This month, our Outside Voice series heads to Brazil, featuring two leading Black creatives in São Paulo. We’re inspired by these conversations with Felipe Silva and Jéssica Gomes, who both use their platforms to help improve representation for people of color in the industry — and bring more opportunities to the next generation of Brazilian creatives. As an added bonus, their playlists are full of incredible tunes to match the profound stories and insights they share. (Plus, they’ve recorded annotations in both English and Portuguese.)
Outside Voice, Season 2
Felipe Silva is the co-founder and CCO at Gana, an all-Black creative agency — the only one of its kind in the country. He’s also the founder of Escola Rua, a project focused on training low-income advertising students. In his annotated playlist, he breaks down his belief in the power of Black creativity: “We invented hip-hop, rock, blues, Brazilian funk,” he says. “Imagine all that power creating for brands. That's what Gana agency wants to do.” Silva’s eclectic playlist pays tribute to all of those genres and beyond.
Jéssica Gomes is the Creative & Comms Director at Sallve, a beauty-tech startup in Brazil, and the co-founder of Navaranda, a collective committed to changing the representation of women in the creative industry. She’s also a 2018 alum of See It Be It, a Cannes Lions initiative sponsored by Spotify Advertising that highlights the issue of gender inequality in the creative industry and gives future female leaders the tools to help change the narrative.
In her playlist, Gomes is candid about the importance of diversity in Brazil — beyond just the advertising industry: “Although Black people are the majority of the population here in Brazil,” she says, “we are a minority when it comes to representation in spaces of power. And here we are in 2021, still fighting for the right to exist and to live, not just survive. I could not ignore that in my creative journey. We are lives, futures and stories that deserve to be told.”
Silva expresses the same frustration about the lack of Black representation in Brazil, specifically explaining how it has been apparent throughout his creative career. “In Brazil, 56 percent of the population is Black,” he says. “But it took me 10 years to work with another Black person in a creative department. I want the creative community to learn the value and the power of Black creativity, because Black creativity is the brain of the global creative industry.”
Gomes shares how she hopes to make that future happen by driving impact with her work. “At the very beginning of my career, I saw the stereotypes, the lack of diversity, the limited [representation of] perspectives of people like me,” she says. “At that moment, I realized that every decision at this point was about either reflecting the problem or doing something about it.”
Silva also shares his vision for the future he’s hoping to build. “The world I expect for my son in the future is one in which he can... walk down the street without fear and choose his own profession. Being a father of Black kids is to fight for basic human rights.”
We hope you dive into these powerful episodes of Outside Voice and feel inspired by the change-making work of Felipe and Jéssica. As always, keep your ears open for more episodes in the coming months, with more voices that need to be heard.
Want to check out other episodes of Outside Voice? Listen at the links below:
- Misha Euceph, Founder and CEO of Dustlight Productions
- Modi Oyewole, Senior Director of Marketing at Capitol Records
- Nwaka Onwusa, Vice President and Chief Curator, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
- Mike Shum, award-winning documentary filmmaker
- Juan Reyes, Brand Narrative Director at Nike
- Alyza Enriquez, Video Producer + Writer at VICE Media
- Seyi Alawode, founder of agency CHL
- Aaron Taylor, art director at Leo Burnett agency
- Samantha Almeida, head of Twitter Next Brazil
- Raymond McKay, CCO and co-founder of RUN