Autor: Ana Carvalho Melo
Band Moby Islands uses rock music, in English and Portuguese, to make the Azores known to younger generations of Azorean descendants in the diaspora. The project will perform at the end of the year in Ribeira Grande and intends to release an album in 2023.
The objectives of the newly created band Moby Islands are to make the history of Azorean emigration known and keep the connection to the Azores alive in the new generations of Azoreans in the diaspora.
"We want to reach out to the new generations, who no longer have Portuguese as their main language, in order to transmit our culture and the history of emigration to them," Rui Faria, mentor of this project, told the Açoriano Oriental.
To achieve these goals, the Moby Islands, a rock band that sings in English and Portuguese, was created.
"Moby comes from Moby Dick, Herman Melville's book that talks about the brave men of the Azores who were better whalers in American whaling. And Islands to emphasize the islands. Hence the Moby Islands," he explained, noting that the lyrics of the songs "speak of the history of emigration, of how the first Azoreans arrived in America through whaling, but also of past things like the call letter, which allowed people to emigrate, and why parents speak of the late Azores that are no longer the Azores they left."
According to Rui Faria, also president of the Association of Azorean Emigrants (AEA), the idea for the band began to be developed during the Covid-19 pandemic when he started writing some lyrics.
"I've been playing music and writing lyrics for many years. During the pandemic, I started writing lyrics in Portuguese and English, to be played in a way that reminded me of my youth, in a rock format. And since my professional life, as well as the Association of Azorean Emigrants (AEA), leads me to issues related to emigration, I decided to bring the two together, resulting in the Moby Islands, in which we play rock music in Portuguese and English, which speaks of the history and culture of our Azorean emigration," he recalled.
Defending the importance of the more traditional aspect, Rui Faria believes this could be a way of reaching the new generations.
"If we want to bring tradition to the new generations, we have to follow another path, go and meet people. And since the majority only speaks English, we put together a type of music that is not common when it relates to Azorean emigration", he said.
The band Moby Islands, led by Rui Faria (voice and guitar), features musicians Eduardo Medeiros (guitar), Miguel Cordeiro (drums), Pedro Silva (bass) and Ana Cláudia (voice).
The performance concert took place on November 25, at the Teatro Ribeiragrandense, in a show where they had the special participation of Ricardo Reis.
Later this year they took the stage at Natal dos Hospitais and will perform on New Year's Eve in the city of Ribeira Grande, in Largo Hintze Ribeiro.
However, they have already released their first single "I'll see you soon" and during 2023 the goal is to release their first album of originals, as well as to disseminate their songs both in the Azores and with the Azoreans around the world.
"Moby Islands is another contribution, like so many that have already been given by other bands, associations, and clubs, even if different and that will be put to the test, so that the Azores continue to be designed in our diaspora and do not miss the bridge, with the children of the emigrants who were born there and do not miss the parents", he concluded.