Premiere: Bruno Capinan’s “Escorpião” Is a Funk Carioca Odyessy

Lead Photo: Photo by Alexandre Maciel
Photo by Alexandre Maciel
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Bahia-born, Toronto-based artist Bruno Capinan conceived Real, his recently-released fourth album, as an act of resistance. As a Black gay man, he is a clear target of Brazil’s current president’s harmful discourse and actions against LGBTQ+ people, especially of color, so he has taken it upon himself to cut through the noise and lend his voice and personal lyrics to his community in hopes of generating positive change. The 12 songs on Real, co-produced by Capinan and Grammy Award-winning engineer (and Arcade Fire collaborator) Mark Lawson, are incredibly diverse, and are heavily influenced by Brazilian popular music, as you can hear on his newest single, “Escorpião.”

The song is built on top of a banging funk carioca beat, and it’s all about contrasts. It features a tense classical string arrangement, 90s dance-style synths, sparse electric guitar punctuation, and Capinan’s own velvety tenor voice, conjugating musically and lyrically the extremes which characterize the zodiac sign that inspired the song. “When we went into studio to record the new album, I imagined this track being very chaotic, kind of like someone going from an explosive moment to a more delicate and serene place,” Capinan tells Remezcla.

“Escorpião’s” music video, exclusively premiered here in Remezcla, portrays Capinan as a water deity, as he performs on a spectacular beach landscape in Rio de Janeiro. Shot and directed by previous collaborator Alexandre Maciel, the visuals are connected to the album artwork and his own beachside upbringing in Bahia. “We were inspired by the goddesses and gods of the sea, such as Yemanjá, as well as the mythological story of the siren,” he explains. “I really wanted to juxtapose the explosive side of someone with the Moon in Scorpio to the moods of the sea. Since I was a little kid in Bahia, I’ve liked to sit down on a rock and watch the waves. In the case of this video I am the mermaid who lured sailors, I am a creature who is not defined by its gender.”

Talking about the video shooting, Capinan recalls a near-death experience he’ll surely remember for the rest of his life. “I had to be saved by lifeguards because I was dancing in a spot I shouldn’t have been,” he says. “When they arrived to get me out of the big rock you see me dancing in the video, they grabbed me by the hand from a different rock and a massive wave went above my head. But it was totally worth it.” With a result this beautiful, we can’t help but agree.

Watch the video here: