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An appetite for Titica

Interview March 21 2014

Taking shape as an all-round carnival gradually breaking ground worldwide kuduro has evolved into a versatile movement acknowledged as a lifestyle, or attitude, incorporating aspects of dance, music, fashion and form of self-expression. To state that the Stocktown staff is in total awe of kuduro music is an understatement, browsing through our entries you’ll find some of our kuduro-spiced gems e.g the Os kuduristas project dedicated to bringing the movement to the west, the magical duo Gato Preto and Angolan music project Batida. And we won’t stop at that. Angola’s currently most promising leading act wearing the kuduro crown, is by far the eccentric MCing kuduro queen Titica. Titica gives a voice to the LGBT communities globally by being an out-and-proud transsexual superstar undoubtedly destined for greatness by targeting a global issue that calls for desperate need of serious addressing; the acceptance of LGBT people worldwide. After being a victim of intolerance and prejudice due to her gender identity time after time, Titica was recently appointed as an National Goodwill Ambassador by the UNAIDS for her brave take on changing the attitudes towards gender in Angola. It gives great comfort to know that wherever there is ignorance brewing, there’s always a great, brave, and remarkable artist scratching on the surface of crude injustice.

Rated as the “Best Kuduro Artist of 2011” and carrying the banner by getting her swag on and providing kuduro tutorials whilst stirring up an it’s-about-that-goddam-time awakening in the music industry and international media outlets – it’s crucial to emphasise her immense importance as an artist.

Screen shot of  ‘Ohla o Boneco’ Screen shot of ‘Ohla o Boneco’

– She’s a huge source of inspiration to not only Angolans, but to kuduro fans worldwide. In Angola, she’s on everybody’s lips, everybody knows her songs, they’re into all the famous dance videos and know her dance moves by heart. She’s the leading artist in the country and she’s made a huge impact on the population, says documentary filmmaker Teddy Goitom.

Back in 2012, Titica put her heel down and dropped her first single ‘Olha o Boneco’ (ft. Ary) ( = Look at the Doll) off the debut album Chão (via LS Produções) topping the charts in portuguese-speaking countries, staying at the top spot for three weeks in the Portuguese program TOP+ and making it a smash hit during seven whole weeks on the Brazilian show Rolando Musica. And it’s a major jam which I feel deserves some extra sugarcoating and re-applauding today almost two years later- still as topical and acclaimed as back then.

The message of the celebratory song advocates one love and calls the support for equal love, pinpointing what politicians’ worldwide continuously keep scratching their heads over, endlessly pondering whether same-sex marriage should be legalised. While they keep doing that, the world will need an array of songs and videos highlighting this issue over and over again.

Photobook2

With a staggering 518,472 views on Youtube so far, the bridal themed video for ’Olha o Boneco‘ was shot during one day and dropped almost instantly one week later in February 2012, ‘- We weren’t really expecting such a massive response to the video, straight after the release it was even featured on BBC and other international media outlets, we we’re startled and stoked -.’ says Teddy Goitom, who co-directed the video with Benjamin Taft.

At the time, in early 2012, the directors-duo were located in Luanda to shoot their upcoming documentary Stocktown X Angola (planned for release in 2014) featuring none other than Titica herself, as well as the Angolan rapper MC Sacerdote, when suddenly offered a proposal which resulted into massive international coverage making Titica a media sensation. ‘- Titica’s manager asked us if we wanted to make a video for the track and we took on the offer spontaneously, and thought to ourselves ‘why not make the video as a part of the documentary while we’re at it?’ And since we already had produced a music video for MC Sacerdote and the Kenyan soul artist Anto previously, we figured why not? We had time on our hands so we simply decided to squeeze it into our schedule -’ says Teddy.

Video shoot
Video shoot

Shot at a fancy hotel suite in Luanda, the duo created the ‘Bridesmaids’-inspired-video without a permit and managed to smuggle all technical equipment into the room, making sure no one was aware of the planned video production. The hotel staff and residentes were under the impression that they were documenting a real wedding, so they decided to play along, pretending that was their cause. ‘- We told the staff that a wedding would be taking place in one of their suites and requested to view the room, we did everything we could do in order to have a shooting at the hotel, all the other hotels had declined-’ says Teddy. Initially the setting of the video was planned elsewhere, at a local spa, but the duo kept facing setbacks over and over again due to circumstances beyond their control. ‘-That spa would have been a perfect setting for a dance performance part in the video, with these amazingly extravagant roman style murals in the background depicting a multi ethnic group of half naked women next to a pool. Unfortunately, the spa was owned by the Angolan president’s wife and our local production guys were convinced they would get into trouble if we even attempted to ask permission to do a shoot there with Titica being a controversial transexual artist.-’ says Benjamin.

Screen shot of  ‘Ohla o Boneco’Screen shot of ‘Ohla o Boneco’

‘- The concept for the video was to show a marriage ceremony day between Titica and her co singer, the female diva Ary. We asked them to come to the shoot dressed up as a bride and groom -‘ says Benjamin. And even though the bridal concept for the video did spark some controversy on the very day of the shoot and when the stars of the video arrived 5 hours late (only showing up with a bunch of ill fitting cocktail dresses and still needed to get their makeup done) it turned out that Titica’s manager had deemed it too controversial too go with our concept: -’She decided to scrap our concept and then pretend like nothing happened-’, says Benjamin. Eventually, after a few sighs and shucks, the duo managed to pull the concept off by pulling a few strings and putting everything into place –  a location, a crew of dancers, makeup artists and last but not least a fierce artist ready to tear things up.

And the end result? A 3:21 minute smashing video showcasing the buzzing artist all dolled up in her bridal best.

Crew

Crew

For all our Sthlm-based peeps, CinemAfrica, dedicated to spreading African film in Sweden, organises an event you should attend. One of them is panel Musikvideofrukost (Music videobreakfast), on which our founder and editor-in-chief Teddy Goitom will be a guest speaker. Not only that, Teddy will be showing bits from his new project Afripedia for the first time in public.

Where: Bio Rio, Hornstull, Sthlm

Time: 22nd March, 11:00-14:00.

Attend the event here.

For further details visit http://cinemafrica.se/

 

Titica is featured in the upcoming documentary Stocktown X Angola (planned for release in 2014) off the new project Afripedia series covering the contemporary creative and social culture booming in various countries across the African continent. Stay tuned for the teaser here on stocktown.com!


 

Titica ft. Ary –  “Olha o Boneco” (2012)

 

Directors: Teddy Goitom / Benjamin Taft

Producer: Hugo Salvaterra

Assistent Producer: Emilia Abrantes

Music video produced and filmed by Stocktown / Geração 80

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