For five years now the “ambassadors” have established their residence on Pond Street as the “Jamaica Plain Embassy.” The place where their musical comedic madness creates itself. The “Jamaica Plain Embassy” turns these fine ambassadors and their musical creation, the band Academicos de Milton Friedman.
Acadêmicos de Milton Friedman is lead by Jopa Velozo and João Nogueira, who refer to themselves as ambassadors, and their musical adventures started in the kitchen of the place they call the J.P. Embassy, making amateur videos for their original songs of comedic satire for daring political ideas within the Brazilian culture.
In just a year’s time, what started out as a musical pow-wow of music and minds, blossomed into a full fledge musical movement. Academicos de Milton Friedman now is known and loved all throughout Brazil making its impact all from the Jamaica Plain Embassy.
Let’s discover more about Academicos de Milton Friedman; below is a brief interview with some Q&A’s that can help you get to know these Ambassadors better.
Interviewer: Hi, Academicos! How are you? Thank you for taking time out to allow us to get to know you better. Leading first is our curiosity about your title; can you explain why you call yourselves The Ambassadors of Jamaica Plain?
Acadêmicos: Hi. We are great! Thank you for asking. It’s a pleasure to be talking to you. Sure we can explain. Branding ourselves as The Ambassadors was inspired from a comedy sketch from a Brazilian TV show named, os Trapalhões. There are two drunken bum like men trying to convince a bartender to give them another drink and pay the next day. Out of politeness and sarcasm the bartender starts to call them by titles such as, diplomats, doctors, engineers, Ambassadors in efforts to sway them into understanding they need to pay first. Hahaha… it’s really a funny sketch and the title Ambassador stuck and ever since then we kept calling ourselves Ambassadors. And since we all ended up living together in Jamaica Plain, well… we became the Ambassadors of Jamaica Plain living at the J.P. Embassy.
Interviewer: Being Ambassadors of Jamaica Plain, how connected is your music to the community of Jamaica Plain?
Acadêmicos: Jamaica Plain has been our nurturing grounds and J.P. carried a huge music and arts community. Only the best of the best here. In October 2015 we launched a crowdfunding campaign for help with airline tickets. We need to bring another V.I.P Ambassador to Brazil for a big show. The J.P. community was a large part of our success in achieving our goal. And now, Jamaica Plain is part of our art as the J.P. Pond is in our newest released video Good Intentions. We had ideas about making a psychedelic scene by the pond, yet due to timing of day and lighting issues we made it right on the pond. We’re glad we did though, it came out pretty cool.
Interviewer: So tell us about Academicos newly released music video Good Intentions.
Acadêmicos: The video was inspired by an 1985 documentary named Good Intentions. It was made by the economics professor Walter E. Williams. In our video the character Professor MC Will is our way of paying tribute to him. The song talks about how policies that are made by politicians with good intentions ends up having negative effects on the real world stage.
Interviewer: Deep. So, you guys are thinkers. So, do all of your songs carry the same philosophical approach?
Acadêmicos: Hahaha…yes, yet it’s mostly an approach of the sarcastic comedian. We always write songs about themes that help us express our views on life. Although our video Good Intentions theme is economics, the satire and parody like approach gives you a taste of the tea the Ambassadors like to sip on. It’s about connecting points and finding something we like. And, mostly our views on the world are full of jokes and comedic satire anyway, so why not make music with it about relevant issues in the Ambassadors lives.
Interviewer: Fantastic Ambassadors! Speaking about relevant issues in the Ambassadors lives; how has Academicos de Milton Friedman influenced Brazil musically?
Acadêmicos: Well, with all the people creating music related to what is going on politically in Brazil, our music stands to be unique.
Lyrically speaking, we discuss not just the politics itself but the insights to the politics, economical scenarios, and the daily situations that the people have to live with due to all of it. We speak directly to the people and that is something that everyone appreciates.
Musically speaking, we fuse rock and jazz with samba which creates a unique sound than what you would normally here in Brazil. We have received lots of email from musicians in Brazil asking to collaborate for this reason alone. Now, Brazilian musicians, writer’s, artists, and fans have been sharing our music and views on all sorts of social media platforms. It’s been very honoring.
Interviewer: What are Academicos de Milton Friedman plans for the future?
Acadêmicos: Our next steps would be to release our 2nd single from our upcoming EP. We have been spending time translating our lyrics into English so we are excited about releasing the full EP soon. In between we will be planning for returning to back to Brazil and other events to perform in the up coming months. Simple but busy. Let’s see what happens.