VERDADE is the exciting and melodically vibrant new album from the young Cape Verde singer CARMEN SOUZA. Like its predecessor Ess ê nha Cabo Verde, Verdade is elegant in it’s acoustic simplicity and instrumentation. It features Carmen on guitar, piano / Wurlitzer and vocals, Theo Pas’cal bass, double bass and percussion, and a percussionist/drummer. The arrangements on Verdade, however, have more space and complement each other, allowing the message of Carmen’s songs to communicate to the listener even more clearly.
“In terms of the essence of the album,” she says ”Verdade is even more connected to what I live and experience. I’m no longer speaking about ancient Cape Verdean stories that I’ve heard, I’m talking about my real life, what I believe, my vision of the world…and what it’s becoming and also what I’m becoming as a person and as an artist. I can say that I’m becoming more aware in life and in music, more true to what I am, more musician. It’s always an evolutionary process and I hope it will be so until my last days. The first album was the beginning of an experience and I followed more of my ancestors music and message: this second album Verdade is more personal; I’m not disregarding anything, but I let music and the message within me take the lead.”
Carmen Souza was born 26 years ago in Lisbon within a Christian family of Cape Verdeans. At a young age, she experienced the Sodade feeling of missing a loved one during the long absences of her father, who worked at sea. She grew up in a mixed language environment of Creole, the Cape Verde dialect her parents spoke at home, and Portuguese, always surrounded by the Cape Verdean way of life.
In her teens she sang professionally in a Lusophone Gospel Choir and later participated in several projects ranging through such musical genres as Funk, Soul, Jazz and World musics. Being a strongly spiritual person, Carmen always saw music as her mission and felt privileged 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 those that truly inspire her evolution and search for a unique personal style.
Theo Pas'cal, her producer and mentor and one of the best bass players in…PTO>
>continued…Portugal, discovered her talent and introduced Carmen to Jazz, Fusion and other contemporary sounds that markedly influenced her musical development.
In 2003, Carmen began working with Theo on the compositions that would be included on her début album Ess ê 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 ê nha Cabo Verde, was released two years later in 2005 to critical acclaim and led to her international breakthrough performance at the WOMAD at Reading Festival of the same year.
Of the title of her new album, Carmen observes ”Verdade or Truth has a very special meaning for me because, I see life as a long path that I cross through situations that either help me reach another and higher level or they make me go back or stop, or look back, or fall, or trip…All experiences in my life, good or bad, will make me more mature, and will make me grow, and give me more stories about myself, but the things in which I believe and that I know to be true, which for me is God and all the values and principles that were given to me since the beginning, I want to keep them, and evolve with them…because I believe that, it is the what and Who that has brought me to where I am now.”
article submitted by:Patricia Pascal, Carmen Souza Management / Jazzpilon