Luisa Maita
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Luisa Maita

São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band World Pop




"un son prometteur qui symbolise le Brésil d’aujourd’hui"

Avec son premier album, Lero-Lero, la jeune Paulista Luisa Maita entame une conversation
musicale avec son pays : un son prometteur qui symbolise le Brésil d’aujourd’hui.

« La nouvelle sensation du Brésil » : l’expression un peu guindée pourrait désig- ner Luisa Maita, jeune Paulista de 28 ans, qui débarque à chant feutré sur la scène internationale avec son premier opus, Lero- Lero. A mi-chemin entre un héritage solide, tissé des sons traditionnels de son pays – baião, bossa nova, samba, rythmes de capoeira – et des horizons urbains – pop, électro –, l’artiste s’inscrit dans son temps, les deux pieds dans le passé pour mieux appréhender l’avenir. A l’écart de tout con- sensus ou formatage, sa musique révèle en douceur une belle personnalité.
Née d’un père musulman originaire de Syrie, compositeur reconnu dans les an- nées 1970, et d’une mère aux racines jui- ves d’Europe de l’Est, Luisa grandit dans une maison de campagne, à l’écart de São Paulo, entourée d’un vivier de musiciens, les amis de ses parents. Chaque semaine, elle s’imprègne de l’atmosphère de Bexi- ga, où réside sa famille paternelle : dans ce quartier multiethnique et artistique de la mégapole se côtoient des Italiens, des Arabes, tandis que résonnent les tambours
« Sa conversation intime se trame d’abord avec le Brésil dans toutes ses facettes : bétonné, naturel, ancestral, moderne...»
de la prestigieuse école de samba Vai Vai. Sur son enfance, planent aussi les ombres lumineuses de João Gilberto, Nana Caym- mi ou Elis Regina. « La musique était ma norme, mon quotidien », raconte-t-elle. Et parce que la voie professionnelle reste pré- caire, Luisa tente de l’esquiver. En vain.
Dès 17 ans, elle enchaîne à São Paulo les jingles pour la radio, les cachets de choris- te et les prestations dans les mariages, où elle mêle joyeusement samba, standards américains, et MPB. Elle participe même au clip pour la campagne des JO 2016, à Rio. Surtout, elle se spécialise dans les sérénades, ce « business » typiquement brésilien : contre rétribution financière, elle chante sur comman-
de chez des particuliers – fêtes d’anniversaire, déclarations d’amour... Par ce petit boulot très formateur, elle parcourt sa ville dans les grandes largeurs, en côtoie tous les milieux sociaux. En parallèle, elle fonde le groupe Urbanda, et compose pour Virginia Rosa et Mariana Aydar.
Mais parce qu’elle veut parler à ses pairs, elle lance aujourd’hui ce « lero-lero », un mot argotique qui signifie « bavardage ». Sa conversation intime se trame d’abord avec son Brésil (« ses Brésils » !) dans toutes ses facettes : bétonné, naturel, ancestral, mo- derne... Elle s’adresse à ses ghettos, ses favorisés, écrit les chroniques de sa ville, ses coups de pression, son charme, et sa beauté. Dans la langueur de sa voix suave aux accents trip-hop, cernée de boucles électro, se devinent alors l’énergie et les tensions, comme la quiétude d’une plage sauvage. Il y a tout cela dans ce bavardage aux allures anodines : un hymne à son pays et à son peuple. Tout cela, plus l’empreinte d’une génération stimulante de musiciens, qui dans la lignée de leurs aînés, regarde droit devant. - Mondomix

"Sumptuous, sedutive and surprisingly substantial"

Sumptuous, sedutive and surprisingly substantial - Songlines

"Luisa Maita's bossa nova is soft in a noisy world"

Brazilian singer Luisa Maita's soft delivery could be a reaction to the intense volume of her hometown, the sprawling metropolis of Sao Paulo. She has more than one feeling about this city and that subtle complexity comes across through her music.

