Producer Victor Hugo de Oliveira Rodrigues, aka VHOOR, is one of Brazil’s most talented young musicians. Hailing from the city of Belo Horizonte, 25-year-old VHOOR has been able to build a loyal fanbase both in Brazil and overseas by taking genres like hip-hop, footwork, trap, grime and chill wave and incorporating them into Brazilian baile funk and other Afro-Latin rhythms.
His solo instrumental releases (including the brand new Mare EP) and his work with fellow artists like FBC and Sango have showcased the potential of Brazilian and global electronic music.
VHOOR considers himself a “Brazilian and Afro-Latino beatmaker above all” who absorbs all the styles of music that Brazil has to offer, utilizing “the ancestral influences that each genre has in common.”
In advance of his North American debut at the longtime Jackson party The Equinox, on Friday, Sept. 15 at Hand Fire Pizza, put on by Nomadic Events and Something Else, Victor Hugo de Oliveira Rodrigues aka VHOOR joined us recently over the phone (with an interpreter) in the KHOL studios.
The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. This conversation was recorded on Sept. 11.
JACK CATLIN/KHOL: You’re known for having a great range when it comes to both your production and your DJ sets. There seems to be two main focal points, samples and textures, which really enforce the environment you’re trying to create. Can you touch on the importance of implementing those two key elements in your work?
VHOOR: These textures that you’re mentioning are a way for me to creatively fill up space. Depending on the vibe that I’m trying to create I’m always trying to look for sounds or textures that are different and unique, not only to highlight myself as a producer, but a way to create a vibe, a feeling within my music. There are certain things that describe my sound or things that I really like to present within. Things like swing, bass and trying to always reconceptualize sounds, whether it’s old or new sounds from Brazilian music in all of its different genres.
KHOL: You do a great job of combining baile funk (a hip hop-influenced music genre from Rio de Janeiro) with all sorts of different genres, like hip hop, electronic, trap, footwork and afro pop. In fact, you have an entire series of releases that shine light on just that, including “Baile & Beats,” “Baile & Sauce” and “Baile & Trill.” Can you speak on that dedication and its importance to you of combining baile with all of these other different flavors?
VHOOR: This era of the Baile series is probably one of the most important eras of my career where I really tried to develop and evolve my sound. My brother used to attend some of the rap battles in the area and trap music in general was growing quite quickly in Brazil around that time. I was really trying to grow and develop as a producer, trying to mix these sounds, whether it’s baile funk or trap or things of that nature.
One important milestone of this era was meeting Sango, an American producer from Michigan and Seattle. Becoming friends with him and trying to develop my sound while using Sango’s work as a reference point [was vastly important]. I also heavily credit the producer community on SoundCloud. It’s where I was able to meet a lot of people who are now my friends, where I was able to not only meet other people doing similar styles of music, but use it as a tool to continue to look for new sounds and get inspired. The Baile series essentially was mixing baile funk with American hip hop style beats, and a lot of that was due to my relationship with Sango and other people that were on SoundCloud.
KHOL: How does it feel to be coming to North America and performing for the first time? And what can we expect from the set here in Jackson?
VHOOR: I’m very excited to come to America. American music is something that probably most inspired my sound outside of Brazil. I’m a bit nervous but also very excited to be able to come to play in America. I’m working very hard with a lot of dedication to be able to present the best set possible starting in Jackson, Wyoming.
Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with VHOOR.