Francisco de Assis França (March 13, 1966 - February 2, 1997), better known as Chico Science, was a Brazilian singer and composer and one of the founders of the Mangue Beat cultural movement. He died in a car accident in 1997 in Recife, Pernambuco, at the age of 30.
Francisco de Assis França was born in the Rio Doce, neighbourhood of Olinda, in the state of Pernambuco in Brazil's Northeast, as a little boy he would sell crabs that he caught himself in the city's mangrove swamps.
He became the lead singer and major creative driving force of the groundbreaking Mangue Bit band called Chico Science & Nação Zumbi (CSNZ). Influenced by such musicians as James Brown, Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Blow, their music cleverly fused rock, funk, and hip hop with maracatu and other traditional rhythms of Brazil's Northeast. Chico had a powerful stage presence that was compared by some to that of Jimi Hendrix.
Before CSNZ, Chico was a member of the bands Orla Orbe and Loustal (the latter named after the French comic book artist and cartoonist Jacques de Loustal).
Around 1991, Chico Science, along with singer Fred 04 of the band Mundo Livre S/A, founded the Mangue Bit cultural movement in response to dire economic and cultural stagnation in Recife and Olinda. CSNZ made their US debut at New York's Central Park SummerStage in 1995, opening for Gilberto Gil, with whom he collaborated during the encore. While in NY, they also performed additional shows at CBGB's, SOB's and at Bryant Park as part of the JVC Jazz Festival, on a bill with the Ohio Players.
Chico Science & Nação Zumbi toured several times in Europe and brought massive attention to the new generation of Brazilian artists in the 1990s. With only two full albums released during his lifetime 'Da Lama Ao Caos' ('From Mud To Chaos) and 'Afrociberdelia' (as well as a postuhumous double CD of remixes and live recordings "CSNZ'), his influence and vision became the foundation to a whole new generation of musicians in Brazil. Chico's genius was to celebrate the rich and fascinating local culture of his home state of Pernambuco and fused it with all the modern global trends of the 1990s - Computers, Mud, Misery, Cyberspace, Hip Hop and roots music co-existed peacefully in Chico's world.
In 1996, Chico Science contributed "Maracatú Atomico" along with Nação Zumbi to the AIDS-Benefit Album Red Hot + Rio produced by the Red Hot Organization.
Nação Zumbi have continued to record and tour internationally after Chico's death.