"Sao Paulo is the opposite of Brazil in some ways," Maita said before her sound check at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. "It's a hard city, no nature. It's a big, big city and it's a noisy city. But the aesthetic of Sao Paulo is so interesting. It's like you are in a city of the future — in a bad way. At the same time, you feel so alive there." - Chicago Tribune

"this album is simply and beautifully a joy to listen to"

Cumbancha doesn’t release a massive raft of talent but every time I come across something with their imprint I know that I will be in for a treat and Luisa Maita has not broken the chain – this album is simply and beautifully a joy to listen to.

The lady herself hails from Sao Paolo the Brazilian super-city and she has absorbed an incredible amount of music in her short years. Everything from Samba to Bossa Nova to torch songs and smoky jazz and all sung in a voice that I can only describe as ‘molten amber’. To listen to her is to get emotionally involved in the music as she lays her soul bare across the microphone.
When she lifts the tempo, as on ‘Desencabulada’, she generates involuntary dancing in the listener but on the more evenly paced material her purity of tone and whispered vocal has you crowding the speakers to get some more.

Not speaking a word or Portuguese means that I cannot describe the themes or the subject matter but it also leaves me in the happy position of being able to react only to the sounds that are placed before me and there really isn’t a moment on the entire album that doesn’t please. The band is quite superb, with a light touch to the music and every opportunity madew to give Luisa’s voice centre stage and she makes the most of it as her tone pleads and commands and entreats and soars.

She is the product of a musical family and she has been enveloped in Brazilian and Syrian and Eastern European from a very young age but the music is all her own and she has a sound that is uncommon in today’s overproduced and artificially ‘sexy’ musical world. This is natural and un-forced and one of the more enjoyable experiences I have had listening this year. - Music News


There seems to be a neverending stream of youthful, female singers coming out of Brazil at the moment: Céu, Maria Rita, Mallu Magalhães and Clara Moreno are just some of the names that have managed to permeate the Brazilian consciousness and gone on to have international success. Adding to this list surely will be Luísa Maita, a São Paulo singer who has seemingly been making music since she was born.

Born to a musician father (Amado Maita recorded a solo album in the 70s) and a concert producer mother she has been surrounded by music her whole life. “My main influences come straight from my family: my family left me the samba school spirit and the personality of that rhythm; my uncle Daniel Taubkin is a great singer/songwriter whose style was a model to me because his music is a mixture of a lot of different influences; my aunt Rita Figueiredo influenced me very much with her intense and sensual singing style. And there was also Fernando Falcão, who was a kind of godfather to me.” Their record collections also helped in rooting Luísa in music. “My parents listened mostly to samba, bossa nova and jazz: João Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Nana Caymmi, Vinicius de Moraes, Milton Nascimento, Edu Lobo, Baden Powell.”

With this musical footing she started singing at home, her and her sister learning to sing her father’s songs from an early age. At only seven years of age she began recording advertising jingles. Later she began performing in clubs around São Paulo and eventually formed the band Urbanda with Morris Picciotto in 2001. Urbanda had five members: Morris – guitar, Rodrigo Campos – guitar, Luísa – vocals, Marcos Paiva – bass, Douglas Alonso – drums. They recorded one self-titled album in 2003 which gained some recognition; one of it’s songs “Beleza” (written by Luísa and Rodrigo Campos) was selected as one of the best songs of the year by Rolling Stone Brazil.

With this acclaim came some doubts. Luísa wasn’t sure if Urbanda was the right band for her. After some deep thinking she decide to leave Urbanda and begin performing with new material. “I assembled a new band and began to look for interesting places to sing. I wanted to sing songs by the songwriters that were part of my life and whose songs hadn’t yet been released – Amado Maita, Fernando Falcão, Fernando (Tom) Costa, Geraldo Espíndola – as well as my first songs and Rodrigo Campos’s songs.”

This transition possibly added more problems than it solved as Luísa still remained unsure where she was heading and even considered packing it all in. “I wasn’t certain if I should go on singing , if that was my thing or not. I went through weeks and weeks of questioning and doubt. It was then that I decided to stop, try to answer these questions, and begin to develop my own new approach.” This new approach meant Luísa herself writing a new set of songs which finally felt truly her own. With these songs, as well as a couple of contributions from Rodrigo Campos and Morris Picciotto, she set about recording Lero-Lero, her new album.

