MAYRA ANDRADE (Cape Verde)
WINNER - NEWCOMER
Ever since Cesaria Evora put the desolate, windswept archipelago of Cape Verde on the map in the late '80s, fans of the islands' gently accessible morna ballads and more upbeat coladeiras have been waiting for someone to step into her shoes. But she's not called the barefoot diva for nothing, and though emerging female Cape Verdean artists such as Mayra Andrade are bound to be compared to her, there's only one Cesaria. It's more instructive to see Andrade as part of the 'Pantera generation', which includes young artists like Tcheka and previous nominee Lura. All three have been influenced by Orlando Pantera, a songwriter who modernised two of Cape Verde's more African rhythms, (batuku and tabanka) before his untimely death in 2001. Andrade's assured debut Navega (2006) features four of his songs, but also shows her to be a budding songwriter.
Like so many Cape Verdeans, Andrade has spent much of her life abroad, and lived in Angola, Senegal and Germany before settling in Paris in 2002. It was here that she began her show business career in earnest. However, she had spent many of her formative years on the Cape Verdean island of Santiago, where she recalls singing Brazilian songs at the age of five or six, accompanied on guitar by an older cousin. She's unsure whether it's a co-incidence or not, but the musicians she fell in with in Paris were all Brazilian too. Even so, Andrade¹s music sounds like a love letter to her island roots, and explores a wide range of Cape Verde¹s indigenous styles.
If Navega ('Upon the waves') seems to showcase a mature, fully formed artist, it's because she had built up to making it by honing her skills as a performer over half a decade. This long apprenticeship included winning a gold medal for her singing at the Francophonie Games in Canada, recording songs with Lenine, Chico Buarque and Charles Aznavour and naturellement supporting Cesaria onstage in Paris. Just before her UK debut at London's Purcell Room in May 2007, Andrade also scooped the prestigious Preis der Deutshen Shallplattenkritik, (German Record Critics Award). Maybe next time we see her there'll be a British feather in her cap.
Read other people's comments then Tell us what you think:
Fátima São Simão, Portugal
Nuno B.- US of A - FL
Leida, Pittsburgh, USA
Nuno - Cape Verde
Luca a Danzica, Polonia
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.