Spotify’s Genreless creme Playlist Represents the Best of Brazil’s Urbano Sound
Since the launch of Pollen in 2018, Spotify’s genreless playlists have taken off around the world, with Oyster in the Nordics, Altar in the UK, and Mixto serving as the home for U.S. Latin music lovers. Each one is genreless and instead serves as a collection of boundary-pushing sounds grouped and inspired by listener communities.
In Brazil, our editors wanted to create a similar type of space—one in which the music could be cultivated into a genreless plurality with a specific sonic vibe that could merge rhythms from different types of music. They sought to do this with the diverse and far-reaching culture of urbano music in Brazil, which already stood to defy musical categorization and convention in the country.
“For me, creme is a playlist that reflects the diversity of sounds that Brazil delivers in music, with a variety of beats, lyrics, and flow,” says Brazilian singer Donatto, who considers his music to be “pop with an MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) essence.” “creme is a playlist for gathering friends and enjoying a good vibe,” he says.
Xamã, a rapper who in the past three months has been one of the top-streamed artists on creme, considers his work to be “part of the new MPB.” He describes MPB as “music from the streets, music that plays in bars, in buildings, that plays on the hill! A mixture of rap and funk, urbano music and street music.”
creme, which was originally known as “Beat Urbano,” has been rebranded as “The cream of Brazilian urbano mix.” Genre-wise, hip-hop and pop make up the majority of the tracks and artists represented. But digging deeper reveals the more specific categorizations across a range of sounds—Brazilian hip-hop, funk carioca, funk ostentacao, and Brazilian R&B and trap.
These fit with the general sentiment of urbano music in Brazil, which is not tied to one genre, but spans funk, trap, R&B, hip-hop, and even Afrobeats. creme better represents a “coming together” of many music styles to evoke a feeling around a shared culture, rather than a genre.
Similar to other genreless playlists globally, creme’s listeners tend to be Gen Zs. Meanwhile, the majority of listeners of other Brazilian flagship playlists are over the age of 25. And just as playlists like Pollen intersperse established artists alongside newcomers, creme has introduced Brazilian listeners to plenty of new sounds. Andressinha, and Nyna were among the most-discovered artists on the playlist between October 2020 and January 2021, enjoying space shared with the playlist’s top-streamed artists of the same time frame, Xamã, MC Cabelinho, Pedro Lotto, Pk, and Ludmilla.
“When you listen to the creme playlist, you’re inserted into this new musical style,” says Xamã. “Everyone hears it. It’s a sound that lets everyone be represented, including me.”
creme is also reflective of new expressions of Brazilian urbano culture. Recently, a funk consciente track with sociopolitically themed lyrics, “Deus é por nós” by MC Marks, hit the Brazilian Top 50 chart. Around the same time, groups of Brazilian artists came together to record and release “Poesia Acústica,” a series of videos and singles mixing artists of different genres, like rap, R&B, and funk, with a relaxed, acoustic vibe. “Poesia Acústica #9: Melhor Forma” became a top 15 hit on the Spotify Brazilian charts for over 60 days after launch.
Over the past 90 days, another Poesia, “Poesia Acústica 10: Recomeçar” by BK, Black, Delacruz, JayA Luuck, Ludmilla, MC Cabelinho, Orochi, Pineapple StormTv, Pk, and Salve Malak, found its place as the second-most-streamed song from the playlist. It’s preceded by “LARISSA” by Luan and PEDRO SAMPAIO and followed by “Oclin e Evoque” by Djonga, MC Rick, Sidoka, and Tropa do Bruxo. In the future, the top songs could come from any artist, with any sound.
“It is an honor to be featured on the creme playlist—I always listen to it,” says Donatto. “I know that it is a playlist that has many influential artists, and to be part of that playlist is an honor and a very big dream. Being in the midst of great artists that this playlist brings, I believe it can open new doors for me and show my work to people who still don’t know it.”
Feel the sound of Brazilian urbano music by streaming creme below.