João Barbosa, one of Buraka Som Sistema’s founding members, was called “Lil John” by his friends growing up. As he began producing tracks in his native Portugal, he became known as a DJ and musician under this name. However, soon after BSS’s songs became recognized around the world, our man was presumably contacted by some scary major label lawyers and told not to use the name Lil John. Yeah. OK.
So he reinvents himself. Playing on his often-mispronounced Portuguese first name, João, he goes by J-Wow. While Buraka Som Sistema continues to dominate the world’s festival circuit, J-Wow also DJs and produces, performing often at afterparties and undergrounds in the world’s best party cities.
Then along comes Jersey Shore, and suddenly the name J-Wow leads uneducated consumers to expect fist-pumping. Promoters were like “It’s gorilla central out there. Get the fuck up, juice-heads everywhere!”
So remembering the great advice he was once given, DON’T START NO SHIT, WON’T BE NO SHIT, it seems João has again rebranded himself. Today he is Branko.
His new single for Mad Decent imprint Jeffrees is appropriately titled “Going In Hard.” While all the mixes are great (and you can download them all for free), my current favorite is the BeatauCue mix below:
BONUS: While you’re checking out this mix from the RBMA archive, let’s all hope Brandy and Animal Collective don’t form a supergroup and start calling themselves BrAnCo.