"Black Women Can Talk Of More Than Racism And Feminism," Says Rapper Karol Conka

Singer goes beyond her usual themes in new album 'Ambulante'

Thiago Ney

"I have never written a song like 'Saudade' before. Such a tender song that talks about love. I missed talking about love," says Karol Conka. The 32-year-old rapper is referring to a track that contains lyrics such as:

I saw you pass by
You didn't glance in my direction as I waited
You went by, disappeared in a warm wave 
I confess feeling a tightening in my chest
 [...] I miss the two of us under the sheets 
We were so good/ I see that we are no more
I just wanted more of you

"Saudade" (a word in Portuguese with a meaning similar to "yearning") is an outlier within "Ambulante," Conka's second album. The other nine tracks discuss the rapper's favorite topics, like partying, feminism, sex, inequality, and racism.

"Before, I was known as a cute-comic singer. Now I want to be seen as sexy and powerful."

Brazilian rapper Karol Conka - Folhapress

Sexy, powerful, rebellious, and in her own words, tart. All these traits are reinforced in Conka's new look, inspired by afro-futurism with tropical touches, that was created with the help of drag queen, performer and stylist Alma Negrot.

Her new look has a resemblance to Grace Jones. "I like the comparison."

Conka says she likes to call herself powerful because she is not too keen on the overused word empowerment.

"Too many people speak of empowerment. I think the word was worn thin. It's used in a way that became a joke to the uneducated," she says.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV
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