Capeverdean Singer

Lura

Portuguese singer
with capeverdean source


A burning voice providing us
with reasons to live ....


Capeverdean Music
CD "di korpu ku alma"

LURA
- Promo Lusafrica

Lura

The country’s name is cape verde and the young woman is lura. She sings of this former portuguese territory, a string of ten islands, ten volcanic pebbles scattered in the ocean off senegal. Connoisseurs of diva cesaria evora are familiar with the little archipelago, insignificant in terms of global strategy, but possessed of a native wisdom that could teach more powerful nations a great deal. Invented by european colonists, tilled by transported africans and seared by drought, cape verde has managed to heal the wounds inflicted by a history of famine and become a hospitable, peaceful, proud country. Lura sings of this land, where she was not born…

Lura is as young as the country of her roots. Cape Verde split away from Portugal in 1975, the year she was born in Lisbon. Portugal’s capital is home to most of the Cape Verdean diaspora, although large communities are also to be found in Senegal, the north-east United States, Holland, France and Italy. Two-thirds of Cape Verdeans live outside their country and the same is true of their artists. In Lisbon, the Cape Verdean population is mainly concentrated in the suburb of Benfica, in a makeshift district of narrow streets and jerry-built houses. However, the Portuguese-African “centre” of Lisbon is Rua Poço de Negros (Well of the Blacks Street), a long thoroughfare that runs from the historical quarter of Bairro Alto to the Parliament district, and holds many African restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
Lura’s father was from Santiago, the largest, greenest, most African island of Cape Verde, and her mother from São Nicolau, the island that produces the best grog (Cape Verdean rum). “There was nothing artistic about my family, my parents mainly listened to morna,” muses Lura, recalling her early youth with an allusion to the velvet, slightly mocking saudade that, lethargically intoned by Cesaria Evora, has made Cape Verde famous all over the world. “She has opened the way. Now we can present other Cape Verdean styles,” explains Lura. Her body sculpted by swimming, dancing and simply the desire to be beautiful, the artist performs two or three of Cape Verde’s main genres.

Lura was a dancer when a singing star of African music in Lisbon, Juka, originally from São Tome and Principe, asked her to appear on his new album. “I was seventeen.
I was supposed to sing backing vocals, but soon Juka asked me to perform a duet with him. I’d never thought about singing, but he insisted,” she says. So Lura discovered the potential of her voice, its deep timbre and sensual inflections. Juka’s zouk was a hit and other Portuguesespeaking African celebrities asked Lura to work with them, among them Bonga from Angola and her fellow countrymen Tito Paris, Paulo Florès and Paulinho Vieira.
Meanwhile, she was working with a theatre company as she made her first album with a Portuguese producer: a dance record for her generation featuring syrupy love zouk and sugary r’n’b, Cape Verdean creole-style. “It was mainly aimed at discotheques,” she explains. But despite the album’s commercial recipes and tricks of the trade, the song Nha Vida (My Life) attracted wider interest and was featured on Red Hot + Lisbon, a compilation for the campaign against AIDS, including songs by Brazilian stars Caetano Veloso, Marisa Monte and Djavan, Bonga and Teresa Salgueiro, the singer of Portuguese group Madredeus. At the time, Lura was 21.

Having discovered the young prodigy when she sang a duet with Bonga – Mulemba Xangola – Lusafrica produced her second album in 2002. “The record was chiefly aimed at the community’s young people,” the singer says.
In other words, it was a cocktail of r’n’b and zouk, the latest craze among Cape Verdean youth. But practised ears picked out two tracks of special worth: Ma'n ba dès bès kumida dâ and Tabanka Assigo, a pair of songs written by the young Tcheka that offer a lingering essence of Cape Verdean music, delicious rhythms sung by a mature, voluptuous voice.
It was not until 2004 that Lura made a truly Cape Verdean record: Di Korpu Ku Alma (Of Body and Soul), whose reputation was boosted in the country and among the diaspora by the success of Vazulina, a story of petroleum-jelly abuse among Africans bent on straightening their hair. The song’s subject is very much a declaration of Cape Verdean identity. It was penned by Orlando Pantera (as were Na Ri Na, Es Bida, Batuku and Raboita di Rubon Manel), a young writer who revolutionised one of Cape Verde’s great traditional genres before his death, establishing a style that inspired an entire generation of new artists.

In 2005 Di Korpu Ku Alma is being reissued with four previously unreleased songs (and a DVD). The album especially provides a new take on the old batuque beat, rapped out by the washerwomen of Santiago on bundles of cloth (tchabeta) held in their laps. With a slight catch in her mellow voice, Lura leads them out into the world…

LURA’s LIGHT
from a biography by José Eduardo Agualusa (translated from Portuguese)

The voice on this album is among those I have believed in most strongly over the last few years.
Ever since I heard Nha Vida, I have been telling anyone who cares to listen that the future of Cape Verdean music already has a name: Lura.
Some shadows shine with their own light. Those that form this song, for instance. A smoothly burning voice, at once sweet and caustic, providing us with reasons to live. A voice we want to hear on both joyful and sad occasions. A voice that soothes us and sweeps us away.

