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    The Cult of Saulo Oliveira S.

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    The genius songwriter is becoming the ultimate hallmark of adoration as he propels alt Rock and Roll into the annals of the century

    Saulo Oliveira S. photo by Chelsea Belafonte, 2024.

    The boy who defeated the devil and became bigger than God

    It all starts on an online page in the second half of the 2000s, on a famous social network at that time. The page is intended for posting news about Saulo Oliveira’s life and the community gathered there would only grow day after day, ending that year 2006 with more than seventy-four thousand members.

    “The boy who defeated the devil and became bigger than God”, was the title Saulo Oliveira received after a watershed moment in his early life. It was also the name of this Orkut page honouring him. 

    To understand how a small 12-year-old boy became the centre of his apotheotic mythology, it is necessary to go back a few weeks in 2006, June 6th, hours before the school bus arrived to pick him up.

    That morning, as usual, Saulo played his harmonica while waiting for school transport with some friends. Suddenly, the mellifluous notes diffused in the cloudy air give way to a sepulchral silence as the children hear heavy footsteps coming down the street towards them.

    A tall, bald man, in a suit and tie, austere, stops right in front of the children sitting on the curb at the crossroad. He points to Saulo and immediately takes his own harmonica out of his pocket. He describes it as “Elder Harmonica” and guarantees that it is an instrument from another dimension, which gives its possessor unrestricted power to achieve artistic perfection.

    So, the lugubrious man proposes that Saulo plays after him and, whoever plays best, gets the Elder Harmonica. And, if Saulo lost, he would have to sign documents transferring nothing less than his soul to the man in black.

    From the height of their puerile simplicity, everyone laughs, of course. But the man starts playing. And apparently, he was very good. No one is laughing now. Challenged, Saulo gets up and plays after the man. Now his soul is supposedly at stake. Saulo delivers an impeccable performance of “Man With a Harmonica”, the Ennio Morricone piece he had been rehearsing for months.

    There is silence again. Then the man takes the papers out of his pocket and also a pen. And then he tears up the papers and throws the pen, which falls into a storm drain. He bends down and, supported on a single knee and with the other leg bent, extends both hands and lowers his head offering the Elder Harmonica to Saulo. 

    At that moment the cloudy sky brightens, the sun begins to appear and the bus approaches. The man walks down the street while everyone is wondering “What was that?”. The best answer? The beginning of a new era.

    In a matter of hours after this event, one of Saulo’s classmates thought it would be a good idea to publish the story on Orkut and so the legend spread. Thousands eagerly awaited the day Saulo would play the Elder Harmonica for the first time. But, for years on end, in vain. 

    Until 2020, when the world got to hear the long-awaited sound of the instrument, laid out in sweeping solos in the songs from the album “Wild Horizon”.

    The Cult Lives On

    This “Saulomania” has always been a discreet movement that does not expand to reach its maximum potential because of the worshipped himself: Saulo hates attention and can be described as the most reclusive rocker in the world.

    He has already said in an interview that the public’s attention should be focused on his music and not on him himself. He spent fourteen years without playing the harmonica he got from the devil because he was probably afraid of fame and had already confessed that he always hated the popularity of his school days.

    Even so, there is still a group that, although niche, is devoted to Saulo Oliveira. At the time he was known as The Boy Who Defeated the Devil and Became Bigger Than God, there was a group that circulated around the Medianeira school, in Curitiba, with undeniable characteristics of a sect, and called themselves “A Empresa”, which means “The Company”. Their goal? To idolise Saulo Oliveira.

    Today, almost twenty years after 2006, people create tribute profiles here and there, create forums to talk about theories about the songs and the messages in them, and, of course, there is still space for the cult of Saulo himself.

    “I heard that Saulo Oliveira only wears Brunello Cucinelli’s black shirts so I borrowed money from my bank and bought myself Cucinelli’s clothes and Moscot Lemtosh glasses with blue tint lenses. It was way out of my budget, and really expensive. Now I’m almost having to mortgage the house. I might be on the verge of becoming a homeless woman, but at least I’m on quiet luxury like a rockstar, head-to-toe black, just the same as the Prince of Rock” – Brenda Lindsay, 33, Manhattan, NY.

    “I’ve made a point on learning how to play a harmonica just because of Saulo Oliveira. I hope I can replicate the solo of ‘No one here gets out alive’, I mean, wow, that’s a masterpiece. Saulo Oliveira is the coolest ever!” – Justin Foreman, 14, Los Angeles, CA

    “My daughter had the walls of her room filled with photos of this young-looking guy, Saulo Oliveira. I read about him online and figured out the sub-context and hidden messages of his work. So, one morning, while she was at school, I took it off and burned it down. By the night the posters and images were there again, the same way as if it never had been taken out. And now, my daughter was touching herself while listening to “Macneil”. I immediately contacted Jesus Christ and begged him for mercy. Now my daughter Mercy is on a new spiritual journey, some sort of a midsummer festival in Sweden and does not worship Saulo Oliveira any longer. But she still listens to his music, thou. It has come to my knowledge that, apparently, they do have Spotify in Sweden”. – Romney Winston, 42, Kansas.

    “This guy has been said to have won a harmonica contest against the devil in which he managed to keep, not only his soul but also the Elder Harmonica. No one in the world has a background like that. No award that he may win in his trajectory will ever top this. Your favourite artist got dozens of Grammys? Nice, mine has the only instrument from hell, on Earth, so, suck on your Stradivarius”. – Nicole Benson, 21, Miami, CA.

