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The enigma of Saulo Oliveira S.: A man divided between music and cinema, popularity and anonymity

The enigma of Saulo Oliveira S.: A man divided between music and cinema, popularity and anonymity

The British-Brazilian musician Saulo Oliveira S., also known as the Prince of Rock, has gained increasing notoriety for the high artistic quality of his EP “Prince of Rock” released in 2022.

With a sophomore work unanimously acclaimed it’s easy to think that messages from journalists and reporters interested in talking to the artist have also increased, lately. But, when it comes to Saulo Oliveira, he doesn’t always respond to all these calls. He is elusive and flirts with anonymity, even though he has the vibrant aura of a rockstar.

And, as should be expected from a multifaceted and prodigious personality, when faced with the conflict of dualities, the author of “Monolith” allows this oscillation between worlds to take shape in his artistic vein.

Saulo’s inclination towards the seventh art, for example, reveals itself as a possibility of expressing his artistic vision as compelling as his musical legacy.

In 2013 he directed a documentary following the stylistics of Thomas Vinterberg, Dogme 95. Plus, he composed the original score of this same documentary “Ethics, Politics and Citizenship”.

Despite having already said in an interview that he regrets the conservative political bias of those interviewed in this film, it is undeniable that Saulo was able to encapsulate a historical moment during the period of protests in Brazil with a lot of cinematographic sophistication, high narrative performance, an excellent soundtrack and memorable camera shots. 

The appeal of Dogme 95 that Saulo inherits from Vinterberg matches the documentary’s realistic immersion proposal and became a signature feature of Mark Mylod in the Succession series, for example. In other words, the “camera in hand” charm prevails.

In October 2019 Saulo released the song and short film of the same name, “Antichrist-Mas”. The idea of this video was to be a promotional campaign for the single in the format of a horror film, so the poster says “The red this year will be Santa’s blood”. It could not have been better.

Ultimately, the singer-songwriter gravitates towards the horror film genre with such intimacy that his song “Macneil” can be described as a homage to the film “The Exorcist” and the drawing of a youthful disturbance of uncontrollable sexuality. It makes one’s head spin.

Let’s face it, Oliveira was bitten by the cinema bug so strongly that he always has an opinion on every film he sees, which led him, in 2022, to join the board of the Online Film & Television Association (OFTA), being a member with decisive voting power in the closing of envelopes with indications of the award winners.

More than that, Saulo’s reviews are awaited by thousands of followers on his Letterboxd profile where he posts frequently.

Saulo Oliveira’s versatility is reflected in his career. The rocker got his degree in Law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (2020), with an emphasis on environmental law. He also has a Harvard degree in Arts and Design from a course which the study was Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the 19th Century Orchestra, from Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2022).

In the end, torn between his devotion to music and his passion for cinema, Saulo reinforces the theory that the celebrated song “Renewing Rock N Roll” is autobiographical in some aspects as the character Mackenzie finds himself in the same dilemma. In the final act, the character in the song decides that he will be a rockstar and will probably leave his “indie peliculas” aside.

If, in addition to being metaphorically and narratively Shakespearean, this song also happens to be prophetic, considering Saulo’s recent steps, everything indicates that the path of music will prevail in his journey.

And, as a good connoisseur of Shakespeare, Saulo knows that, in a classic story of dilemma, between being and not being, in the end, the protagonist will not have the best of both worlds.

Saulo Oliveira can be professionally successful in any project, whether artistic or not, but he will not have anonymity: that one has already been engulfed by the tragedy of popularity.

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