Felipe Lion was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Grandson of a Portuguese guitarist and son of a couple of small publishers, he was encouraged from an early age to experience all forms of art, as a compulsory part of his training. At age 10, already living in Sao Paulo, he began to seriously study music: piano, guitar and music theory at the Municipal School of Music, but it was literature that really directed him towards the artistic career. Seeing a newspaper article about the Sao Paulo Juvenile Literature Academy, he gathered half a dozen newly written poems – in fact, his only poems – and applied to one of the chairs that were being contested. To his surprise, he was one of the chosen ones, the youngest of them, coming to have direct contact with the main figures of the literary and journalistic scene of Sao Paulo in the early ‘80s.
Prominent names at that time passed through the room the Juvenile Literature Academy occupied in the Monteiro Lobato Library, such as Ignacio de Loyola Brandão, Ivan Angelo, Torrieri Guimarães, Lourenço Diaféria, Marcos Rey and many others. There, lectures, readings, workshops and various other literary activities were held. During this period, Felipe Lion began to publish stories and poems in newspapers and literary magazines. A Folha de Sao Paulo came to give an entire page of its children’s supplement, the now extinct Folinha, for his story O Peixe Voador (The Flying Fish). He also published two books of poems, in small editions: Berração and Antologia do Lixo (Anthology of Trash).
At age 17, he became passionate about a dancer and dancing, and then he trained to become a classical dancer. He perfected his knowledge with a season at the school of the National Ballet of Cuba, after which, already back in Brazil, he formed the Ballet Camerata Paulista, with a group of young dancers. Despite a promising start with a tour across the southern part of the country and several invitations to other presentations inside and outside Brazil, the company had to close its activities due to lack of sponsorship. Lion was then in the dilemma of abandoning ballet or pursuing a career abroad, leaving behind family and friends. He opted to abandon dancing slippers, but not before doing a final work as a dancer with a short but remarkable participation in the musical Elas por Ella (Them for Her) with Marília Pêra in the starring role.
After abandoning dancing, Lion turned his energies to music and, together with guitarist Robert Scherb and bassist Celso Freire, he formed the art-rock band Sex Fanzine. Sex Fanzine‘s dense and theatrical compositions, which came to use a semi-naked actress in their performances, were successful in the underground scene of Sao Paulo and the band regularly performed in major nightclubs of the ‘90s, such as the legendary Dama Xoc and Aeroanta. Since they always hoped to join a major label, Sex never recorded an album. In fact, at least twice they were very close to signing with an important label. On one occasion, Felipe Lion and Robert Scherb traveled to Rio to discuss the contract, only to discover that the label’s art director had just been fired and all his projects were suspended… These misfortunes and a disastrous spectacle in front of leading producers – one of the musicians took the stage after taking a great amount of drugs, presumably because of a rejection by his girlfriend – took the band to an end.
With Sex Fanzine’s end and after some time of solo presentations, Lion formed a new band, Merlim, with Junior Gaspari (Drummer of Sex), Zé Luiz Zambianchi (bass) and Jax Molina (electric guitar). The band debuted at Popular nightclub on October 5, 1998, at a party where they released their first EP. Merlim continued playing and releasing EPs until in 2008 they finally released A Tempestade (The Storm), their first album, produced by Kiko Zambianchi. In addition to Lion and Gaspari, the group is currently formed by guitarists Kike Damasceno and Guto Domingues. The band suspended their activities, while preparing a new album provisionally called Clube dos Suicidas (Club of the Suicides). The idea is to resume this work and release it in 2018, when Merlim turns 20.
In recent years, Felipe Lion is dedicated to a new musical project, Last Aliens in Rio, a group formed with the idea of innovating in bossa nova – a style that seems to be trapped between the eternal emulation of its idols and dull re-readings of successes of the international pop in Bossa Nova rhythm. The first album, Teu Doce Jeito de Dizer Adeus (The Lovely Way You Say Goodbye), was released in 2015 by Swedish label Mareld from Substream Music Group and the second album came out in September 2016 by the Italian label RNC Music. Both albums entered the Top Charts of iTunes Brazil and the song O Luar de Havana (Havana Moonlight) from the first album, became one of the best-selling jazz singles in South Korea, occupying position 34. Last Aliens in Rio prepares a tour and already has plans to release a new album.
In literature, after having published the book of poems A Arte da Automutilação (The Art of Self-Mutilation) (Ateliê Editorial, 2013), Lion is finalizing the philosophical essay O Estado e a Morte: uma reflexão sobre o direito de matar e morrer (State and Death: a reflection on the right to kill and die), as well as a new book of new poems.