Carmen Souza was born 26 years ago in Lisbon within a Christian family of Cape Verdeans. Very young she experienced the "Sodade" feeling of missing someone with the long absence of her father due to his work at sea. She grew up in a mixed environment of Creole, the Cape Verde dialect her parents spoke at home, and Portuguese, always surrounded by the capeverdean way of life.
Carmen started singing professionally at the age of 17 in a Lusophone Gospel Choir and since then she participated in several projects from Funky to Soul, Jazz and World music, with whom she toured extensively. Her compositions were also included in albums released by projects in where she participated has singer.
Being a strong spiritual person, Carmen always saw music has her mission and felt privilege to have the opportunity to express herself through it, working hard every day to deserve that opportunity. Musicians like Luis Morais, Theo Pas'cal, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarret, Diana Krall, etc, are definitely the ones that truly inspire her evolution and search for a personal style different from anything you ever heard.
Theo Pas'cal, her producer and mentor and one of the best bass players in Portugal, was the one to discover her talent and introduce Carmen to Jazz, Fusion and other contemporary sounds that really influenced her.
In 2003, together with Theo, Carmen started working in the compositions that would be included in her debut album "Ess e nha Cabo Verde". Carmen wanted to create a new and unique sound in her ancestors dialect, Creole, that would mix traditional African and Cape Verde rhythms like Batuke, Morna, Cola djon, and others, with her jazz/soul contemporary influences, in a totally intimate and acoustic vibe, different from the traditional festive environment of Cape Verdean sounds.
"Ess e nha Cabo Verde", released in 2005, and later in 2006 released in a Special roots edition, received great reviews from the Cape Verde press not only in Cape Verde but also in USA and was considered by the critics as a reflection of Cape Verde music evolution. The album made it to playlist in several radio programs in countries like: Portugal, Spain, Uk, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Russia, Cape Verde, Canada and USA and is also distributed in several countries.
Carmen international live debut happen in July 2005 during the Womad Festival in Reading, UK , by the hand of BBC3 on their "World on your street" stage. The public present responded enthusiastically, buying all the records at Womad Shop and characterizing the concert at BBC3 Website like: "A celebration Inspiring Uplifting Calming I first heard Carmen Souza at Womad and felt the warmth and strength in her voice. It was a wonderful and peaceful experience-one which I was determined to repeat...", "The concert was amazing really simple but really rich at the same time....it gave me such a peace...", "Caught this at WOMAD and it was really immediate and beautiful music, poignant and uplifting at the same time...".
Since that concert Carmen was invited to perform several times in Uk, Canada and South Korea leaving her mark in the ones that listen to her.
By the end of 2007 Carmen sign a licensing deal with Connecting Cultures/Choice Music for the Worldwide distribution of her second new album "Verdade" earning the tools to continue her innovative and outstanding work. Once again she writes all the lyrics featuring in this record, counting on her long time music partner, Theo Pas'cal, to compose the music. She presents a 100 original repertoire in cape Verdean dialect Creole, a rare fact within the Cape Verdean music. She also signs the co-production of this album.
Carmen Souza, with only her music and spirit to help, was able to cross the 'excluded' side of the "World music industry" and really connect with the public and like she says: "...I don't want to be one more...I want to be Me, with a testimony to share that can reach, touch or even change lives...I believe that is my mission"