You may have encountered Branko before without knowing it – through the music he made with the widely adored collective Buraka Som Sistema. For many outside Portugal this was the first taste of 21st-century Lisbon. Buraka Som Sistema were active 2005 to 2016, releasing four albums between 2008 and 2014. Along with a wave of artists from under-represented countries, B.S.S rode a worldwide wave receiving mainstream success including an MTV European Music Award and extensive tours. Branko notes that Buraka Som Sistema “represented the beginning of everything I do and stand for. It allowed me to be part of a group that became one of the voices of a generation that had a different perspective on what it meant to be from Lisbon and we took that vision around the world and brought a whole scene with us.” He adds that B.S.S taught him to “always be about celebrating my city and its diversity.”
This is where his second solo album “Nosso” comes in. The next chapter after ‘ATLAS’, his celebrated 2015 debut solo album, ‘Nosso’ was recorded around the world and finalized in Lisbon, being Branko’s most ambitious solo project to date. After a long career of collaborative work, either with his former bandmates or one-on-one with artists such as MIA, for whom he produced for her latest album AIM and helped put her live show together, he now puts forward an intense series of spontaneous collaborations with vocalists and musicians far and wide. These include Brazilian Mallu Magalhães and Congolese-Canadian Pierre Kwenders & Colombian Catalina García, where “Nosso” sums up our modern musical world, where Modern Soul, Kuduro and beyond come together to give us new forms beyond genre and niche. Branko has found a whole community of artists to enrich his innovative and warm sound with lyrics in Portuguese, English, Spanish and French. Branko has seen the power of music to unite and on “Nosso” (“Ours” in Portuguese), he’s made a conscious effort as the producer to make this record truly universal.
It is perhaps simplest to view Branko as a kind of cultural agitator, active on many fronts besides being a recording and touring artist. From his early days in Buraka Som Sistema, to setting up a label that provides a platform for artists from around the world, to curating festival stages and compilations, to creating, producing and presenting his own travel show for Portuguese national television, to recording radio for his monthly residency on NTS radio – Branko is deeply involved in many facets of the creation and the ongoing establishment of new Portuguese music scenes.