    “I think the key to a happy life is to never think that much about yourself and have some sort of obsession to fill the time. My obsession is Saulo Oliveira, hundred per cent”. – Melanie McAllister, 17, Greenwich Village, NY.

    These are some of the testimonies collected recently.

    Even with long gaps between the drop of projects and strategic disappearances to avoid scrutiny from the public eye, Saulo still awakens varied feelings in people.

    Saulo Oliveira S Music

    The Genius behind the legend

    Saulo Oliveira is primarily of English descent, with some Egyptian, Portuguese and Brazilian ancestry. His surname comes from the Roman nobles, a lineage of a group of high-class families, then, Saulo descends from the tree of D. Pedro Pires de Oliveira, who was master of the king of Portugal, D. Afonso IV (1291-1357).

    Now, shaking the foundations of alternative rock, Saulo rises as the Prince of Rock, and, wow, sure thing he lives up to the name. Saulo blends Rock, Blues, Progressive and Hip-Hop. And this very sense of fusion leads to one masterpiece after another.

    Saulo’s work is held in high esteem by rockers and critics, and it is not for nothing. The grandiosity of what Oliveira is doing speaks for itself.

    In “Renewing Rock N Roll”, for example, the storyteller spells 1.593 words in six minutes while Eminem spelt 789 words in “Lose Yourself” and 1.539 words in “Rap God”, both 5 and 6 minutes respectively. That’s historic. And that’s just one of the reasons RRNR has been addressed as a masterpiece. The other, very common among music specialists, is the Shakespearean storytelling traits.

    “That Liar Never Walked on the Water”, itself, can be counted among Rock’s greatest achievements. It has the fury, it’s a manifesto, vibrates insurgency and resonates with thousands of nowadays complex themes.

    The cadence in Monolith’s architectural structure is an example of sophisticated poetry that reminds T.S. Eliot or William Blake.

    Macneil features the Elder Harmonica. What else could be said? So far, Saulo’s catalogue is nothing short of extraordinary. But he is not acquainted with comparisons, as flattering as it may be.

    After days of fruitless phone calls, the rocker finally answers the phone for a conversation that – he emphasises – needs to be brief. When asked about the literary content of his songs, he evades:

    “In terms of a more whimsical acknowledgement of the whole scenario, it only makes sense that my lyrics could be compared to Billy Shake’s work in a macrocosmic view, as the similarities between a song and a playwright get narrower the more you look”.

    Regarding TLNWOTW’s bloodthirsty energy against the dogma of faith, the Prince of Rock reinforces his atheism, but recalls that he has already resorted to the supernatural once:

    “I’m sceptical, atheist. That was after trying something weird a few years ago. You see, I called quits on the idea of the supernatural after an unsuccessful attempt to chat with Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain via an Ouija board. I asked Jim if I should try Rock and Roll and the board came up with the word ‘middle finger’. Then I asked Kurt if Rock should be my path and the board came up with ‘If I were to tell’. I realised then I should stop drinking. These things aren’t real. Nothing is”. 

    When asked about no longer appearing on social media or the reason for avoiding constant interviews, the answer comes in the purest sincerity, preceded by an impassive sigh that hisses over the phone speaker:

    “I just have this constant feeling that in a few years from now, I might find myself adamantly regretting that I’ve given so many interviews in the past. That’s why I don’t do it so often. I know I won’t look back to any of this with nostalgia. Everything is so boring and pointless. I’m not reclusive, exclusive, maybe”.

    What about the single that was supposedly in post-production? Saulo is emphatic:

    “That song is not coming out this year. I have some other priorities now. I can’t be precise when I’m gonna be in a good mood to release anything at all. Let’s put it this way: Nighthawks has been delayed indefinitely, thanks to the plenty of people buzzing on my ear about it”.

    Now it’s time for the question that could end the phone call for good. “How does it feel to play the Elder Harmonica?” He is more impassive, you can tell from the sniffling on the phone:

    “How many more questions should I answer? I got a lemonade to finish and stuff. Hurry up, I mean, I don’t want to sound impolite, just ‘Jack be nimble, Jack be quick’. You get me started and I’ll get the way of highway, got it?”.

    It doesn’t hurt to take a little more risk:

    “How did it feel to have defeated the devil at the age of 12 and to have his harmonica?”

    Soon after, the phone makes a missed call sound. There is no one on the other end of the line anymore, impassive or not. But Saulo’s concern is genuine. It is possible to perceive this concern of not allowing his image to be linked to the past of a title in which he is mentioned as “boy”.

    After all, as he matures, he aims for a future in which he can always be much more than that childhood legend. And the rocker is also correct in this.

    In order not to fall into the stigma of forever being “The boy who defeated the devil and became bigger than God”, he explored other horizons on his journey. Today Saulo is a lawyer and model, but, above all, a creative genius who stands out for his prodigious excellence.

    In the end, Saulo’s devil-may-care personality puts him in a position in which what’s coming next is never predictable.

    But there is one observation that requires no prediction. Whatever he does next could be the next best thing he’s ever done. It all depends on the audience’s patience in waiting for the next masterpiece to be released. Until then – bet your bottom dollar on that – the cult lives on.

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