“From Africa, there can be a patron girl everywhere.” Lua Preta at an intercultural festival.

Your latest EP is called “Polaquinha Preta” – what does it actually mean?

Cuba: In Angola, children called Luzia, Polaquinha preta – black Polish dot. Luzia was not considered Angolan there, and here she was considered Polish – she was always on the border of two national identities.

Luzia: I lived between two worlds. I lived in Angola until I was 14, and then I came to school in Poland, where I knew Polish and English. This change came as a big surprise to me – when it comes to the weather, food, contact with people. It was hard to find and get used to living here. Very few people smiled at me then, and I didn’t know if it was normal. Nobody danced when they liked it – it was a very interesting and incomprehensible side of life here. When I returned to Angola, they asked: Have you seen snow? Is it true that the sand in the water is so hard? Isn’t water as clear as in Africa? Questions about life, culture, relationships between people. At first it was a little strange. Angolan culture itself is very diverse, but very entertaining – there are moments when a person is very serious and respectful, but it is important that he is like that in everything. hole. When we celebrate something, we celebrate it by having fun, singing and dancing – always. You sit here, eat and sweat alternatively dances when it’s a little “soft” (laughs). It was a surprise for me, but the longer I was here, the easier it was to switch to this mode. There was always a little dancing at family gatherings or meetings with friends. We can’t just sit with wine, if you like something, your arm is moving, then the dancing girl – what’s the problem?

Cuba: It was the first time last Christmas that my mother got up from the table and started dancing. It was an African hit …

Luzia: Jerusalem! (smile)

Cuba: This is a major hit in Africa. For the first time, I saw my 72-year-old mother get up from the table and dance. These cultures are mixed in our family.


Luisa MODIVO in the adidas x Rich Monks campaign

Photo: Partner’s material

Despite the complex relationship of Poles with other cultures, “tropical” sounds seem surprisingly popular here. Do you think Poles really have a special taste for such music?

Cuba: When we started creating music together, we had no plans for Poland. Everything was directed to foreign countries, but after a while, and probably with the release of U Know Me, it became clear that there are several buyers, and their number is large. They are often “zumbali ladies” (laughs). And it turns out that there are many people who are engaged in kizomba, semba dances, which are more intimate dances. There are also some young people who dance Afrohaus and dancehall.

Luzia: You should also say that as soon as you hear our songs “Ladies from Zumba”, they enter it, start swinging and perform really well. They keep up with our high tempo for an hour, then come with a big “WOW – it was better than Zumba” (laughs). Because it’s called Zumba, but I have the impression that they still only get what they wear in the gym. Suddenly they live in a place they did not expect. They didn’t know us and our music, they heard the first minutes, the first beats, and they knew it could happen elsewhere. If they had known sooner, they would have played and listened more everywhere.

Cuba: It often happens that completely random people hear us for the first time at a concert and start to like us. Probably because we are more attractive in live broadcasts than CDs. Recently, at a festival in Kościelisko, a girl saw us for the first time, and a week later she came to Warsaw in particular for a concert – probably never before had anyone traveled half of Poland specifically for us. And it was a person who liked these dances – zumba, kizomba …

Luzia: She really met us with kizomba (laughs).

MODIVO adidas x Rich Monks

MODIVO adidas x Rich Monks

Photo: Partner’s material

Apart from the fact that the music itself is well received, how do you perceive the Polish scene in terms of openness to others? Do you experience signs of reluctance or even discrimination?

Cuba: Not in our assemblies. We have not had such a thing abroad. From the outside, looking at our sons Lucia and Nelson, it seems to me that there are two kinds of racism in Poland. A racism can be harmless, it stems from curiosity, that is, someone has never seen an African and just looks at the street.

Luzia: But she really does! (laughs) He can turn around and keep his eyesight for a long time. It always happens, on the tram, on the bus, on the street. As long as I remember, when I came here. It always happens.

Cuba: The second type of racism is racism, which attributes some negative aspects to race. For example, a store security guard follows Lucia because she thinks a black man is stealing. This happens, but you haven’t had it in a long time for someone to attack or say something directly? Maybe what was this refugee crisis like in 2016 …

Luzia: Once, at Euro 2012, she had such a problem. Someone threw a bottle at me, just hit my foot … It was strange, it happened when I was showing my friends from abroad how it was in Poznan. excellent is my city. It’s great here, it’s safe here, the euro is happening, there are a lot of different people, and I didn’t think I’d experience such a thing when I went home, but it was more of a one-off event. Fortunately, nothing like that has happened since then.

Cuba: Once a football fan called me a “racial traitor” on the street (laughs). It was more ridiculous than dangerous. I admit that I do not remember such bad situations, now I really have to focus on remembering such a thing.

