Name: Michele Mengucci / Mick Mengucci or (formerly) Misturapura
Where are you from and where are you based?
I am from Rimini, Italy but I’ve lived in Lisbon since 1998. When I came here I was already playing Brasilian music in bars and started composing there, under the influence of samba and Afro-Brasilian groove from Bahia (samba-reggae, afoxe, baião…). But I liked to mix it with my rock, pop and funk styles that I loved before I went to Brasil in 1994 for a stage in a goldmine. I was an engineering student at that time.
What style of music do you play and what drew you to it?
I actually play some evolution of what I was doing when I arrived in Lisbon. My project was called Misturapura, which was the name of my band here from ’98 to 2012. In Lisbon, I discovered music from Cabo Verde and Angola. I also had a blast when I travelled to Cuba a couple of times. Another big experience was spending some months in San Francisco in 2000, playing on the street, jamming with the bluesman there, listening to jazz and attending the Saint John Coltrane church had a big influence. At that time I heard about Slam Poetry for the first time but did not pay attention to it until 2008, when I worked as a musician in events in Paris, spoken word type, but as a musician. Lately, I decided to start to organize slam poetry events in Lisbon myself, so now I improvise the lyrics when I play, and when I slam I am quite musical.
What’s your most memorable gig to date and why?
The last time I played under the name Misturapura was at the festival Imigrante at Ateneo Comercial of Lisbon a couple of years ago. I played those songs only with a drummer and a violinist with effects. We blew away the crowd.
One of the best concerts I attended was Prince at Coliseu in Lisbon. I found out about a surprise concert on Wednesday, a fixed price of 50€, and Thursday I had the ticket and ended up going by myself. I loved it.
Do you have any other projects outside of your music? What are they?
I play with a trio called Kiloko and a band of Italian stuff called Anonima Nuvolari. I also work a lot with slam poetry. I give workshops in that area. I have a project that came out of this activity which is called Lab.I.O. – Laboratory for Interaction. I mix my knowledge of computer programming with poetry and performance. I collaborate with some friends both with the slam poetry to organize events and others to make interactive installations and performances. The purpose is to mix everything and create art from poetry to music to performance and installations. The concept of Misturapura is still alive between the lines…
Is there are song/album that you’ve made that you’re particularly proud of or stands out for you? Which one and why? (and can we hear it?)
Anything else you want to tell us about?
I always did a lot of different things and never focused only on music. For example, I have been an Ultimate Frisbee player for a long time. Anyway, right now I can be found on Facebook, some Instagram (weakly), SoundCloud and Bandcamp. But I get gigs through friends and play in many frisbee tournaments.
I am human being looking for the beauty in nature, with art and science