First, let’s start with congratulating Felipe Gustavo on his United States citizenship after living in the States for 15-years. Felipe had made his dreams come true in his career, dating back to 2007 when his dad sold the family car and bought plane tickets for Felipe and himself to Tampa, Florida, for the 2007 Tampa AM contest went on to take first place. Fast forward to 2021, Felipe had the honor of representing his home country of Brazil and skateboarding’s debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. A few months before making his way to Dew Tour Des Moines, we were able to sit down with Felipe and chat about some of his favorite music. Scroll down below to stream his custom playlist and learn what he’s most likely listening to before a contest and the dream song he hopes to make come true for a future video part.

Let’s start firing off these questions. What’s your favorite type of music?
I listen to a lot of hip hop and more like vibe music, you know, like more mellow stuff. I’ve been into that Daniel Caesar dude now, like the [NPR] Tiny Desktop mellow type stuff, you know? I listen to that when I’m stretching. I also listen to a lot of gospel music because I’m Christian, so yeah, a bunch of that. Then mainly just hip hop, to go skate. Also, have Brazilian music on too all the time. So it’s going to be hard for me to pick ten songs for my playlist. There are so many artists. But yeah, some Brazilian music, some gospel music, hip hop, and some like good vibes type stuff.

I’ve been learning a bit about the different types of Brazilian music lately from other skaters because there’s Brazilian trap, hip hop, Bossanova, and funk music.
Yeah, there’s Brazilian trap and hip hop, for sure, and I don’t listen to the funk stuff all that much. 

Funk music seems to be popular with the younger generation.
Yeah, it kind of is. My dad plays guitar, and he plays Bossanova. It’s like MPB [música popular brasileira], kind of almost like jazz music, I would say. I grew up listening to that because of my dad. But yeah, a couple of my friends are into Brazilain trap and hip hop. Like homies that use to skate, and now they’re doing well with their hip hop music. There’s like L7nnon that’s our homie. Everybody will say that because he’s a skater who used to skate with us, and then he just blew up. He’s a beast. So I listen to them a lot to support them, and that’s pretty cool.

felipe gustavo
Photo Credit: Durso

You mentioned your dad plays the guitar. Do you have any musical talents?
Bro, growing up, my dad has been playing music. He taught guitar, he rips on the guitar, but I just never had the time. It’s hard. It’s like skating a f***ing manual pad. It takes patients to learn it. He taught me a little bit, but I never really sat down and took my time. That’s one of my goals in life, you know, I want to learn how to play because I think it’s so vibey and you can let it out you can speak your heart.

With your dad playing music around the house all the time growing up, how big of a role does music play in your day-to-day life now?
I’m influenced by it a lot, and it depends on the mood. Music can get you really hyped to do certain things, and then it can calm you down when you do certain things. So music is part of my day, for sure.

How does the music that you listen to change throughout the day?
I cannot listen to hip hop in the morning like it’s too hectic for my mind. I listen to gospel music when I’m stretching in the morning. From there, I can go to like good vibes music, turn it into hip hop, and then bring things down with Lauryn Hill to calm things down. I kind of start off slow and then goes in and come down later on. Like, you don’t want to listen to hip hop at night, like it f***s your s**t up. They’re talking about robbing a bank and my b****s and cars and money. Like, you don’t want that before you go to bed. It’s all good during the day, and you’re trying to get hyped to skate, you listen some that. For when I’m working out, maybe some like house music. Just something different. It all depends on the day, like what you’re mood is. If I want to beast up in the gym, I’ll listen to 50 Cent or something. Maybe I want to keep it mellow and stretch. Then it’s just like Daniel Cesar or something like you feel out the vibe.

felipe gustavo
Photo Credit: Arias

How about when you skate? Do you like to skate with headphones?
I don’t usually do that. Sometimes, in the morning before a skate contest, I listen to gospel music. I just don’t like to skate with headphones because I like to talk to people when I’m skating with somebody. It’s kind of annoying when I’m like, ‘Yo! Let’s get this!’ and they’re like, ‘Say what?’ You know, it’s just the people who have the headphones. So you feel awkward. I don’t want to bug that dude who is on his own, you know? So I don’t skate with music that much.

That leads me to my next question if you ever have headphones on during a final at a contest?
It all depends. I’ve done it before, and I sometimes do to calm things down like on the final day.

Any video parts that come to mind that influenced you the most because of a song used?
I mean, the song to a video part is forever like I was just listening to Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You, and Alex Midler just skated to that, so that’s song Alex’s song to me now. P-Rod [Paul Rodriguez] and all the songs in In Bloom [Transworld Skateboarding, 2002] when I listened to that or like Heath Kirchart’s song, his video part is going to come into my head. All the songs that are in skate videos have so much to say. I skated to Rick Ross, and everybody’s like ‘Yo you killed that part and song’ or These Eyes by The Guess Who was in my video part, and people always remember ‘oh, you skated to that song!’ Back in the day, it was like you like remembered more, but nowadays, it’s crazy there is so much.

felipe gustavo
Photo Credit: Strand

Talking about your video part, if you could pick any song and have the rights to use it, what would you choose?
I would skate to a Biggie song. I’ve tried so many times with so many people involved it’s so hard to get the rights. My Plan B video was edited to two Biggie songs, and I couldn’t get the rights, and it’s always so gnarly. Even nowadays, because he is so popular. So many f***ing views everywhere. They want like $20K or whatever, and it’s like we didn’t even spend $20K for the video.

What was the Biggie song that you wanted to use?
I would love to skate to Juicy. That’s my song for me like It was all a dream my whole skateboarding career I had to believe it was all a dream, and just everything about that song I relate to so much. It would be awesome to skate to that song with no problems. I would work on a part just for that song and drop everything on the beat. That would be legendary.

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