Radio Lapa55 – Rio de Janeiro

Experimental (LPFM)
Web Radio Lapa55

By: Martin Butera
Photographs: Ligia Katze

To start telling you the history of this radio, it is first necessary to tell you where this particular streaming station is located.

Radio Lapa55, is located in the Selina Lapa Rio hotel, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The Selina is a youth-oriented hotel, combining different styles of accommodation with modern design.

In addition to the private and shared rooms, guests and the general public create a communal atmosphere, using the coworking facilities, a bar, a library and various activities such as yoga classes and music events.

Monica Fidelix, was the designer in charge of the interiors at the Selina Lapa Rio hotel. Her idea was to tell the history of radio and music. These elements are always present, directly or indirectly, through different forms and materials.

As a kind of evolution of the “radio” device, where we see from the most analog, vintage element, through digital radio, reaching Lapa55 streaming radio.

The main bar counter, for example, resembles the front of an old analog radio.

The sculpture behind the reception desk are like frequency waves of sound, forming the name of the Selina hotel.

The arts follow the same concept throughout the hotel, a great ode to the musical and sound diversity present. Murals, collages and artistic expressions are found in the rooms, corridors and common areas of the hotel.

But what is Selina?

Martin Butera, at the entrance of the Selina hotel, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Selina is not just a hotel, Selina is positioned as one of the 10 most innovative companies in Latin America.

Selina is one of the fastest growing hospitality brands in the world, combining beautifully designed accommodation with coworking, recreation, wellness and local experiences. Tailor-made for today’s nomadic traveler, Selina provides guests with a global infrastructure to seamlessly travel and work abroad.

Founded in Latin America in 2015, each Selina property is designed in collaboration with local artists and trendsetters, bringing existing buildings to life in exciting locations around the world, from urban cities, beaches, and remote jungles.

Selina blends a concept of hospitality and coworking with creative and connected ecosystems at the forefront of a change in the way millennials, Gen Z and nomads of all ages live, work and explore the world.

Selina currently has more than 45 properties under development in Latin America, Europe and North America, it is present in 19 countries.

Radio Lapa55

Martin Butera, together with DJ Rodrigo Facchinetti (general producer of Lapa55 station)

It is an independent streaming radio station dedicated to the local vinyl record collector scene. Opened in March 2019, as you now know, it is located in the lobby of the “Selina Lapa Rio” hotel.

Radio Lapa55 has quickly become a meeting point for young people from Rio de Janeiro (nickname used to refer to people born in Rio de Janeiro), who enjoy a more original sound dedicated to different musical trams.

Formed by DJs in the traditional way (in terms of technical characteristics, using turntables and vinyl records to mix), as well as the “Selector” radio stations, (which use software to manipulate digital files at the same time). time than the sound system), these two forms coexist in harmony, forming a totally different and innovative sound and environment from any streaming radio in Brazil.

Upon entering the hotel, we came across the structure of the Radio, which is basically a booth in the hotel lobby.

The hotel space mixes a decoration concept, with urban elements inspired by the purest New York atmosphere without losing the essence of the “bohemian carioca”, creating a happy, simple and carefree space.

So it is no coincidence that the radio is inspired by “The Lot Radio”, a world-renowned independent digital radio station located in Brooklyn, New York.

In fact, Lapa55 and The Lot Radio have already carried out several events together, simultaneously transmitting live programming, mixing both radios, with the idea of ​​showing the independent Brazilian and New York scene.

Left DJ Rodrigo Facchinetti (general producer of Lapa55 station), right Martin Butera, in the booth of Radio Lapa 55

Interview with Rodrigo Facchinetti

On the radio, his general producer, the renowned DJ Rodrigo Facchinetti, or rather “Facchi” as he is known in the Brazilian electronic music scene, was waiting for me. Together with him we did a fresh and very funny interview on the hotel terrace.

Here you can listen to part of that interview in Portuguese, then you will have a text adapted to the in italian language:

Rodrigo Facchinetti, is a young DJ with a lifelong passion for music, first playing in rock bands, until later becoming a well-known electronic music DJ.

