When one listens to the begining of the song “Nha Sunhu,” and to the voice singing “Ó África, ó tabanka, ó povo” (oh Africa, oh village, oh people) it becomes clear that Eneida Marta makes a difference. Her soul is unusually deep and the unique pitch of her voice can balance the sorrows and the hopes of millions – all in one song and in the same breath.It is not difficult to fall in love with “Nha Sunhu” and with the voice of Eneida Marta. What is difficult, though, is to keep away from it.
Born in Guinea-Bissau, just before the former Portuguese colony declared its independence, a particular time that has left marks in Eneida Marta’s voice: she sings the freedom and the struggle but she also sings love. As important is the fact that Eneida Marta was born to an artistic family, singing since she was a child.Later in Lisbon (Portugal), she achieved major progress working with the producer Juca Delgado and collaborating with renowned artists like Don Kikas, Rui Sangara, Aliu Bari as well as with Iva & Ichi before her debut in 2001 with “Nô Storia” (Our Story), an album that led her to several world music stages: Cape Verde, France, Holland, Germany, including Portugal and her native country, Guinea-Bissau.To her first work, succeeded in 2002 the album “Amari” that sparked interest from the New York citybased record label Putumayo World Music. That same year, the American publisher included one of the songs in the compilation album “An Afro-Portuguese Odyssey”.Until the release of her third album, “Lopé Kai” in 2006, Eneida Marta has featured in several compilations and works by other artists, building firmly her unique and distinctive path, fully recognized after she won the first prize in a World Music contest with the theme “Mindjer Dolce Honey” later included in the Putumayo Acoustic Africa compilation.In 2008, WOMEX The World Music Expo, selected Eneida Marta to showcase her talent for more than 3000 delegates, a special moment that resulted in an acclaimed international tour. In the next album she featured Angolan music, assumedly an inspiration for Eneida Marta: in the album “Eneida Marta Com Angola na Voz” (Eneida Marta with Angola in her Voice) she interprets the music of some great Angolan artists such as Teta Lando and Kiezos, references from her childhood. These achievements have shaped Eneida Marta’s musical career, leading her to cross many different stages - Madrid and Barcelona to Amsterdam or Vancouver, from Rome to Budapest and Mexico City, Boston to London and Bern. And in every concert hall she has been welcomed with the same emotional applause by audiences touched by a voice full of soul, dreams, pain and joy. Eneida is a special woman, strong, commited to causes and to her own dreams. And that is how she presents herself in this next work.
Recorded in Bissau, Lisbon and Paris, this new album is a result of her own production “I had this dream of producing my work, willing to try out some new ideas “pouring” around me over the years. This album is the result of my thirst for independence” she underlines. Featuring a group of great musicians such as pianist Ernesto Leite (Portugal), flautist Dramane Dembelé (Congo, DRC) , bassist Gogui, and guitarist Manecas Costa (both of Guinea-Bissau) , Eneida Marta showcases a work of extraordinary beauty and complexity, in which also participates the traditional percussionist group “Netos de Bandim. “I wanted to include the energy and authenticity of African music” explains Eneida Marta. All the songs are the result of a selection of works by some of the most prominent Guinea-Bissau’s writers and poets, except for “Nha Principe,” composed by Eneida Marta. “My music is distinctively from Guinea-Bissau,” she adds. As once stated by Lokua Kanza, the Congolese singer: “I’ve never been to Guinea-Bissau, but I understand the country when I hear Eneida Marta”She seeks for the identity of Guinea-Bissau in the melodies, mixing the local genre of Gumbé with jazz and building a very sound music, inspired by some of the most remarkable Guinean musicians such as José Carlos Shewarz, Ernesto Dabo, and Zé Manel, to name just a few. “Curiously,”says Eneida Marta “I am not inspired much by women musically. At home, I listen mostly to artists like Marc Anthony, Lokua Kanza, Andrea Bocelli, Zé Manel or Manecas Costa.”Perhaps that explains the voice that really marks Eneida Marta is her inner voice, making her singing themes related to life, love and – just like in poetry – “there is so much always to discover” she adds.On stage, Eneida Marta will be joined by an acoustic quartet with piano /guitar, kora, percussion and bass. Her plan is to feature new arrangements to different songs of her repertoire, adding a new “flavor”.“Playing my songs with fewer instruments made me rediscover my own music” Eneida Marta adds.Eneida Marta is a special singer and, most importantly, a special person.
As UNICEF Ambassador for her native country, she sees herself as a woman of causes having no problem to explain her real mission is to work with children. “The music is a vehicle created by God, so I could do what I want to do the most, which is to help others,” reveals Eneida Marta. No one doubts about it when Eneida appears on the world music stages, whether one understands her language or not. Her talent, spirit, and voice will enlighten the souls of every music lover, worldwide.
Eneida will be showcasing at Atlantic Music Expo (AME) in Cape Verde. The show will be on the 12th of April at 7:30 pm in Rua Pedonal