Funk ostentação or funk paulista – in reference to its origins in São Paulo – has become the sound of underprivileged youth in Brazil in the last decade. With dance-inducing rhythms and lyrics that speak of making it big and leaving the favelas behind, this sub-genre has given a voice to a new generation of Brazilians on society’s fringes.
Capitalizing on its current relevance, Netflix’s latest Brazilian original series, Sintonia, follows three teenagers who have grown up in a precarious environment, but actively seek to defy their circumstances and break the cycle of poverty.
Nando (Christian Malheiros), Doni (MC Jottapê) and Rita (Bruna Mascarenhas) have been best friends since childhood, and now each follows their own path, either guided by funk, drug-dealing or evangelical Christianity (also widespread among the lower classes of the Brazilian population). Sintonia exists at the intersection between these three forces.
The show’s first trailer offers an energetic look at the simultaneously vibrant and dangerous world the characters inhabit all to the beat of the unpretentious funk that serves as the soundtrack to their lives. Set in a bright-colored world — both in the cast outfits and gritty locations – where hustling and praying coexist as equal components of survival, Sintonia doesn’t dwell on misery but highlights the exuberance of these unseen struggles.
Scenes appear edited to the music, which showcases how important it is to the project’s identity and can be traced to the fact that KondZilla, the series creator, made his name directing the very music videos that popularized funk ostentação since it started back in the late aughts. The energetic and high-stakes first season features six 40-minute episodes that include original funk songs created for the series.
Sintonia is now available to stream on Netflix.