In Polaquinha Preta, Forro has a track that speaks to only 70,000 today. Nation. To what extent does your activity have a sense of “cultural mission” – to what extent does your desire to promote minorities and cultural niches and your style come from your taste?

Cuba: It’s more of a musical pleasure. This forro is spoken by Lucia’s mother forro, and once at dinner I asked her about her childhood music. He sang this song, I wrote it on the phone and then used it in our album. We had a video interview with Lucia’s mother about this work. There would be tons of stories about how the Portuguese treated people who said the language was banned as a colony. It would have the characteristics of a mission and would be cool – I don’t know why, it didn’t work. I think you should go back to that. Apart from this plan, it would be very ambitious to set myself any great mission. Of course, we want to be professional and everything should be super designed, but from my point of view, it’s still more fun.

Luzia: I have never expressed such words – I support some African spirit or something like that. I just like to talk about some things, show something, present something, say something, wear some things. If someone benefits more from it, that’s great – I just do it. This is natural for me, close to my heart. If I have a samakaka on my head, it is due to the feeling of “mine” and I want to wear it. When someone asks me why and where I come from, or what right I wear all these turbans on my head, I always try to say what and how – why and why I wear it.

Cuba: There are fashionable dancers in our new music video, Essa preta mata, and I don’t want to go with the solemn tone of the great equality mission, but we used to want to portray these people as members of the LGBT community, non-binary. Nation. Show that they exist, that they do great things, that they make interesting contributions to culture, and that they are worth going to fashion, look, have fun.

Luzia: Look at least how they look, because in this video they are better dressed than me! (laughs) Their behavior is amazing, they were more important to me than I was. Although I am the one who fascinates them and obeys their will, in fact, they shine with their light and energy, which is very appropriate for this piece.

MODIVO adidas x Rich Monks

MODIVO adidas x Rich Monks

Photo: Partner’s material

You mentioned the pleasure of wearing some clothes, and at Lua Preta concerts you also pay attention to the visual layer – clothing or makeup. What role does fashion play for you?

Luzia: It seems to me that like most girls, I always liked clothes, I liked to dress, I wanted to steal something from my mother. Today it is less, but in the past my mother and brother’s wardrobe had interesting places full of colors and inspiration. I liked to borrow from there. I am glad that African motifs are entering the Polish fashion. So far, I have not seen the products of African designers in Polish stores. I am very happy to see that Modivo is doing this, paying attention to this style. Africa is not just a great place to go on vacation and sunbathe. This is a place where you can “go back to your roots” – see where we came from and what this culture can lead us to. I support it a lot, and when I finally see a girl in an African piece, or at least referring to that style, I can approach her and say, “Girl, you look great, you don’t know how much fun you have in me.” while wearing such things. “I’m glad it happened. It’s an interesting world worth drawing.

In the campaign MODIVO Your song “Panakanema” was used to promote collaboration between adidas and South African designer Rich Monisi – what does the term mean?

Cuba: The word is not in the dictionary, but it is slang, you hear it in the streets. Panakanema is a strong female figure.

Luzia: Such a “boss girl”. It is a colloquial term for a girl who has the strength and knows what is happening, but is able to smile at the world. He can control himself and achieve his goals. This track shows that African girls can be such boss girls everywhere.

Cuba: There is still a very strong patriarchy in Africa, a society based on the power of men. He works from top to bottom – from the presidency to the family government. Panakanema provides some counterbalance to this situation.

Luzia: The patriarchy is going well, but there are many girls who do not agree with it. They have their own opinion, they believe in their rights, they can’t earn their money, dress as they want, meet with whomever they want, listen to what they want, and act on men’s dictates. To be equal to men in all African spirit, in all their glory.

MODIVO adidas x Rich Monks

MODIVO adidas x Rich Monks

Photo: Partner’s material

What plans is Lua Preta after this single?

Cuba: We are also very happy that the concerts are back and we can finally go abroad. We play in Austria in May, then we go to Milan and the Belgian festival La Nature, and there are some concerts in Poland. We would like to release an EP this fall. We just shot a music video for the song “Essa Preta Me Mata”. We are working on a song by Alewya, a singer from London, originally from Ethiopia, who supported Little Sims on a tour in the UK. He wrote to us to do something together and we are in the process of creating – I don’t know when we will finish it. We also have song plans with Ziller Bass – in July he will be in Switzerland, where he will enter the studio and maybe write something.

Luzia: We have work to do, but one day we will finish it all (laughs).

Created by Rich Monks, the adidas collection includes both sportswear and streetwear – in the South African designer’s unique style – with symbolic shoe lines like the Superstar, full of color and eccentric patterns. The collection is available at MODIVO from April 19.

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