Something that is not so easy in Rio de Janeiro, since the musical expression of electronic music is not so strong, possibly the most important musical genre in Rio de Janeiro is the Samba, inseparably linked to the famous “Carnival”, but other rhythms such as the Bossa Nova, Jazz, Forró and Brazilian Popular Music are part of the cultural heritage of the “Wonderful City.”

Rodrigo Facchinetti is also a vinyl record collector and has his own store of vinyl records and books related to music online on Instagram:

Rodrigo o Facchi, is also an active collaborator of the project, a music database stored by users, where more than 590,000 people have already contributed, helping to supply a catalog of more than 14,161,196 recordings and 7,623,265 artists.

This project was initially created as a hobby in 2000 by Kevin Lewandowski (born in Portland, Oregon, United States), without a doubt a great website that has a large database and the largest and most complete music market. , where each month, the work they do reaches more than 7 million music fans around the world.

Rodrigo Facchinetti is a kind of walking encyclopedia of Brazilian melodies, a passionate music worker, let’s get started…

Martin Butera, together with DJ Rodrigo Facchinetti (general producer of the Lapa55 station), on the terrace of the Selina hotel, we can see in the background the traditional “Arcos da Lapa”, the heart of Rio de Janeiro bohemia

Martín Butera: Rodrigo, how did the history of Radio Lapa55 begin?

Rodrigo Facchinetti: The history of Radio Lapa55 is the initial idea of Pedro Gadea, a kind of experience director at the Selina hotel.

Each Selina hotel has a different experience with the guests, for example in Colombia, there is a hotel that has a recording studio, in Central America in Costa Rica, the hotel is on a beach dumped for surfers and here in Rio de Janeiro, the building where the Selina Hotel is, was historically an old building built in the early 1920s and housed the “Grande Hotel Bragança”, which hosted one of the great national artists, such as the samba dancer Noel Rosa.

It was thus that the idea then was for the hotel to have a radio following the world trend of world streaming radios, the well-known “Web Radio” and that is how the idea became a reality and Radio Lapa55 was born in the hotel lobby .

That is how the hotel people called me because they needed a person who knew about electronic music, the music scene of Rio de Janeiro, I have been in that scene for a long time, by chance I was linked to another web radio of electronic music called “Na Manteiga” from the city of São Paulo and it was they who passed me my contact to the people of the hotel.

MB: Is radio a different format? Is it a station that has no programs?

RF: The radio has programs, maybe not in the format that people are used to listening to, I have a very important talk show here on the radio, with the support of a very famous record company in Rio de Janeiro Once a month, very important artists come to the hotel and we do live interviews, Marcos Valle, Robertinho Silva, Cynara (Quarteto em Cy) have already come. There are also other DJs and artists who do monthly programs, for example on Wednesdays we play more music from Brazil, on Thursdays it is more electronic, on Fridays and things like that.

MB: How many programs are there then on the radio if you remember now by heart?

RF: We must have about 16 programs per week or more …

MB: The transmission is quite particular. Why aren’t they online 24 hours a day?

RF: If the radio is turned off many times, for example now it is off, sometimes we transmit 5 hours a day or a little more and then the contents are stored in

MB: So listening is not so online? Is it more on demand or download?

RF: Well that depends a lot on the artist that comes and the magazine that each program or interview has, but in general, the greatest listening is afterwards.

I think it is difficult to maintain that loyalty of people every day, sometimes we use Facebook a lot to announce live events, but sometimes Facebook limits us a lot if we do not pay and we do not get a lot of live broadcasting.

MB: And are you very aware of how many people listen?

RF: Now I re-read, I know that I cannot do much, of course I try to understand how to do to have more listeners, but it does not give to be on the lookout all the time, I let it happen alone, also somehow the thing expands later with a mixcloud, with video uploaded on YouTube and social networks.

MB: And that could be a more personal style? I mean maybe not being obsessed with listeners. Building a more underground type of radio?

