Luizga, iZem – Yemamaya (2022) (EP)
At the crossroads between Brazil and Europe, between electronic rhythms and acoustic song, “Yemamaya” was crafted by Luizga, rising star of Brazilian music (Graveola, TiãoDuá, Rosa Neon) and nomadic DJ and producer iZem (Mayra Andrade, Elza Soares, Guts).
At a time when Brazil is going through a period of great social and political tension, this EP suggests taking a step back. “Yemamaya” is a positive and joyful manifesto, which explicitly pays tribute to the country’s Afro-Brazilian and indigenous heritage. It also contemplates a future inspired by the philosophical heritage of these communities and open to the rest of the world.
This project, which gave birth to the release of the EP “Yemamaya”, brings together two nomadic artists whose heart swings between Brazil and Europe, electronic rhythms and acoustic songs. Luizga brings his talent as a melodist, composer and instrumentalist, and iZem this urban and hybrid sound that is enhanced by electronic arrangements.
They first met in Lisbon, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, the great protagonist of the first single Yemamaya, released in the summer of 2022 and accompanied by a videoclip. Yemamaya is a made up word which was whispered to Luizga in his sleep. It’s a reference to Yemanjá, the divinity of the sea in Afro-Brazilian culture, but also to the figure of the mother (“iya” means mother in Yoruba).
Luizga grew up under the influence of Afro- brazilian cultures. His music and his spirituality are imbued with it. Yemamaya is a healing cry and one of liberation. A spiritual awakening through joy and movement, an ode to the sacred spirit of this goddess. The sea infuses vital energy, it consoles, restores courage and connects the continents.
Txaísmo, second single released in September 2022, is a musical journey through the depths of the Amazon rainforest. Luizga stayed with the indigenous Hunikuin community and brought back this
reggae imbued with ancient spirituality which we can catch a glimpse of in the videoclip dedicated to this community. Under its positive and joyful tone, this song, which features the rapper Oreia and the
leader Txana Tuin Hunikin, highlights these minorities’ ability to exist and resist despite the terrible injustices which they are victims of in Brazil.
It’s also a shared passion for Caetano Veloso and the taste for Brazilian songs of the 70s that brought the two protagonists of this adventure together. It gives the EP a sense of fusion and of hybridization inherited from the greats of the Tropicalia movement. Creating a hybrid, timeless and universal sound is incidentally the leitmotif of iZem’s work; a sound he weaves through his many collaborations with Latin American composers and singers like Josyara, Giovani Cidreira and Jimena Angel.