I think one of these themes is the way of existing and relating in communities. This includes family, social networks and so on. The second theme is the way of existing and relating to oneself, including self-care, self-knowledge and mental health. Finally, the third theme is about closer relationships, such as love relationships. There are songs that delve into aspects of these relationships, such as song 11, which dives deep into this topic. Some songs also talk about couple relationships, while others pay tribute to friendship. So I think the album is mainly about different forms of relationships and life.
The album reflects on human and social relationships and cancellation on the internet. How have these themes influenced your musical creation?
So how have these issues influenced your musical creation? I think right from the name. I decided that the name would be “Não Vou Voltar”. After a period away from Instagram, the social network I use the most, I immersed myself in the platform and spent a day answering messages and interacting. What happened was curious. My inbox was full of messages like “Come back, where are you? We need to know if you’re OK.” And so on. However, many of the same people who were sending these messages – not all of them, of course, but the vast majority – had older messages, from months ago, in which they wished me negative things, such as “kill yourself” or “I want you to die”, among other things. I think that’s where the name “I’m not going back” came from, and this concept permeated the whole album.
You mentioned that the break in your career had an impact on your anxiety. How did music, especially “Calma Zé,” play a role in managing that anxiety?
About anxiety, right? I was going through a very difficult period, very difficult indeed. We were already coming out of the pandemic, which had already been a complicated time, and I was facing extreme anxiety. The fact that we were at the height of our career, about to start playing shows and really change our lives, and then the pandemic hit. We released the second album, talking about the current moment, and then there was the whole cancellation issue, which really affected my state of mind. I felt really bad.
At that moment, my friends, the ones who were by my side trying to cheer me up and get me out of this situation, started joking with me. Here in Belo Horizonte, we have a habit of calling everyone “Zé”, so naturally they started using that expression. “Calm down, Zé, calm down, Zé, ô, calm down, Zé.” This It became a joke that made us laugh and helped us relieve the tension we were facing. It was from this joke that I created a song, as a tribute to this expression, and it really helped me deal with the anxiety.
“Perfume” is a track that deals with cancellation and virtual judgement. How did you approach this personal experience in your music?
A perfume is… It was a moment like that, when I wrote that song, I was really realising that this was a reality parallel to my own. You know, it was the moment when it dawned on me that I was completely immersed in something that wasn’t mine, but people’s. Then I started thinking, “Well, it’s not really possible to convey things here. Then I started thinking, “Well, it really isn’t possible to convey the reality of things here on social media, no matter how hard you try. Reality is always far away. There’s no way.” I wondered what I could communicate with this, and it occurred to me that smell is something impossible to transmit via mobile phone to another person who is somewhere else. It’s just not possible, is it? It was from this reflection that I wrote this song, precisely to address this issue, to poke at this wound that there is no reality in this virtual world.
The album “NVV” emphasises relationships. Can you tell us more about the track “Key” and the friendship it represents?
So “Chave” is a song I made for my best friend. It’s a love song, not for a romantic relationship, but for a deep friendship, like a sister. It’s a tribute, a compliment to that feeling of genuine care, of wanting to look after, of wanting to meet, of wanting to be close and know how the person is, even when you’re not even thinking about it. You know when you wake up thinking about someone, wanting to call and check on them? That’s what it’s about.
“Shadowban” seems to address the search for validation and popularity on social networks. What message are you trying to convey with this track?
“Shadowban” is a term that describes when a social network restricts one of your posts or removes it completely, reducing its reach due to an alleged violation of the platform’s guidelines. This relates to the artist in this context, where they feel pressurised to follow specific trends and models so that their posts and songs reach more people. It’s a dynamic that often limits the artist’s creative and authentic expression, as they feel obliged to conform to established standards in order to avoid punishment or restrictions on their visibility.
Can you share more about the track “De Free” and how it deals with the people who have been by your side at different times?
“De Frio” was one of the first songs I wrote after the introduction. The name came to me when I was thinking about how these people wanted me to take my own life. Now they’re begging me to come back. This track was written very quickly and is perhaps the fastest song I’ve ever created in my life. It’s a heartfelt outpouring that addresses the absurdity of people’s expectations on social media. One day they want you to disappear, the next they’re clamouring for you to reappear and sing something they miss.
“Jangada” seems to reflect on the fans and followers of your work. How do you see these relationships evolving over time?
“Jangada” is perhaps the most mature track on the album. It was one of the last I wrote and draws a parallel with the dynamics of love relationships, when one party decides to break up and move on, while the other insists on getting back together in a selfish way, wanting only to have the person back, without considering the other’s needs for time and space. This situation is related to the theme of “Possession”, where, after the break-up, one of the parties continues to insist on reconciliation, even though a period of solitude and reflection is necessary.
The track “Preso” features Djonga and Mc Kaio. What is the significance of this collaboration and what is the song about?
“Trapped” is a track that reflects the close partnership between me and Dhonga, who is like a brother and partner to me. We started together on this project and he was one of the people who never abandoned me. It’s amazing how he, like John Grad, is a true friend who is always there to think, support and share experiences. Caio is a funk artist I also admire a lot, and his collaboration on this project was incredible.
The song “Preso” deals with the feeling of imprisonment in a relationship, when you want to get out but feel trapped for various reasons. It reflects the complexity of modern relationships, where it’s easy to get trapped and quickly let go. It talks about the dynamics of relationships in today’s world.
Can you tell us more about the producers and collaborators involved in the album and how they contributed to your artistic vision?
This record is highly collaborative. On ‘Coyote’, we have the presence of Fael, a producer who worked on Roch’s last album. We also have Fumaça, an artist from BH, and Cotou, from Lamparina, who contributed to the intro of the track ‘Tempo’. We mustn’t forget Gabriel Canedo, the record’s music producer, who accompanied me throughout the process. We recorded in his studio in BH, as well as with Max Teixeira, the producer of ‘Chave’, who was also involved at every stage.
It’s interesting to note that these people are not from the rap scene, but from MPB. Gabriel Canedo, for example, makes tracks for the Bolshoi Ballet, a famous Russian ballet. Max Teixeira also has works that are very different from rap. This collaboration with people from different backgrounds took me out of my comfort zone, exactly what I was looking for from the start of this project.
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