Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cristiano Lopes was born and raised in the Vila Isabel community. He has been part of the famous Vila Isabel Samba school he was just 6 years old. With Samba culture and the spirit of Rio coursing through his veins, Cristiano is a percussionist with an innate talent for the art form.
At the age of 17, Cristiano moved to the Netherlands to become a professional soccer player. His soccer career saw him play professionally for many years and travel internationally with the sport to countries such as Germany, Thailand and Indonesia.
After a long professional career in soccer, Cristiano moved to Australia in 2016. Playing percussion in the Rio Projekt Bateria has reignited his love for Samba and his Rio roots.