Gabriel, 23 years old from Niteroi, popularly known as Lobo, is an artist, singer and composer who uses his Rio swing and his vocal power to bring a special sound within Brazilian R&B/Trap. Currently, the singer is at a new stage in his career, presenting a musical identity that mixes lyrics, beats and melodies from different styles.
“Lágrimas de um Vencedor” or “LUV” is the first conceptual project of Lobo’s career. With the release of an EP. of 6 tracks, the singer hopes to be able to convey to the public a little of everything that is going on in his mind. The project’s musical identity revolves around Trap, pulling towards a more romantic side, with a strong presence of references from R&B and other styles of Brazilian music itself.
The main concept of the project is to approach the end of a relationship in different ways, going through its cycles, such as rejection, acceptance, desire and, in the end, overcoming. Each track, even if subtly, tells a little of this story, exploring different sounds and lyrics throughout the EP, mainly through the energy that Lobo exudes in each one of them, highlighting the moments lived within the narrative.
Conceived and directed by the creative duo “ACT”, the audiovisual tells the story of a kidnapping in which Lobo was the main victim. The mastermind behind the crime, the public is introduced to the “THUG”, a character obsessed with the singer who is willing to do anything to have him.
Over the course of 2 clips and 4 viewers, various stages of the kidnapping are shown. Moments in which the criminal gets ready, plans her attack and the aftermath, with Lobo already a hostage, are responsible for fleshing out the narrative, making the viewer stick to the entire constructed timeline.
Her new EP “LUV” explores complex themes surrounding the end of relationships. What inspired you to create such a profound conceptual project?
I believe that every creation, whether in music, art or cinema, always arises from an experience. In my case, it was no different. The concept of “love” largely covers the issue of ending cycles, the beginning and end of these cycles. This means that this concept starts from the closing of a cycle, going through a trauma, overcoming that trauma and entering new cycles. “Love” is basically about this, and what inspired me was my own experience. My experiences with relationships motivated me to expose and turn this into music.
Can you tell us a little about the creative process behind this EP? How did you select the tracks and develop the concept around them?
The creative process behind the album is very interesting, as it is quite extensive. The first composition that is part of rap was written on December 1, 2021, which means two years ago. Over these two years, more than 25 songs were created for the album. However, only six songs ended up making the final album. We wanted this story to have a cycle, with a beginning, middle and end, because I believe that cycles don’t always have a beginning, middle and end. Sometimes we live in a continuous cycle, starting and ending cycles. The creative process was focused on trap, and I believe that this is not exclusive to creative people.
The project has a strong presence of R&B references. What artists or musicians influenced your approach when creating these tracks?
It is a trap album, but it incorporates different musical styles. Its main reference is, without a doubt, trap, but it also presents very strong influences from Latin music and Brazilian music. Furthermore, two personal references that I always mention are fundamental to this album. The first of them is Luccas Carlos, who is now a great friend of mine and has always been a musical inspiration for me. His influences are present on this album. The second reference is Rihanna, who is one of the biggest influences in my entire life. Especially Rihanna’s 2000s phase, which is marked by unique musicality. Furthermore, the beach style and the way of singing are also references from this period. Lastly, I have a great appreciation for Don Toliver, whose more melodic trap approach has been a significant source of inspiration for me.
The audiovisual associated with the EP presents an intriguing narrative with the character “THUG”. How did the idea for this story come about and how did you develop it?
Within the narrative of all rap, the story of the ‘Bandida’ emerged. It was the first song to be composed and, from then on, we started to develop hip-hop. As ‘Bandida’ was the first song to be composed, we thought it should have a direct connection to the story. Personally, I have a habit of using the term ‘bandit girl’ as an adjective. I always say to my partner: ‘That girl is a criminal’. For me, a ‘thug girl’ is that girl who is confident, has a strong presence, captures attention with just one look, is bold, and has attitude, just by looking you know. In the project’s audiovisual, we represent this in a striking way, with the bandit wearing a balaclava in several moments. We focus on details, such as the eyes and mouth, to highlight the attitude. The story revolves around the ‘Bandit’, going through a kidnapping, in which she is the main perpetrator, and I, the victim. The rest, you’ll have to watch to find out.
