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Mixed Feelings | Marcos Tocae

A special guest-mix series where DJs are invited to create a soundtrack for tomorrow's days. Next up: The Amsterdam-based and Brazilian-born Marcos Tocae.

Every Mixed Feelings podcast is accompanied by a few questions that provide a little insight to the DJ and the mix they've prepared for us and for you. This time we'll go a little deeper as Marcos won our IG Giveaway contest!

Let’s start at the beginning. Right now you live in Amsterdam, but originally you’re from Brazil. In which city were you born, did you grow up and how was that for you? I was born in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo in 1986. I am very proud of who I am and where I came from. Living in Brazil is not that simple. When I was a kid my parents were struggling to raise myself and my brother. To be honest, I never expected to have the life that I have now, a good job, doing things that I really like, eating whatever I want haha, playing records etc. I am really happy with who I am, big thanks to Amsterdam for that, I feel that I am true with myself here.

Who is an underrated Brazilian artist we should definitely know about? Pff, tough one haha! Brazilian music is so well known across the globe. You guys here in Europe listen to the best things that we have, many people (or most) in Brazil, not even know who Azymuth is (yes, this is crazy haha). I think Arnaud Rodrigues is quite underrated. In 2018 his album 'Murituri' was reissued by Groovie Records, but he has another amazing projects, such as Redescobrimento, As Mucamas de Painho and Som do Paulinho (the last one was reissued by Tres Selos for the first time this year, 2021). He was also part of another projects, such as Azambuja & Cia and Baiano e os Novos Caetanos (which makes fun of Caetano Veloso and Os Novos Baianos). This man was a multi talented one, actor, composer, singer, comedian etc.

What was your musical upbringing like? What has been the biggest influence on your musical taste today? I think Funk, Soul, Jazz, Rap and R&B music are my biggest influences. I like to listen and to explore everything, all different music genres and styles. I also have to say that after I moved to Amsterdam, I am listening to a lot of things from Brazil, I started to appreciate it a lot more after moving.

You used to be a BBoy. When did you start dancing and how long were you active on the floor? I started to dance in 1999 and I was active until 2011. Shout-out to my crew, Palmares Dream Crew!

Is there a track that you heard first at battles which is still a favourite today? Hard to pick one, but I still have a lot of emotion when I hear Coke Escovedo - 'I Wouldn’t Change A Thing'. 'Been Had' by Sapo is another one that gives me a lot of energy, it seems that I took some sort of adrenaline dose hahaha!

In which year did you move to Amsterdam and what was your first impression of the local scene? I moved in Jan 2019 and I was completely amazed by the scene, with a feeling that I have so much to learn. This excited me a lot, still does actually. Also motivated me to really start to play, buy records and research more about music. The Amsterdam scene is teaching me a lot.

You were planning on going to the record fair in Utrecht this weekend that got cancelled due to a lockdown. Can you tell us more about your passion for records and your collection? Do you remember how it all started and what was your first record you owned? Everything started at my parents place. My father used to be a DJ when he was young. I grew up with that already, a lot of music and records. My first record was given to me by my grandparents, I think I was 7 years old and it was from a pagode (samba style) group, called Só Pra Contrariar hahahaha! Everybody knows them in Brazil! The first one that I bought was 'Black Caesar' by James Brown.

Can you tell us a bit about your artist name “Marcos Tocae”? In the beginning of 2018 I was feeling the need to create a channel to share about my music taste and other things related to music, then I decided to create the IG page, Tocae (@tocaemusic) combination of the words tocar (literally means touch/play) and aê (here/there depending on the context).

Toca aê is an expression In Portuguese-BR you use when asking someone to play something, in a slang way, or even if you want to mock a friend haha. It could be to play an instrument, a song in your phone, car etc. Also when giving a handshake or high-five someone you can say: Toca aê haha.

In my case, as an artist name, I took advantage of the my IG page name and I thought it would be a good fit for my DJ name. At the moment, I don’t see myself playing only one type of music, this is why Tocae is such a good fit: it could be anything and whatever I feel like. Tocae!

What would you like to share about your mix?

I feel like this mix is comparable to a human-being, full of different feelings and lots of emotions. It’s mainly dominated by drums and percussions which I can relate with a heartbeat, those beats have Brazilian, African and Latin influences. Alongside the percussion, there are beautiful arrangements and messages with funk, soul, jazz and a cosmic touch that are highly connected to our feelings and thoughts. I made this one with a few records from my collection. I hope you enjoy it :)

Thank you for you answers and this wonderful mix!

Is there anything you’d still like to share with the world? I just want to say that I am very grateful to have my family and my friends, they are my biggest inspiration and motivation in life. Thank you for the support!!

Thank you Steppin’ Into Tomorrow Crew for the opportunity as well, I have a lot of respect for what you guys do, educating people through music, this is beautiful. Spread the Love!



  • Gelson Oliveira & Luiz Ewerling - Salve-se Quem Souber (intro)

  • Milton Nascimento - Carlos, Lucia, Chico e Tiago

  • Wanderlea - Calypso

  • João de Aquino - Asfalto

  • Paulinho da Costa - Terra

  • Sérgio Boré - Lamento Africano

  • Fernando Falcão - Curimão (Sons Onomatopaicos e Folk da Guiné)

  • Sabú Martinez - Hotel Alyssa-Soussie, Tunisia

  • Mandrill - Mandrill

  • JAB - Currents

  • Syreeta - Tiki Tiki Donga

  • Coke Escovedo - Make it Sweet

  • Azwon - Paradise Island

  • Turner Bros. - Cause I Love You


James Brown
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