Born in João Pessoa, Brazil in 1967, Alexandre Meneses (aka Xandão) moved to Rio de Janeiro when he was 5 years old. At an early age he showed a great interest in music, but the electric guitar only came into his life when he was 13 years old. That is when he started to take lessons at Musiarte in Copacabana and latter at the Conservatorio Brasileiro de Musica (Brazilian Music Conservatory). Although he enjoyed rock very much, he started to get deep into jazz and fusion and had teachers like Joe Diorio, John Scofield, Ian Guest, Oren Perlin and Antonio Adolfo.
Then in 1991 he formed a band called O Rappa where all the styles which influenced him could be combined and mixed, creating a identity all his own. Xandão plays for the music, so when you listen to a guitar part created by him, you will hear some complex tempo/rhythm patterns and interesting chord voices. He is certainly not a “shredder”, but Xandão likes to play interesting textures and timings.
O Rappa (Pronounced oh-Hah-pah) is a Brazilian reggae/rock band from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They combine many styles such as Rock, Reggae, Funk, Hip hop and Samba. It’s complicated to point a style. O Rappa's songs contain sharp protests against the social problems occurring in Brazil and the members of the band themselves are supporters of numerous social projects.
In 1993, the reggae artist Papa Winnie came to Brazil but he had no band to play shows with him. He immediately picked four people: Nelson Meirelles, Marcelo Lobato, Xandão Meneses and Marcelo Yuka as the band. After Papa Winnie's shows, the four decided to stay together picking Falcão as the 5th member and vocalist.
In 1994, they released their first album, on Warner, O Rappa. It was initially only known to small groups within the working class suburbs or Rio de Janeiro. In 1996 the album Rappa Mundi was released. Most of the music was a success, especially their version of Hey Joe, a song made famous by Jimi Hendrix.
However it wasn't until the third album Lado B Lado A in 1999, that O Rappa gained widespread fame selling over 150 000 copies of that album. Their film clip for their song Minha Alma was also held in high regard winning many MTV Brasil's Vídeo Music Awards. In August 2001, the group released its first live album, Instinto Coletivo. It featured a couple of tracks recorded in the studio with the participation of Sepultura and Asian Dub Foundation.
On 7 July 2007, O Rappa performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008 they released their latest album, 7 Vezes. They toured Brazil, U.S.A., Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and England, with sold out venues and intense performances.