Music show for the SDGs in Rio de Janeiro

Musicians and bands from Rio's metropolitan region, the Baixada Fluminense, will deliver a show to celebrate the launch of pilot project with musicians and artists from the suburbs of large cities in the Global South. 

Belford Roxo is one of the thirteen municipalities in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, the Baixada. It is one of the most populous cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, with 500,000 inhabitants and is ranked 53rd in the Human Development Index of Rio's 92 municipalities. Belford Roxo gained international visibility in the mid-80's, when it was one of the most violent cities in the world in terms of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

Citizens of Belford Roxo found in music and art a key support for a more active citizenship, engaged in to building a better future. With a lively, vibrant and diverse music scene, Belford Roxo is now one of the main national hubs for development of new musical talents, representing a wide range of rhythms and genres, especially rap, reggae, rock and funk.

Aware of the transformative potential of music and art for the development of more sustainable cities, the UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development, the RIO+ Centre, is launching a pilot project that will gather new musical talents from the suburbs of the metropolis of Portuguese-speaking countries.

For the director of UNDP RIO+ Centre, Romulo Paes de Sousa, "the success of countries' efforts to implement the 17 SDGs until the deadline of year 2030 will require the construction of broad coalitions and mobilization of all sectors of society, including national governments, municipalities, businesses, citizens, civil society organizations and the media."

The pilot project aims to create a collaborative model between the United Nations and musicians to be replicated mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America countries. First, it is being developed in partnership with 17 musicians and musical groups of Belford Roxo and other cities in the Baixada Fluminense, who will work in partnership with UNDP in structuring the first steps of a global network of musicians and also in the production of unprecedented music contents to spread the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, specially to young people. These musicians make up the Open Working Group of Musicians for Sustainable Development, which will incorporate within the upcoming months participants from Jardim Angela, Sao Paulo and Maputo, capital of Mozambique.

For the deputy director of the UNDP RIO+ Centre, Layla Saad, the pilot project in Belford Roxo is a "structuring initiative that places the citizen as an agent of transformation, promoting the development of a more active and more connected citizenship with the global agenda for sustainability." For Layla Saad, "citizen mobilization for sustainable development is a collaborative process in which citizens help develop the tools. Our vision is to involve citizens not only as agents for dissemination of information on the SDGs, but also for collaboration around creative initiatives that can be easily replicated by UNDP offices around the world."

Reggae, Funk, Hip-Hop and Rock for sustainable development

The UNDP RIO+ Centre pilot project aims to develop active citizenship for the 2030 Agenda by involving the production of musical content to translate the 17 SDGs into messages to the general public, It focuses on young people, with the greatest potential for mobilization due to extensive use of new technologies and social media.

The project will foster partnerships and collaboration between musicians from the peripheries of the cities of Lusophone countries, such as Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Luanda, Maputo, Beach, Dili, Sao Tome, Lisbon and Porto.

The musicians participating in the pilot program will present the first songs produced at the iconic Cine Odeon in Rio de Janeiro, during the global launch event of the documentary ScenaRIO: Sustainability in Action in a show entitled Music to Advance Sustainable Development. 

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Representing several musical genres, the pilot project gathers the following participants:

  • MC Eddi, rapper of Knockout band, nominated for Grammy Latino 2002
  • Da Gama, former guitarist of the band Black City, now in solo career with work BaixÁfrica Brazil
  • Gui Rodrigues, drummer of Monobloco band and drummer of Namarra band
  • Dida Nascimento, founder of Donana Cultural Center and singer of reggae band Negril
  • Rota Espiral, rock band formed in São João de Meriti
  • Marrone, singer and keyboardist of reggae bands Recarregae and Negril
  • Renato Biguli, singer of bands Monobloco and Head Nigga
  • LC do Cantão, rapper and activist, organizer of Roda Cultural de Heliópolis
  • Sangue Rasta, reggae band formed in Belford Roxo
  • Neco Trindade, singer and songwriter
  • MC TherLu, rapper of Helmut group
  • Coronel Soares, reggae band formed in Belford Roxo
  • Tony Ricardo, DJ and former student of the Donana Cultural Center
  • Ras Bernardo, reggae singer and environmental activist
  • Banda Genômades, reggae group formed in Nova Iguaçu
  • Valnei Ainê, singer of reggae band Negril
  • Mathias e Panela Zen, reggae group

The RIO+ Centre's pilot project also counts on the voluntary collaboration of musicians, artists and the Donana Cultural Centre, in Belford Roxo.