Introducing Rodrigo Lariú, the Founder of Midsummer Madness

"I feel the craziest ideas are always the best"
22 April 2024

Supporting Brazilian independent artists since 1989

A collaboration with:

In this exclusive interview, we’re speaking with Rodrigo Lariú, the visionary behind Brazil’s Midsummer Madness, a pioneering record label and fanzine since 1989. Discover Rodrigo’s journey from fanzine publisher to launching nearly 100 diverse artists’ careers. Learn how he draws inspiration from labels like Sub Pop, navigates budget management, and embraces creativity. Rodrigo shares advice for aspiring industry professionals and discusses his current project—a special box set commemorating 35 years of Midsummer Madness.

How did you go about getting your foot in the door?

I learned it all by myself, by seeing what other people did, studying and learning from my mistakes. I published the fanzine for 5 years until I realised that to make a real impact in the alternative scene in Brazil during the 1990s, I had to start releasing cassettes, and that’s how the midsummer madness label started.

What artist or release has had the most impact on you?

At the beginning of the record label, I was very impacted by Sub Pop and most of its releases. Their Singles Club is, for me, the best definition of getting new artists and curious audiences together. It was very comforting to know that Sub Pop too started as a fanzine, released cassettes before becoming the most important record label of the world for 2 or 3 years.

Career highlight so far?

Most of the artists on my label are Brazilian indie bands not known in the UK, so I want to highlight two recent successful crowdfunding campaigns that raised BRL$62,175 (approximately £10,000) and also a 2018 prize worth BRL$ 132,000.00 (app. £21,500) to release a 79 bands compilation. These experiences helped me think creatively and excel at managing budgets.

Best bit of advice for those looking to break into the industry and what to expect?

I don’t know if this is the best advice since I don’t consider myself to have broken into the UK industry but I always believe that artists are right and that one has to do the best they can to make their ideas come true. I feel the craziest ideas are always the best.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

A box set of 3 compilations with cover versions from all bands on my label to celebrate 35 years of existence.