Marcelo Cervone has a multifaceted creative spirit for he is able to be an actor, musician, film composer and singer-songwriter all in one lifetime. Born and raised in Lisbon, Marcelo has Brazilian-Portuguese roots with his great-grandfather Zé Carlos Medeiros being an important musical influence on him. He is trained in musical theatre and performing arts and has been releasing his own music since 2014. His latest soundtrack is for the short film “Imagine if Black Boys Just Smiled at Each Other” which has already started collecting its fair share of award at film festivals!

The soundtrack starts off with the words “Would you like me to tell you the story of the black boy” narrated in a sombre manner by Kenton Thomas. This line captivates the listener from the first second and sets a serious tone. This provides an intense beginning for the track which is inundated with the theme of narration emblematic of a soundtrack. An urgent, repetitive and hypnotising electronic riff follows this along with heavy heart-beat like percussion in the background. Marcelo Cervone does a great job on the minor keys that help build the intensity of the track.

The choice of “Love or hate” is placed in front of the young black boy and the weight of this choice is conveyed to us through the devilish vocals that follow. When love is chosen, we are led towards peace through soothing ambience. The soundtrack reaches its sonic climax post the line “Imagine if black boys just smiled at each other” after which it takes its own time to wind down with keys that sound like raindrops adding a calming effect.

The line “Smiles as weaknesses” speaks to the need for vulnerability that is prevented by the socially constructed identities of blackness and manhood. I enjoyed how the instrumentation has pauses built into it in order to enhance the narration. Although I am sure much more could be said about the soundtrack when visually combined with the experience of watching the film, it stands as an excellent narrative piece on its own!