Skank was a Brazilian pop rock band from Belo Horizonte. Having begun in 1991, they sold approximately 5,200,000 copies of their albums as of 2004.[2] Initially intending to mix dancehall with traditional Brazilian styles, later the band changed its sonority to music closer to Britpop and local movement Clube da Esquina. Their last concert was held on March 26, 2023, at Mineirão, in Belo Horizonte.

Skank (L-R): Henrique Portugal, Lelo Zaneti, Samuel Rosa and Haroldo Ferretti
Skank (L-R): Henrique Portugal, Lelo Zaneti, Samuel Rosa and Haroldo Ferretti
Background information
OriginBelo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Years active1991 - 2023
LabelsSony Music
Past membersSamuel Rosa
Henrique Portugal
Lelo Zaneti
Haroldo Ferretti



In 1983, Samuel Rosa (guitars, vocals) and Henrique Portugal (keyboards) started to play in a reggae band called "Pouso Alto", along with Dinho Mourão (drums) and his brother Alexandre (bass). In 1991, Pouso Alto arranged for a performance in São Paulo, but due to the Mourão brothers not being in Belo Horizonte, bassist Lelo Zaneti and drummer Haroldo Ferretti were called for the gig.[3] The band premiered on June 5, 1991, and due to the performance competing with the Campeonato Paulista final match, the audience was 37 people.[4] After the show, the group changed its name to Skank, inspired by Bob Marley's song "Easy skanking", and began to perform regularly at "Mister Beef" churrascaria in Belo Horizonte.[5]

After playing for some time in steakhouses, bars and clubhouses, the band spent US$10,000 in their first album, Skank, released as an independent CD in late 1992 with 3,000 copies, fully paid by the band members themselves. In 45 days, 1,200 were sold,[6] and Sony Music signed the band as the first Brazilian act in its Chaos label. Skank was re-released in April 1993. The singles "O Homem Que Sabia Demais", "Tanto" (version of Bob Dylan's "I Want You") and "In(Dig)Nação" took the group on a 120 concerts tour around Brazil, and the album sold 250 thousand copies.[7]

Calango (1994) was the first record produced by Dudu Marote. "É Proibido Fumar", "Te Ver", "Pacato Cidadão", "Esmola" and "Jackie Tequila" were hits, and Calango sold around 1,200,000 copies.[8]

O Samba Poconé was released in 1996. The album had three big hits, "Tão Seu", "É Uma Partida de Futebol", included by FIFA in the official soundtrack for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and "Garota Nacional", which topped the Spanish charts for three months[9][10] (under the Spanish title "Chica Nacional"), was the only Portuguese language song in the Sony Music compilation Soundtrack for a Century, released in 1997 to celebrate the company's centennial, and took the group on tour in Argentina, Chile, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Portugal.[11] Although "Garota Nacional" literally translates to "national girl", the song is not about the women of Brazil: it celebrates the "girls of Bar Nacional", a bar and nightclub in Belo Horizonte famous in the early 1990s for the beauty of its female patrons.[12] Manu Chao featured in "Sem Terra", "Los Pretos" e "Zé Trindade". "O Samba Poconé" sold 1,800,000 cópias - 800,000 of those in two months.[5]

Siderado, produced by John Shaw (UB40) and Paul Ralphes, begins the band's movement towards a more rock and roll sound. The Clube da Esquina-influenced "Resposta" (re-recorded in 1999 by Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges, the latter the song's co-author with Samuel Rosa and Nando Reis), "Mandrake e Os Cubanos" and "Saideira" were hits. Released in 1998, Siderado sold 750 thousand copies.[13] Daúde and Uakti participated as guest artists.

In 1999 Skank recorded a Spanish language version for "Wrapped Around Your Finger" in a tribute album for The Police entitled Outlandos d'America.

With Maquinarama, the band begins in earnest its move away from the ska and reggae sound towards a more rock oriented one influence by The Beatles, Clube da Esquina, Britpop and contemporary alternative rock.[14] Maquinarama, produced by Chico Neves and Tom Capone and released in July 2000, sold 275 thousand copies.[13] Some of the hit singles were "Três Lados", "Balada do Amor Inabalável" and "Canção Noturna". The original cover shows a Cadillac with graffiti by Californian artist Kenny Scharf. The international version has a different cover.

In 2001, Skank recorded the first live album in Ouro Preto as part of the MTV Brasil's series "MTV Ao Vivo". MTV ao Vivo: Skank sold 600 thousand copies.[13] Besides a list of hits chosen by fans through Skank's website, the album had the new song "Acima do Sol", a national hit. In 2002 Samuel Rosa played acoustic guitar in "É Proibido Fumar", from the Acústico MTV (MTV Unplugged) by Roberto Carlos.

Cosmotron, produced by Skank and Tom Capone, was released in July 2003 and sold 250 thousand copies - a disappointment next to their vigorous previous sales figures. Nevertheless, the album had many radio and ringtone hits. "Supernova", "Dois Rios", "Vou Deixar" and "Amores Imperfeitos" were the main tracks. Cosmotron won the Latin Grammy - best Brazilian rock album award in 2004.[15][16]

Released in October 2004, Radiola was the first compilation album by Skank. It included four new songs, including the Gilberto Gil cover "Vamos Fugir". The cover reproduces a painting by the hyped Los Angeles artists the Clayton Brothers. Radiola sold 200 thousand copies.

In March 2006 Skank began recording the new album Carrossel in their studio in Belo Horizonte, with producers Chico Neves, who also worked in Maquinarama, and Carlos Eduardo Miranda, producer of O Rappa's Unplugged album. Released in August, the album had the semi-hits "Uma Canção É Pra Isso" and "Mil Acasos". Arnaldo Antunes ("Trancoso"), César Mauricio ("Lugar") and Humberto Effe ("Cara Nua" and "Notícia") were the songwriting partners.