RF: If I like the underground more, which is the environment that I usually frequent, also since it is not a conventional FM or AM radio, but a web radio and it is not so massive, I think it is the environment where the radio works best.

MB: Here in Rio de Janeiro, when is the underground scene found?

RF: Here in Rio de Janeiro the underground movement is very good, many people making parties, creating music, many people producing and Radio Lapa55 is precisely like a meeting point for those underground people, where people want to play and play music.

MB: How do you compete with the other underground scene that is “carioca funk” or “funk dance”, which is so strong here in favelas and marginal neighborhoods, from an electronic genre?

RF: It is difficult, it is very difficult … I put funk on the radio, but not the commercial, for example we put a funk, a techno and something electronic in the middle, we have no way to leave that style out of the radio, because also it is an underground element.

MB: You are a well-known DJ with a lot of work, how do you do to be focused on your personal project and on Radio Lapa55?

RF: I don’t know how I live … (laughs), it’s almost 12 hours of radio per day, taking care of everything, the dissemination, the programs, the music, the archives, everything.

Then my life as a DJ is quite hectic, I play a lot, sometimes 4 times a week, and more my life with the record store, sometimes I want to stop a bit and rest, but I also know that it is a moment that must be taken.

Left DJ Rodrigo Facchinetti (general producer of Lapa55 station), with Martin Butera, in the lobby of the Selina hotel.

MB: And from here to the front that comes on Radio Lapa55?

RF: Last year was very busy, in search of getting followers, to spread the radio, to organize the aesthetics of the radio, events, many things.

This year we are going to leave, as they say “surfing the wave”, perhaps fewer parties and events and more concentration on radio programs and content.

MB: Speaking of events and parties, Radio Lapa55 organized and participated in some very important moves. Tell me a little about that?

RF: Well we did several right here on the hotel terrace and lobby, a very good party was bringing the DJs who make “The Lot Radio” to the party, who came directly from New York for 3 days to play music and it was broadcast simultaneously by the two radios.

The radio also participated in an end-of-year event, within a festival, a kind of rave, called “Xama”, in the south of the northern state of Bahia in Brazil, where we moved with the radio, to play music electronic music with several DJs working at the station.

We also do things with another radio station that previously mentioned “Na Manteiga” from the city of São Paulo. In short, we did many events with the radio.

MB: Going back to sound, is Radio Lapa55 a bit of a mix between old and new?

RF: Well if we have specific days for each music. As a DJ, if you see me playing, he generally explored various styles, he played an electronic music, then a popular Brazilian music, a samba, so my style is a bit the reflection of the radio, because I am also a vinyl collector, I sell vinyl for various countries of the world, I like to research on various musical styles and ended up bringing that to the radio.

MB: Do you think Rodrigo Radio Lapa 55 already has its own language or is it still searching? Do I mean that the listener already knows that it is Lapa55?

RF: I think that yes, the radio already has a face, we define that well

MB: Finally a message or something that you want to leave here in this interview

RF: Yes, explore our social networks, YouTube, our mixcloud, we will be on Spotify shortly, if you want to know about Brazilian electronic music this is the place.

Martin Butera, together with DJ Rodrigo Facchinetti (general producer of Lapa55 station), with Martin Butera, in the station booth

Videos of Martin Butera, on Radio Lapa55

At the end of the interview, I stayed with my wife enjoying a party that was taking place in the lobby of the Selina hotel, next to the station.

In the videos you can see the decoration concept that I told you about earlier, with urban elements inspired by the purest New York environment without losing the essence of the “bohemian carioca”.

Young people break dancing, it’s like a direct trip to New York neighborhoods like the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Some videos, depending on the country where you play them, may be silenced by the copyright of YouTube music, if this happens, you can still have an idea of how the space is where the station is located.

Radio Lapa55 and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Brazil is the Latin American country most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

This interview and seen on Radio Lapa55, was a few days before the pandemic reached brazil (March 17, 2020, the date on which the first death associated with the disease occurred), so no protocols were taken in the interview anti-Covid 19, such as social distancing.

