This season marks Orlando’s first trip to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and they now find themselves just two wins away from an appearance in MLS Cup on Dec. 12.
They have tasted disappointment against the Revs before, however. Toward the end of the 2019 season, when Orlando desperately needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, New England held them to a 3-3 draw. Failing to win that game resulted in the Floridians sitting out the postseason for a fifth consecutive season. This year, Orlando has a chance for payback.
We caught up with Nani to see what he will have playing in his JLab headphones while he gears up to take the playoff field today. Check out the playlist and our full conversation with him below to find out what influenced his eclectic taste in music and what the rest of the team will be playing in the locker room as they look to continue their playoff run.
How much do you love music?
I love music. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I’m always listening to music.
Is it an important part of your life?
Yes, it is! Music has been with me since I was a child. Every special moment of my life has been marked by music. Every single memory has a song attached to it.
What type of music do you like to listen to?
It really depends on the moment, the mood I’m in. [Everything] from the music of my parents’ country, Cape Verde, to other kinds of ethnic and African music, like Kizomba. Brazilian too, of course. Don’t forget Hip Hop and R&B.
Who are your favorite artists right now?
That song, Jerusalema, by Master KG is keeping my spirit up these days. Nelson Freitas, who is a good friend of mine. I listen to all kinds of music, so it depends on the moment and whoever I’m with.
Do you listen to music before matches? If so, what is playing through your JLab headphones that get you ready for a match?
Yes, I always listen to music before a match and while traveling to away matches. That Jerusalema beat keeps me motivated these days, so my JLab headphones already know what song to play.
What’s been playing in the locker room ahead of matches?
There’s always music playing in the locker room, and since there are so many nationalities and cultures within our group, the music goes from Brazilian, like Samba, Funk or Forró, to universal R&B. We get to listen to music from every country. It’s very cool.
Who has been in charge of the music in the locker room?
There’s no designated DJ. If someone feels inspired, he takes care of the locker room soundtrack. It can be me, Pedro [Gallese], João [Moutinho], Benji [Michel] or Robinho. The important thing is that we’re always listening to great music.
What is a new song you have been hooked on through your teammates?
"Siento" by Manco the Sound. [Andrés] Perea got me addicted to it.
What’s the best concert or festival you’ve ever been to?
When I was at Manchester United, around 2010/11 at the [Manchester] Arena, Jay-Z’s concert. Great gig — Usher was a guest. Loved it!
What’s your earliest music-related memory?
When I was really young, my dad played the guitar and sang songs from his home country, Cape Verde.
Big music scene in Orlando — what are some of the memories you have made in the Orlando music scene?
A trip down memory lane, I went to a Backstreet Boys concert at the Arena. One of the guys is from Orlando. It was a fun concert to go.
Orlando is home to many huge music artists ... any that came to mind that you love?
I’m really exposed to all these different cultures, so I end up listening to music I brought with me and all that the other players listen to. I never focused much on local productions, unfortunately.