Oftentimes, it’s hard for singer-songwriter Frederico Geib to remember whether he dreamed in Portuguese, English or Spanish. His brain, he says, is always swimming in those three languages.
The Brazilian-born musician, also known as Frederico7, grew up in São Paulo in a multi-cultural family with a German father and Brazilian mother. When an economic crisis hit Brazil, his family moved to Mexico. Geib was 16. But for years now, Geib has called Austin home and has played a key role in boosting the local world music scene with bands including Os Alquimistas, the funk psychedelic band Suns of Orpheus and the Brazilian 1970s-inspired orchestra Macaxiera Funk.
On Feb. 23, Frederico7 will celebrate the release of his debut solo album “Exótico Americano” at the Empire Control Room on East Seventh Street. Doors open at 8 p.m. and advanced $13 tickets are available online at frederico7.com.
“Exótico Americano” is a soulful musical journey through the Americas. Afro-Brazilian rhythms act as the album’s beating heart and give life to the psychedelic, funk, cumbia, reggae and soul sounds infused throughout the record. The project shares Geib’s observations of living through North and South America — he also spent a stint in Argentina — and tells of a personal yet universal story.
“We’re all exótico Americanos,” he says. “We all have stories that are complex and that could probably make a good movie. Each one of our stories has power.”
Telling his own personal identity story hasn’t been the easiest for others to understand. At times, he says, “I’ve been afraid of my complexity, been afraid of being the other.” For his debut album, it felt important to him to have a song like the title track that reflected his layered upbringing but also focused on how we are connected.
“I’d like people to not be afraid of sharing their own complex stories,” he says.
Geib’s musical footprints through life can perhaps be best heard in his cumbia reggae song “Vibran los Ancestros,” which feels like a nod to Austin music while still inspired by a Brazilian bell and Spanish lyrics.
His multicultural experiences both in Austin and around the world have informed his life and art and make it easy for him to transition from a samba song in the album to a cumbia. “It all makes sense to me,” he says with a laugh.
This new year, he’s embraced the phrase “step into curiosity,” which for him means to embrace what’s ahead including stepping into the world of being a solo artist or stepping into the vulnerability that can appear in his songs.
He hopes listeners follow their curiosity, too. When we step into another person’s story, he says, we realize “we have more in common than not.”
Celebrating Latino printmakers
Keep an eye out for the vital artwork created by talented Latino printmakers at PrintAustin this year.
The annual month-long event celebrating the art of original printmaking also showcases contemporary work and runs through Feb. 15 at various Austin locations.
For Latino artists, printmaking both throughout the U.S. and Mexico “has been a means of expression for multiple struggles and today continues to be a visual voice for the community,” says Mexic-Arte Museum Executive Director Sylvia Orozco. Here are some must-see exhibits:
• Fidencio Duran, Prints And Drawings: Don’t miss the chance to see the printmaking side of this noted local muralist. You may remember seeing one of his most prominent works, The Visit, at the west ticket counter at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Duran’s prints, drawings and watercolors will be on display at the Ruiz Public Library through Feb. 28.
• Latino Artists in Printmaking: From Montopolis to Peru, the La Peña museum and gallery features an exhibit of established and emerging Latino artists through Feb. 5.
• La Huella Magistral, Homage to Master Printmakers: At the Mexic-Arte’s exhibit paying tribute to master printmakers, you’ll find works by one of Mexico’s most important graphic artist, Leopoldo Méndez. Master printer Sam Coronado, who died in 2014, was among the co-founders of the Mexic-Arte Museum. Work in his memory will also be on display now through June 3.