In 2008, the band reunited with Dudu Marote, who produced Calango and O Samba Poconé, to record the album Estandarte in their studio in Belo Horizonte. Released in September, the album had low sales, but produced the hits "Ainda Gosto Dela" (featuring Negra Li), "Sutilmente" (a massive number 1 hit in Brazil) and "Noites de um Verão Qualquer."

On June 19, 2010, Skank performed a free concert on the Mineirão stadium in Belo Horizonte. It was the last event before the venue was closed to reform in order to accommodate the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The show was recorded for the live album and DVD Multishow ao Vivo: Skank no Mineirão, which featured two new songs, "De Repente" and "Fotos na Estante".[17]

International career


Skank had some success with "Garota Nacional", that lead the Spanish charts, and "É Uma Partida de Futebol" was shown before some games of the 1998 World Cup due to being in the championship's soundtrack. By the time of O Samba Poconé, the group toured through Hispanic America and Europe, and appeared in big festivals such as Super Bock/Super Rock 1997 in Portugal, Páleo Festival 97 and St. Gallen 98 in Switzerland, Montreux Jazz Festival 2001, and SummerStage 2002 in New York City. The group also played in two editions of Rock in Rio, at the 2008 Rock in Rio Lisboa and the fourth Brazilian edition of the festival in 2011. Skank had been previously called for Rock in Rio II] in 2001, but went out along with other Brazilian bands in protest against O Rappa's exclusion. However, the band never invested much in its international career. Some songs received versions in Spanish, such as "Chica Nacional" ("Garota Nacional"), and "Respuesta" ("Resposta"), but foreign shows are usually in places with many Brazilians, such as Miami and New York City.[18]



Touring members




Studio albums

Year Album
1992 Skank
1994 Calango
1996 O Samba Poconé
1998 Siderado
2000 Maquinarama
2003 Cosmotron
2006 Carrossel
2008 Estandarte
2014 Velocia

Live albums

Year Album
2001 MTV ao Vivo: Skank
2010 Multishow ao Vivo: Skank no Mineirão
2012 Rock in Rio 2011 - Skank
2018 Os Três Primeiros

Compilation albums

Year Album
2004 Radiola
2012 Skank 91
2013 Mega Hits: Skank

Video albums

Year Album Information
2001 MTV ao Vivo: Skank Live performance (Praça Tiradentes, Ouro Preto, Brazil)
2002 Videografia (1994-2001) Music video compilation
2004 Multishow ao Vivo: Skank Live performance (Olympia, São Paulo, Brazil)
2010 Multishow ao Vivo: Skank no Mineirão Live performance (Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
2012 Rock in Rio 2011 - Skank Live performance (Rock in Rio IV, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
2018 Os Três Primeiros Live performance (Circo Voador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)


  • Cosmotron won the Latin Grammy Awards - Best Brazilian rock album in 2004.
  • Skank received the Premio Ondas in Spain as New Latin Group in 1997.[19]
  • MTV Video Music Brazil: Viewer's Choice in 1996 ("Garota Nacional") and 1997 ("É Uma Partida de Futebol"); Video of the Year in 1999 ("Mandrake e os Cubanos"); Pop Video in 1996 ("Garota Nacional"), 1997 ("É Uma Partida de Futebol"), 1999 ("Mandrake e os Cubanos"), 2000 ("Três Lados"), 2003 ("Dois Rios")[20] and 2004 ("Vou Deixar").


  1. ^ Cantor-Navas, Judy (24 October 2013). "Santana Announces New Album, Concert in Mexico". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2 July 2014. Samuel Rosa of Brazilian rock-reggae band Skank
  2. ^ Bin, Marcos Paulo (2005-01-11). "Skank faz sucesso com Vamos Fugir 20 anos depois da gravação original". (Universo Musical). Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  3. ^ Peixoto, Mariana (June 4, 2006). "Quase Famosos". Estado de Minas.
  4. ^ MTV ao Vivo em Ouro Preto (DVD). Sony Music. 2001.
  5. ^ a b Padilla, Ivan (1996-08-28). "Garotos nacionais" (in Portuguese). Istoé. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  6. ^ Revista Bizz, 1993 O Brasil vai dançar Archived 2007-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Skank é atração nacional do aniversário de Gravataí". Prefeitura de Gravataí. 2007-03-29. Archived from the original on 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  8. ^ Revista Oi Archived 2007-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ O Fuxico[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Skank, pop con sabor tropical". Terra España. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  11. ^ "Skank". TV Cultura. 2003-03-09. Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  12. ^ Padilla, Ivan (1996-09-25). "A capital dos botecos". Retrieved 2007-04-27.
  13. ^ a b c Revista Oi Archived 2007-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Tavares, Tatiana; Marco Antônio Barbosa (2003-07-14). "Skank anda para frente - olhando para trás" (in Portuguese). Cliquemusic. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  15. ^ "Latin Grammy". Terra.
  16. ^ Barbosa, Marco Antônio (2004-09-02). "Vitória e tragédia brasileiras em Los Angeles" (in Portuguese). Cliquemusic UOL. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
  17. ^ Skank anuncia show de graça no Mineirão dia 19 de junho Archived 2010-06-07 at the Wayback Machine, Hoje em Dia
  18. ^ "Home Bodies". Miami New Times. 2002-08-22. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  19. ^ "PREMIOS ONDAS DE MÚSICA". Premios Ondas. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  20. ^ "VMB03". MTV Brasil. Archived from the original on 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Latin Grammy Award for Best Brazilian Rock Album
Succeeded by