Helio Vanimal

OneBeat 2012 Fellow

Singer-Songwriter

Inhambane, Mozambique

Helio Vanimal’s boisterous raps and parading vocal melodies are balanced with an unchanging backdrop of profound compassion. Helio hopes that his parodic, exuberant performances can offer moments of respite from tragedy, as he feels that joy and positivity make for potent medicine when facing adversity. A pioneering activist and social entrepreneur, Helio began fusing music and charity work at an orphanage in Beira, where he wrote songs with children suffering from HIV/AIDS. He founded Positivo Mozambique, a non-profit arts and education organization, to help expand the use of music to cope with the epidemic in West Africa. His musical productions–combining customary African instruments, cutting edge technology, and industrial waste–make use of all available resources. Leading the Positivo band, Helio has toured Mozambique, Austria, South Africa and Morocco performing and leading youth workshops. Utilizing emergent cell phone technology and mobile recording software, Helio is able to spread positive messages where traditional activism cannot reach.