“Listen to Lura,” I repeated endlessly, even to those sceptics who pointed out past misjudgements in the young singer’s career. Nha Vida rescued the eponymous album (her first) released in Lisbon on the 31st July 1996, her 21st birthday. The following year, the track was chosen for the Onda Sonora Red Hot + Lisbon compilation. Lura’s extraordinary voice shines with the dazzling sheen of newly-polished metal among the others on this record, which includes some of the greatest performers in the vast Portuguese-speaking world: Marisa Monte, Caetano Veloso, Teresa Salgueiro, Filipa Pais, Djavan and Bonga.

Lura’s new album, Di Korpo ku Alma (Of Body and Soul) fully justifies my most optimistic predictions.
The future is here. In passing, I should confess that I had no difficulty in prophesying Lura’s future. My only real surprise was that no-one else saw what is becoming very obvious today.

“Listen to Lura.” First, listen to the powerful Batuku that opens body and soul. This theme by the late lamented Orlando Pantera – whose spirit shines all through this record – seems tailored to match Lura’s energy. Batuku is in fashion, she sings. Well, if it wasn’t already, it will be now. Four more of Pantera’s songs feature on this CD: Na Ri Na, Vazulina, Es Bida and Raboita di Rubon Manel – from everyday satire (the wonderful Vazulina) to a eulogy to rebellion. Lura, one of the few female songwriters in the sumptuous world of Creole music, penned several songs in the album. On So Um Cartinha (Just a little letter), she pokes fun at a typically Cape Verdean custom of asking family or friends who are visiting Lisbon to take back “a little letter”, then presenting them with a fully-packed trunk. With pianist Fernando Andrade, she also wrote the emblematic Mundó Ê Nos and Oh Náia, together with the fine Tem um Hora pa Tude (There’s a time for everything), based – so she says – on a tour of various North European countries with Cesaria Evora in June 2003.
Another name to remember is Tcheka. This rising young star in the islands’ musical firmament plays on two memorable tracks: Tabanka Assigo and Ma´n ba dês bês kumida dâ. The CD also features an old Bulimundo song, Tó Martins, which is about emigration, a recurring theme in the music of this historic group, and Padoce di Céu Azul by Valdemiro Ferreira (Vlu), previously recorded by Tito Paris on his Guilhermina album.
“Listen to Lura.” And then go and see her on stage, plunging herself body and soul into her art, pure Creole beauty with a startling voice. Although she says that her theatrical experience with the Plano Seis company has helped her greatly on stage, I am still convinced that her basic performing talent is innate.
It mainly lies in her passion and youthful energy, and – of course – the fantastic power of her truly unique voice, a gift she took years to accept. “I thought my voice was awful,” she says. “I was even ashamed to sing Happy Birthday.” Born in Lisbon in 1975, she discovered her Cape Verdean identity (while remaining fully Portuguese) through the Creole she learnt with her friends at school. Today, she is proud to speak and write her songs in a deep Creole from the heart of the islands. As a child, she wanted to be a dancer. Later, she taught swimming. Finally, music drew her from the water. Unlucky for her pupils, but very fortunate for all of us who listen to her today.
Once, when the world was still limitless and enigmatic, nervous cartographers noted the legend “here be dragons” on the edges of their maps. As I look into the future – just as those ancient cartographers looked at the world – I can confidently write on Lura’s map “here be great light: the radiance of a great singer”.
Thank you, Lura.

José Eduardo Agualusa

PLANING CONCERTS
marketing  &  promotion: 
(33) 01 41 83 66 30 / lusafrica@lusafrica.com

LURA (Cap-Vert / Cabo Verde)

 05-02/10 @ Alhambra, Paris FRANCE
 13-02/10 @ St Pölten, Austria
 11-03/10 @ Bruxelles, Belgique
 25-03/10 @ Vigo, Espagne
 21-04/10 @ Centro de Congressos, Lisboa Portugal
 23-04/10 @ Sao Paulo, Brazil (w/ Adriana Calcanhoto)
 24-04/10 @ Sao Paulo, Brazil (w/ Misia)
 12-05/11 @ Vienna, Austria

	

LUSAFRICA - AFRICA NOSTRA
115 rue Lamarck
75018 PARIS FRANCE
tel. : +33 (0)1 53 11 19 06
fax : +33 (0)1 53 11 19 05
lusafrica@lusafrica.com - www.lusafrica.com


cv.artist cv.music song from LURA CD

by www caboverde.com