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Adapted & Revised by: Fabiana Rasta
Edmilson Tomé da Costa is well-known in São Luís, also known as the Brazilian Jamaica. In São Luís, he goes by the nickname ‘Serralheiro’ which means ‘locksmith’ in English, which was his profession. He is considered a living legend of Reggae in São Luís. He owned one of the most famous sound systems in town during the 70s, the ‘Voz de Ouro Canarinho’. He is also a Reggae collector and makes everybody laugh when he tells his stories about looking for new songs around the world, including 17 trips to Jamaica and 26 trips to England. And guess what? He doesn’t speak English!The trips he took were for finding vinyl records and great songs for him to play on his sound system.
The legend tells that he has more than 5,000 vinyl records and he said, “Before dying, I will burn all of them”. He is very jealous of his ‘pedras’.Pedra, in the Reggae slang of São Luís, means a great song, one that makes the audience go crazy; a song that all the DJs want to play it. Serralheiro admits that he purposely scratches the labels of his vinyl records so that the competitors cannot know who or what he is playing. A pioneer in the Reggae Movement in the northeast city of Brazil, Serralheiro is a well-respected DJ and consider a myth. All his fame is due to the biggest and more enviable collection of imported vinyl records on the island, which total 1,200. He does not allow anyone near his collection and no one has ever played at his sound system because he does not trust them. Not even his wife can touch his vinyl records. Each party that Serralheiro and his sound system, ‘Voz de Ouro Canarinho’, perform, it’s always crowded because he does not repeat his songs and each song is exclusive. To this day, he is considered a ‘Reggae Magnate’ because of his love for Reggae music, his vinyl collection and his stories in São Luís!