Launched in 1991, Skank was a band from Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, Brazil, with four members: the friends Samuel Rosa (vocalist and guitar player), Henrique Portugal (keyboard player), Lelo Zaneti (bass player) and Haroldo Ferretti (drummer). In the beginning, they wanted to bring a Jamaican style of music, like the dancehall and reggae, to Brazil. But years later, they also used other genres, always focused on the pop aesthetic.
The band’s name is inspired in a Bob Marley’s song, called “Easy Skanking”.
At the start, Skank already were a known band in their hometown. However, after their first and independent self-titled album, their sound got the attention of important people inside the music world, like journalists and critics, beyond the fact that they were one of the first bands in Brazil to launch an independent work in CD format. Thus, Sony Music – one of the most important recording companies – became interested in the band and hired them.
Already in their second production, Calango, hits like “Jackie Tequila” e “Te Ver” were launched. Then, with their singularity and talent, they released more than ten albums.
Prides and memorable performances
In 1994, the boys fulfilled every new band’s dream: performing in a festival. The Hollywood Rock happened in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and, by singing other artists’ songs along with original tracks of the band, Skank gained much more fame and notoriety.
In 1996, after competing in the previous year and not winning, the band got the “audience choice” prize in the Video Music Awards Brazil (VMB). Because of that, they went to New York, US, at the VMAs ceremony.
Furthermore, the band is senior in Rock in Rio, one of the most popular Brazilian festivals. A very famous performance was in 2011. A loud crowd that sang every single lyric, the charisma of Samuel Rosa and the band’s liveliness, made that show memorable.
Bye bye Skank
At the end of 2019, Skank announced a break in the band, saying that each member of the group would follow personal projects. However, a big tour all over Brazil was programmed to start in 2020. As everyone knows, the pandemic came and, just like a lot of artists, they had to postpone the shows, doing just two in the beginning of that year.
After almost two years, they restarted the tour. They did a couple concerts in 2021, but it was in 2022 that Skank traveled the country and made one of the biggest tours in Brazil, with some great artists collabing at the show, like Milton Nascimento.
The post pandemic air, when everyone couldn’t wait to enjoy live shows again, beyond the fact that this could be the last performances of Skank, made this tour unique.
“Celebration of what Skank built, what Skank was and what Skank is for a lot of people”, said Samuel Rosa about the farewell tour in his YouTube channel.
The last show of the tour, and probably of the band, was in their hometown, Belo Horizonte, where it all started. The Mineirão stadium got crowded with fans and band admirers on March 26th.
Eternized in brazilian’s mind
It is hard to find someone that has never heard a Skank song, even not knowing who they are. Skank is a singular band that will never be forgotten.
See now some of the most famous songs of the band.
Jackie Tequila (1994)
É Uma Partida de Futebol (1996)
Garota Nacional (1996)
Balada do Amor Inabalável (2000)
This article was edited by Giulia Howard.
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