Luisa Maita's album Lero-LeroWe should be thankful she stuck with it because Lero-Lero is a refreshing, sultry mix of samba, bossa nova and MPB. There is more of a raw edge than recent bossa nova and electro bossa by artists like Bebel Gilberto or Clara Moreno. The album marks the beginning of what could be a burgeoning talent. This set of original compositions shows that there is real talent here, someone capable of detailing life in São Paulo from a number of different angles. Lero-Lero was released by Cumbancha Dicovery on 21st June in Europe (following on July 27th in the rest of the world). - Sounds and Colours

"The voice of Rio 2016 Olympic Games"

At 27, singer Luisa Maita, interpreter of the versions of "Cidade Maravilhosa" and "Aquele Abraço" written to the clips presented in Copenhagen by the Brazilian delegation to the Olympics in 2016, signed with Cumbancha World Music and will have its first CD released in 2010 in the United States, Europe and Japan She is the daughter of musician and composer Amado Maita and producer Myriam Taubkin - Folha de São Paulo

"Best Songs of 2009"

"Beleza", Luisa Maita's song recorded by Mariana Aydar, is considered one of the 25 best songs of 2009.

To escape the commonplace in national music, the Sao Paulo uses a creative play on words to describe the practices of love, a song full of feminine sensuality and warmth. - Rolling Stone Brasil magazine

"Derek Beres on Luisa Maita"

"Maita may have started with bossa nova, but she has grown considerably, recalling recent singers like Ceu and Cibelle with more experimental and beat-oriented tracks, tempered with by a sweet and soulful voice. "Aí Vem Ele" is hands down one of the best tracks in Portuguese I've heard." - Derek Beres of Huffington Post on Luisa Maita's new album Lero-Lero - Huffington Post


World Music Charts Europe have just released their list of the most-listened to World Music artists of 2010, according to European radio stations that is. There are quite a few latin artists featured here including Choc Quib Connection’s Oro, CéU’s Vagarosa, Afrocubism and Luisa Maita’s Lero-Lero in the top 20. - Sounds and Colors

"Slow-Motion Fusion, Direct From São Paulo"

Ms. Maita’s fusion is particularly lean and elegant, both on her album and onstage; she has a deft understatement akin to that of the Canadian songwriter Feist. She performed at S.O.B.’s backed by guitar, bass and drums, with her drummer occasionally adding modest recorded tracks with percussion and electronic effects. - The New York Times


Maita makes a striking first impression. Confident, crystal clear, and startlingly sensuous even by the seductive standard set by preceding Brazilian stars, her voice conveys the mercurial emotions of youth as she sings about love, the search for identity, and the intoxicating pleasures of hanging out with friends. - Boston Globe

"The New Voice of Brazil"

Maita can set a love song to a martial arts rhythm; evoke harsh realities of ghetto life with gentleness and dry-eyed humanity; and most of all, use her fluid versatile voice and a rich musical heritage — from samba to jazz and pop — to make it all feel like one coherent whole. Lero-Lero is a discovery, but if Maita keeps making records this good, she could well be on her way to international stardom. - NPR's All Things Considered

"A lista dos 10 melhores (Top 10)"

Embora a combinação de música eletrônica e MPB tenha se tornado um lugar comum , a paulistana Luísa Maita prova em "Lero-Lero" que ainda é possível extrair algo criativo desse casamento. - Revista Veja

"Luisa Maita: The Modern Sound Of Brazil"

Singer-songwriter Luisa Maita has been hailed as the “new voice of Brazil.” Her Afro-Brazilian rhythms, bossa nova aesthetic, and samba melodies are on the radio, in commercials, and tonight, she brings them all the way to Regattabar in Cambridge. - Radio Boston

"Brazil’s Luisa Maita on Samba, São Paulo, and Speedy Beats"

Brazilian Luísa Maita’s alluring, samba-rooted vocals may conjure up for most Americans images of Rio beaches, but Maita, who performs at Artisphere Saturday, is a city girl who has spent more time on the streets of her hometown of São Paulo, Brazil. This daughter of a parking lot owner/musician father and a record producer mother has been hearing and singing music all her life, a background reflected on her 2010 debut, Lero-Lero. Maita chatted with Arts Desk via email about her music.

