Cassio Audi and His Lasting Metal Legacy

Cassio Audi had a relatively quick but overall successful and impactful musical career. Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, he began drumming with his first band  Viper, in 1985 while still a teenager. Along with Audi, Viper’s founding line-up featured Andre Matos as lead vocals and keyboard, Pit Passarell on bass, Felipe Machado and Yves Passarell on guitar. Viper played music from multiple genres, including but not limited to thrash metal, heavy metal, power metal and alternative rock. They reference British metal and Iron Maiden as their strongest influences.

Viper’s first demo album was “The Killera Sword”, which they recorded in 1985. The 24 minute 13 second-long record featured six independently recorded tracks, with three of the most popular ones including “Signs of the Night”, “Nightmare”, and “Killera Princess from Hell”. The album cover featured an early rendering of Viper’s logo and a photograph of the teenage hair rockers in casual poses.

Two years later in 1987, Viper released their first official studio album, called “Soldiers of Sunrise”. Some highlight tracks from that album include “Signs of the Night”, “Knights of Destruction”, “Nightmares”, and “Soldiers of Sunrise“. This album gained lots of buzz in the Brazilian metal scene and made a splash internationally by being featured in the Metal magazines Kerrang, Metal Fores and Metal Hammer. The album also helped cement Audi as a household name in the realm of skilled Brazilian drummers. “Soldiers of Sunrise” went on to sell over ten thousand records.

After “Soldiers of Surnrise”, Viper released “Theatre of Fate” in 1989 internationally in Europe, Asia and the US. What stood out for this album was its mixing of metal with classical genres. For example, the albums final track “Moonlight” is based off of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata. The album had some major hits and even outcharted world-renowned rock groups like Nirvana and Van Halen in Japan. It also included what will likely go down as the fan favorite Viper track of all-time – “Living for the Night.”

Although Cassio Audi did not participate in the recording of this album, he continued to tour with Viper. Ultimately, in 1989 he left Viper and pursued a different career path. However, his impact on the Brazilian metal scene continues to this day.

Desiree Perez on the Future of Roc Nation

Desiree Perez is one of the mostly hidden forces behind the rise of Roc Nation, the legendary hip-hop company established by Jay Z. In 2008, Jay Z and Roc Nation signed a contract with the company Live Nation for 10 years, $150 million. The contract helped to elevate Jay Z’s already sizable profile while also helping to raise the bar for the musicians at Roc Nation. Now, with the deal set to expire, Roc Nation and Live Nation have some very serious conversations to engage in. Roc Nation, with Jay Z and Desiree Perez in charge, are now looking at potential options for future endeavors.

Live Nation deal with Roc Nation has a ‘buy-sell’ clause triggered in 2018 and that means that Roc Nation could be a free agent in as little as a year. Roc Nation has a roster of talented, in-demand artists, including Meek Mill, Rihanna, Jay Z, Fat Joe and Shakira. Perez has been hands-on in cultivating the rise of Rihanna into a worldwide megastar. It makes sense that Perez would be included in potential deals and that is why eyebrows were raised when Jay and Perez sat down with Sir Lucian Grainge of Universal Music Group. UMG and Jay Z have had a quality relationship for years but now their contact is taking on a renewed focus. An insider close to UMG said of their meeting with Jay, “Our partnership is pretty significant as it is. Jay Z is phenomenal and it would be great to get further into business with him.”

Jay Z and Desiree Perez have a variety of different options to consider before signing on the new dotted line for Roc Nation’s future. Roc Nation and Jay Z have played their cards relatively close to the vest over the past year so it remains to be seen what direction they will be going in.

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