Beginning last year, we decided that on Columbus day we were going to honor DJs descended from the people conquered by the one who we are supposed to be celebrating on this day. Listen, Columbus might not have embarked on a mission with the intention of heralding the destruction of a people but, history is written by the winners, right. Time to recognize the other side of the story. And this is how we do it.
DJ Rafael Araujo is from Brazil, a land which though not “discovered” by Columbus, was discovered by the man who commanded the Nina during Columbus' first expedition to the New World, Vicente Yanez Pinzon.
Araujo grew up with a passion for music and learned to play the piano and the flute early in his life. As a young man he took Columbus’ route in reverse and visited England to study music production. He made a discovery of his own while there, Electronic music.
With his newfound love of Dance music in tow, Araujo returned to his homeland with a fresh new perspective and lots of musical riches. He began DJing, hosting parties, and establishing Curitiba, Brazil’s nitelife. He went on to found two record labels BR909 Records in 2002 and Eletrodomesticos Records in 2006. It is said that every major DJ/producer in Brazil has either played or released material on either or both of these labels.
And what kind of tunes are we talking about exactly? Well, you know how Brazil is revered for its natural beauty, both geographical and that of its women, quite possibly the most beautiful in the world? Well, whether you’re talking about Araujo’s deep House grooves or funky Nu Disco, the musicality is as beautiful as Brazil’s natural geography, as sexy as the women that grace the country’s beaches. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you can add Araujo and his music to the list of Brazil’s top quality exports.
And export it he has. Araujo’s music has been played the world over by DJs such as Flight Facilities, Aeroplane, D-Nox & Beckers, Kolombo, Flash Brothers, Dave The Drummer, Hernan Cattaneo, John Acquaviva, and many, many more. As a DJ he has gone even farther rocking the major clubs in his own country, the Warung Club and D-Edge Club in Brazil to beyond, thanks to his five European tours that have taken his beautiful sounds to The Fridge in London, the Rex Club in Paris, as well as clubs in Germany, Poland, and more.
These days Araujo makes his home in California, but don’t think he has left his homeland behind. In fact, even when he is not there, he is still helping his countrymen and women via the DJ and Music Production school he founded in 2004. AIMEC, the Academia Internacional de Musica Eletronic is an award winning school helping aspiring DJs and producers earn the skills they need to maintain Brazil as a top exporter of EDM goods. I think it’s safe to say, an understatement perhaps, that Araujo is one of Brazil’s foremost dance music figures.
Keep up with Araujo under his new endeavor titled the Cupcake Project, which provides more of that disco and funk inspired grooves you will soon fall in love with yourself. And Araujo is always releasing new material so keep an ear out for his new releases on Royal Soul Records, the first 100% brazilian home based Nujazz / Nufunk / Downbeat label.
Rafael Araujo, Los Angeles, United States