For many, just speaking another language is a challenge, let alone singing in one. For lead singer Sabina Sciubba of Brazilian Girls, singing sultry lyrics in five languages comes as second-nature.
The New York City-formed band – made up of keyboardist Didi Gutman, bassist Jesse Murphy, drummer Aaron Johnston and singer Sabina Sciubba – values their comfortable beginnings.
“I think when we started playing together it was so uncontrived and so un-premeditative that we were really open to anything,” Sciubba said in an interview with The Hatchet. “It was really organic the way it came together.”
The band had known each other for years prior to their formation, but once they began to throw around their creativity, before they knew it, “there was a band and a record out in less than a year,” Sciubba said.
After getting together for weekly practices, Brazilian Girls began playing the New York City circuit. “When we were playing at (New York club) Noblu it was great because nobody knew us, so we had to come up with new stuff for the gigs, and in the beginning it was really a playground for us,” Sciubba said.
The Italian-born singer describes the sound of Brazilian Girls as “melting pop.” With songs sung in five languages, the band is a refreshing addition to the music scene.
“This is a big world, but I definitely think that the scene that we’re coming out of is really unique,” she said. “New York is, as a whole, a melting pot, but a lot of music is still trying to do one specific thing or another.”
She also explained how she finds it natural to sing in different languages.
“I have a great time because that is my everyday life reality and so it feels good to translate that into my music.” She finds influences in other multi-lingual singers such as Marlene Dietrich but also added that “because we play so much as the band and the music is very ‘dance-y’ and rhythm-oriented, recently I’ve been into sort of the opposite: classical music, acoustic music, music from the 50s and 60s because it has a kind of ambience.”
While Brazilian Girls can be found in larger clubs, “something small like Noblu is perfect,” Sciubba said. “The noisy sound system makes the music sound really dirty and then when it gets full, people are all around you and there is no separation between the band and the people, I love it.”
Brazilian Girls will be making an appearance in D.C. next Saturday at the 9:30 Club. Sciubba hopes that “with a little bit of luck you can expect to be dancing, having a good time and meeting some fun people that are open to everything: the music and different cultures. We have experienced so far that our audience are the kind of people we would hang out with.”
You may also witness a favorite technique of Sciubba’s live performance.
“I cover my eyes a lot in the shows. The last time I came to D.C. a lot of the people came with eye bands, which was great. Hanging out with the people after the show and talking to them without being able to see their eyes was so perfect, it has something anonymous about it but also not anonymous at all because people are open to everything. I loved it.” n
The Brazilian Girls will play the 9:30 Club Oct. 1. Doors will open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15.