In the four years since her debut release, Maita says she has “been working on a new album, composing a lot. I have also worked on a number of collaborations with artists in Brazil as well as international artists such as Sarazino from Algeria and Ecuador and Da Lata from the UK. I have a big collaboration I am working on with a very famous electronic music group, but I can’t tell you who it is yet as it is a secret.” Before the current tour, she toured the U.S. three times.

Maita gets inspirations from her hometown. “I still live in São Paulo, and it is still a place that I love and that inspires me. I think São Paulo is the opposite of all the cliches about Brazil…we don’t have beautiful, romantic beaches, or colorful Portuguese architecture. But it is a city that is alive and full of energy. It is not a museum or a tourist attraction…it is full of life. All the graffiti on streets, the aggressive traffic, it's like being a part of the real world. São Paulo is the epicenter for connecting the rest of the world to Brazil and to connecting all of the parts of Brazil to each other. Of course this turned São Paulo into a thriving city, with a lot of life going on there. This energy, this creative spirit and drive influences me and all the music that comes from there.”

While Maita’s music sometimes features her singing in a quiet, breathy tone over acoustic guitar, she has also released remixes that incorporate speedy programmed beats. This isn't just a marketing technique. Maita says. “Since I was a teenager I've liked to go out to [dance]clubs. I really like doing that. I especially like good electronic music.” At home she says she recently “was listening to D'angelo. Usually I listen a lot of Brazilian music like bossa nova greats João Gilberto and João Donato. I listen to jazz music like Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, and Betty Carter and I like pop, electronic, and rock music sometimes.”

Maita feels comfortable with how she and her music fit in pop culture. “When I did my first album, it was the most modern thing to me and in the same time I did from my heart, with my roots. Now Brazil has a lot of electronic and rap music, and I'm very interested in that. There's a real unique style to electronic Brazilian music. I think those flavors are coming out more and more in my live material and new songs,” she says. “My music will always be influenced by samba, bossa nova, Afro-Brazilian music in general,” she adds, “but now with more electronic and rap influences. I like that: playing music with my roots yet understanding the spirit of the moment in my own way.” - Washington City Paper

"Virgínia Rosa record two sambas of Luísa Maita"

The singer from São Paulo Virginia Rosa launches “Samba a Dois” her third CD, featuring songs ranging from recordings of Cartola and Candeia to new composers like Luisa Maita ("Madrugada" and "Amado Samba").

Virginia Rosa puts these experiences and the deep voice (which recalls the best moments of Clara Nunes) in a delicious album. One finding is the choice of repertoire, almost all molded on a new generation of composers. The title track, for example, came from an album of the quartet from Rio Los Hermanos. Another discovery is the composer Luisa Maita. With only 25 years old, Luisa emulates the style of the authors of the old guard in "Madrugada" and "Amado Samba". - Revista VEJA


Lero-Lero (2010/Cumbancha)
Maita Remixed (2010/Cumbancha)



Luisa Maita who released her solo debut album Lero-Lero (Cumbancha Discovery) in 2010 and was named "the new voice of Brazil" by NPR, has toured extensively in Brazil & United States. She received the award for Best New Artist at the 22th Brazilian Music Award. She appeared as the singer of the promotional videos for Rio 2016 Olympic games directed by Fernando Meirelles, was a featured vocalist in the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, and a featured artist on 2013 summers tribute album to Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso.    
Singer-songwriter inspired by the bustling urban life found in her native city of So Paulo, she explores contemporary vibe with influences from alternative pop and downtempo electronic music melded with an acoustic foundation deeply rooted in samba, bossa nova and MPB. She is now exploring a more electronic direction on her forthcoming album, which is currently in production in Brazil.

Band Members