Currently the hotel is operating with 50% of staff and guests, activating all protocols. Radio Lapa55 was closed for a long time and is returning little by little with all care and sanitary protocols, but its activity has dropped considerably.

The age of audio: streaming audio consumption trends in Brazil

According to data provided by Comscore (NASDAQ: SCOR), an Internet market research company that provides data and marketing services to many of the largest Internet companies, reflects the following in Brazil.

The consumption of streaming audio reaches 30% of the total unique Internet users in Brazil.

For this reason, there is no doubt that we are in the “age of audio”, whether due to the consumption of content, music, podcasts, reflections or news. Audio streaming consumption reaches 30% of the total Internet population in Brazil (approximately 120MM), around 36.6 million unique multiplatform users (Desktop + Mobile).

Audio streaming is a way of transmitting content, the practicality of this format attracts listeners and favors the flow of media. More than 80% of audio consumption is carried out by mobile devices, which corresponds to 30.8 million users and 12.9 billion minutes consumed per month, which represents an average expenditure of 7 hours on mobile audio platforms throughout the month.

Who are the audio users in Brazil?

The consumption of audio content is a habit that has become increasingly common in the daily life of Brazilians. The profile of audio streaming users is mainly made up of Men (52%) between 15 and 34 years old (30%). Women represent 48% of all users, and men consume 12% more than women in minutes per month. Above all, it should be noted that not only young adults consume audios, people over 45 years absorb 21% of users in the category.

Among the TOP Players, Spotify is the leader in monthly users (25.6 million unique users). Deezer and Soundcloud are in the TOP 3 in unique users. When we analyze participation by gender, it is noted that Spotify has a balanced consumption among both men and women. The other audio platforms, on the other hand, have a more masculine profile.

How this data followed during the Covid 19 Pandemic

“The routine has changed and radio has also been transformed to continue being part of it, whether in new times or places of consumption,” says the director of Kantar IBOPE Media in Brazil, Melissa Vogel.

The pandemic also transformed the routine of listeners and, consequently, revealed new habits. Compared to last year, due to social isolation, the registered traffic audience dropped from 23 to 18%. On the other hand, the percentage of listeners tuned in from home increased from 70 to 78%.

Although there is a growth in access to stations through digital platforms, the vast majority, around 81%, still use their radio equipment to follow the programming. For 23% of the audience, access is via cell phone. In digital media, there is a predominance of young people from classes A and B.

In addition to enhancing the reach of radio, these platforms also allow the broadcasting of content broadcast by the stations. Between January and June of this year, 3.5 million tweets were registered about the medium. Between the first and last week of March, there was a 77% increase in the number of radio-related tweets.

Radio Lapa55 experienced some low-power FM broadcasts

The FM transmissions did not always happen, they were the transmission of some parties that were held on the terrace, more experimental or scientific, with a small Link FM transmitter with a 7 Watt telescopic antenna, giving a coverage of about 1,500 meters around, which is not bad.

In Brazil, although there is a law for community radio stations, which allows operating 25 Watts and using an antenna no greater than 30 meters high, the process to obtain a permit ends up being very bureaucratic.


To DJ Rodrigo Facchinetti (general producer of Lapa55 station),
for the time given in this interview
To my wife Ligia Katze, for the photographs

Martín Butera: He is a Radio Amateur and Radio Listener (Dxers), with more than 30 years of experience, and has participated in DX expeditions throughout South and Central America, under the Argentine radio call sign “LU9EFO” and the Brazilian call sign “PT2ZDX”.

He is one of the contributors to Magazine and various newsletters covering world radio issues around the entire planet.

He is the founder of the CREW Radio Listeners’ Club for Brazilian listeners, known as 15 point 61 (15.61). Currently only CREW 61.

Martín is Argentine, born in the capital city of Buenos Aires. He currently lives in Brasilia DF, the capital of Brazil, with his wife.

He is also a journalist, documentary maker and was a founding member of Radio Atomika 106.1 MHz (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Ligia Katze: She is the wife of Martin Butera and accompanied him in his radio activities all over the planet. She is also a radio listener, journalist and professional photographer.

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