No Na Orelha is a gritty and tender tribute to his hometown of Sao Paulo mixing hip hop, Afrobeat, dub and samba. Criolo's rise from the Sao Paulo underground to the spotlight has come incredibly fast and the success of this album is a pretty amazing DIY triumph for independent Brazilian music (400,000 album downloads in Brazil since April 2011). It was recorded in Sao Paulo with the support of a community arts centre, a low-budget, high-grade production by Marcelo Cabral and Daniel Ganjaman.
Criolo's arrival in Europe comes at a huge turning point in his career having just scooped 3 awards at the Brazilian national music awards (the Brazilian grammy) - he has won 3 prizes: Best Album (No Na Orelha) & Best Singer (pop/rock/reggae/hiphop/funk category) + Best Newcomer overall. Last year Criolo topped the rankings in Rolling Stone Magazine Brazil with Album of the Year and Best Song and won three VMB (MTV Brazil) awards for Best Album, Best Newcomer and Best Song ('Não Existe Amor Em SP').
Writing his first song aged 11, hip hop was his first love but now at 36, Criolo's expression has developed an adventurous range without losing any of its intensity. Criolo’s has a deep history on the São Paulo hip hop scene. He has performed countless neighbourhood shows over 20 years, released his debut album, Ainda Há Tempo, in 2006 and created Rinha Dos MCs, a centre for street art and hip hop music and the location for the infamous weekly freestyle battles that draw rap wordsmiths from all over town. Criolo makes music out of despair – despair at the state his country is in, where blatant and brutal social inequality is worsening despite the unprecedented economic growth.