Nancy Vieira: «The 'morna' is a way of living and translates the Cape Verdean soul»

Cape Verdean singer Nancy Vieira. / RITA CARMO

The singer stars with Olga Cerpa and Mestisay in the 'Concert for the city' that will take place this Saturday at the Parque de la Música

FZ The Gran Canarian palms

Popular music was always present in his childhood. Family members would gather at her parents' house to sing the songs and interpret the mestizo rhythms of the small volcanic archipelago located off the African coast. The
Cape Verdean Nancy Vieira is one of the voices that has placed the music of these ten islands at the center of the cultural world, well known for the fundamental role played by other artists such as
Cesárea Évora, Tito Paris or the renovator Francisco Xavier da Cruzthe author that the whole world would know as B. Leza, responsible for new Brazilian stitching in the contemporary 'morna'.

Together with Olga Cerpa and Mestisay and the Cape Verdean musicians Rufino and Stephan Almeida on guitar and cavaquinho and the pianist Humberto Ramos, will be the guest at the now traditional
'Concert for the City' which, organized by the city council of the capital on the occasion of the Foundational Festivities, will offer the band from Gran Canaria this
Saturday, from 10:00 p.m., in the Parque de la Música, next to Las Canteras beach.

Cesarean Evora

Vieira professes a reverential respect for Évora. «
Cesária's place belongs only to Cesária. His disappearance has left a tremendous void in the culture of Cape Verde and for many of the country's artists, Évora has been a reference and an inspiration.
. We have in common the love for the land and the musical genres and their historywhich we express with routes in a different way », explains the singer who on many occasions has been conceptualized as the continuation of the barefoot lady.

In reality, the two have little in common in terms of personality, social background, and life story. What connects them, however, is Cape Verdeans' secret affinity for their music, which straddles the West and Africa: a music of ocean crossings and Creole culture.
«In spite of everything, the comparison with her does not bother me, on the contrary, it honors me».

His career as
committed activist with the reality of her country has been as important as her facet as a singer, possibly because as a child she breathes the combative heritage of her parents, who joined the cause of the leader of the struggle for the independence of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau,
Amilcar Cabralwho was assassinated in 1973, just before Portugal's colonial period ended with the Carnation Revolution in April 1974.

what you hear

"I listen to different genres.
my favorite beatsin addition to the music of Cape Verde, are those from
Brazil, Latin America, West Africa and Portugal, with her fado”, says the artist who is also part of the Cesária Évora Orchestra with other Cape Verdean artists.

«I bet on the intersection of Cape Verdean sonorities with sounds from other places,
mainly from Brazil (samba and bossa nova, already adopted as almost their own genres in Cape Verde) and from the rest of Latin America, such as the Peruvian landó and the Cuban danzón and son”, he explains.

The 'morna' is something that travels within me. I've known her since she was 6 or 7 years old. It is a way of living, it defines our 'jeito' and translates our soul. It is always difficult for me to define it in words, whoever visits Cape Verde with an open heart will be able to feel what we sing with it », he points out, referring to the
popular genre that was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity three years ago by UNESCO and that, combined with nuances of African origin, mixes poetry, dance, music and a whining and emotional voice that radiates melancholy, nostalgia, love, rootlessness, complaint and pain.


«My roots are the place and Cape Verde my inspiration. They are what make me who I am. We Cape Verdeans are a mestizo people, originating from various cultures that have mixed with the times on the islands. As a Cape Verdean I feel like a daughter of that miscegenation.
We have specifically our own genres such as 'morna', 'coladeira' or 'funaná'which are the result of a sum of that musical miscegenation that has passed through us”, adds Vieira, who is impressed whenever she performs abroad by how all these sonorities mentioned are capable of infecting audiences from such diverse places.

"Audiences who do not understand our music, but perceive its feeling, which transmits melancholy, but also joy and a lightness that makes you vibrate and dance", explains the artist
now based in Lisbonwhich debuted in 1995, but became known in 1999, when it appeared on a compilation titled 'Música de Intervenção Cabo-Verdiana', singing alongside the legendary Ildo Lobo.

The Olga Cerpa and Mestisay concert will be the fifth time that they present to the public of their hometown a careful musical production whose philosophy is an event in which
Music by guest artists is mixed with songs from the historical repertoire of Canarian performers.

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