Brazil’s Liniker Transcends Soul Music and Gender Lines

Press play and then take your eyes away from the screen. Just listen. Portuguese rolls off of singers’ tongues, and then a soulful melody comes into play. A beautiful, raspy, and masculine voice carries you through this sultry tune.

You can feel the music and the words, even if you don’t understand Portuguese (though this song makes you wish you did). You can translate enough to know that matters of the heart are involved. You find yourself swaying from side to side, unable to take your ears away from this tune. Then the breakdown. Oh, the breakdown that gives you goose bumps, literally.

Open your eyes, and you might seem puzzled at first. You notice that the lead vocalist and band namesake, Liniker Barros, is male, but is dressed in a skirt, and dons a turban and jewelry typically seen on women. Does it change your perception of the song and the band? Why would it? Get past this awesome and barrier-breaking aspect, and all you have is what needs to be said – a moving and brilliant musical project that blends pure soul and Brazilian culture.

The featured song “Zero” and their more recent release, “Louise du Brésil” can be found on Liniker’s debut album Cru, along with other tracks that speak of world issues today, love, and gender and identity. Not much is said about gender by the Vulkania label which houses the band’s current project, and rightfully so. The focus of the project is the music, regardless of gender, and Liniker proves to be doing it better than most.