How would you describe the sound and energy listeners can expect from “LUV”?
That’s the main focus of the album: getting you out of your seat, regardless of the song’s main topic. Whether it’s about the end of a relationship, appreciating life or getting over someone, all the songs on ‘Love’ come with a very strong energy, so that you sing from the bottom of your chest and feel the music intensely. I hope this energy infects everyone who hears it.
The fusion of musical styles is notable in this project. How do you see this mix of influences contributing to your musical identity?
I am a fusion of different styles. Since I was young, I was greatly influenced by samba and pagode. As I grew up and had access to different types of music, I started listening to a lot of American R&B, mainly. As I got older, I started consuming music from other places, like England, France and Portugal. So, my music is a mix of different influences, but always with Brazilian music as the biggest reference. Although the album focuses on trap, it incorporates elements from various parts of the world. I’m creating a musical identity based on everything I consume, bringing references from the 2000s, English, American, Brazilian and Latin music. I always hope to adapt and share with my fans what I’m hearing.
Each track on the EP seems to represent different stages of a relationship. Is there a track that has a particular personal connection for you?
To be quite honest with you, I think all the tracks have a particular connection to me. Each of them was written at a specific stage. The album “Love” began to be written shortly after the end of a relationship. I experienced the end, the mourning, but also the beginning of a new phase, fun, parties and, obviously, I met new people and got attached to others. This entire process is told in the EP. However, if I had to choose a track that I identify with most, I believe it would be “Safadinho”, which talks about enjoying life, surviving and not worrying about tomorrow, about meeting new people. So, I think if I had to choose one, it would be this one.
The EP addresses emotional themes, such as rejection, acceptance, desire and overcoming. How do you hope the music emotionally impacts its listeners?
The biggest impact of these songs occurs on the people who are experiencing what I sing about in my lyrics. If someone is going through a post-relationship that they want to get over but is still finding it difficult, perhaps the track ‘Bandida’ will affect them in a big way. She might hear the song and think, ‘Look, I can get through it. I’ll get through this.’ Now, if this person is already meeting someone new, overcoming an old cycle and making new friends, perhaps the song ‘É Loucura Demais’ will make them look and think: ‘Oops, I think I’m getting attached here and meeting new people.’ She can identify with the music and enjoy the moment she is living in. This is the way I hope to positively impact my listeners.
You collaborated with creative duo “ACT” to bring the EP’s narrative to life visually. Can you tell us about how this collaboration came about and what it was like working with them?
About ‘Tears of a Winner’, it is a creative duo made up of two incredible women that I have known for a long time and who have been a fundamental part of my journey. Both Ágata and Catherine are people I met in college, and since 2018 or 2019, we have joined forces to create something unique in the music scene.
Our partnership began with a different proposal, but over time, we refined our approach until we arrived at the ‘Love’ project. Working with them as my two creative directors is incredibly fluid. Our exchange of ideas, brainstorming sessions and suggestions flow naturally. They are very receptive to my suggestions, which facilitates communication and the implementation of concepts. The result is a very well-crafted and harmonious project, as is the case with ‘Love’.
I hope that this connection and this art reach you in the best way, because it was planned with care and affection, both by me and the girls from ‘Lágrimas de um Vencedor’, so that everyone can enjoy the album in the best possible way.
What message or feeling would you like listeners to take away with them after listening to “LUV”?
The image I would like listeners to take away after listening to ‘Tears of a Winner’ is contained in the name itself. It reflects the idea that even in difficult times, even when we are facing challenges and suffering, we can still be winners. The album conveys the message that even when we are going through difficult times, we can fight, persevere and overcome. This is something many of us can relate to.
My personal experience reflects this idea, especially when I faced the end of a cycle in my life and found myself in a difficult period. Even in these situations, I continued to fight, keeping a smile on my face and believing that I could overcome the obstacles. Today, I can say that I was able to overcome these challenges, and that’s why I chose the name ‘Tears of a Winner’ for the album. I sincerely hope that this concept and message can touch the hearts and minds of everyone who listens to the album.
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