Vanessa da Mata

Vanessa da Mata


Revelation of the Brazilian scene, Vanessa da Mata will release her 3rd album: "SIM" in June, including a brilliant duet with Ben Harper and few titles produced by Sly and Robbie; she will be touring through European festivals for the fist time in July 2008.


Vanessa da Mata was born in 1976, in Alto Garcas, a small town surrounded by rivers and waterfalls, located about 400 kilometers from Cuiaba, in the state of Mato Grosso. She s musically self-taught and as a child, listened to all kinds of music, from Luiz Gonzaga to Tom Jobim, from Milton Nascimento to Orlando Silva. She also listened to local rhythms like carimbo on records her uncle would bring home from his trips to the Amazon. She listened to samba, Brazilian country music and even to tacky Italian music, sounds that would reach her through AM radiowaves.
When she was 14 years old, Vanessa moved to Uberlandia, in the state of Minas Gerais, 1200 kilometers away from Alto da Graca. She went there on her own and lived in a home for girls while studying to take the Medical School entrance exams. But she already knew that what she really wanted to do was to sing so at age 15, she started performing in local bars.
In 1992, Vanessa moved to Sao Paulo where she joined Shalla-Ball, a female reggae band. Three years later, she toured with the Jamaican band Black Uhuru and following that joined the local rhythm group Mafua. During this time, she also played basketball and worked as a model.

In 1997, she met Chico Cesar and together they wrote "A forca que nunca seca". The song was recorded by Maria Bethania who named her 1999 album after it. The recording was nominated for the Latin Grammy and was also recorded by Chico in “Mama Mundi”. Brazil discovered a great composer and Bethania recorded another one of Vanessa s songs, “O Canto de Dona Sinha” (in her CD “Maricotinha” together with Caetano Veloso – as well as doing a live version). The song “Viagem” was recorded by Daniela Mercury in “Sol da Liberdade”. Together with Ana Carolina, Vanessa wrote “Me Sento na Rua” for the CD “Ana Rita Joana Iracema e Carolina” (2001).
Vanessa s voice and stage presence began to draw attention and she rook part in shows by Milton Nascimento, Bethania and in Baden Powell s last performances. She was ready to start off on a solo career.
In 2002, she released her first CD, “Vanessa da Mata” (Sony), produced by Liminha, Jacques Morelenbaum, Luiz Brasil, Dadi and Kassin. Among the many hits on the album are “Nossa Cancao” (on the soundtrack of the hit TV Globo soap opera “Celebridade”), “Nao me Deixe so” that burst on the dance floors in Ramilson Maia s remix and “Onde Ir” (on the soundtrack of the soap opera “Esperanca”)

The second album, “Essa boneca tem manual” (Sony), was released in 2004 and was produced by Liminha with whom she also shared the songwriting. Besides her own songs, like "Ai ai ai...", ''Ainda bem'' and "Nao chore homem", she recorded Caetano Veloso s “Eu sou Neguinha” (included in the soundtrack of the soap opera “A Lua me disse”) and "Historia de uma gata" (from Chico Buarque s "Saltimbancos").


Vanessa da Mata 2002 Sony Music
Essa Boneca tem Manual 2004 Sony Music


Vanessa da Mata 2002 Sony Music
Tarik de Souza

As the name itself suggests, Vanessa da Mata is a force of nature. Born in a small town called Alto Garcas, with its 8 thousand inhabitants, three rivers (Bonito, Garcas e Araguaia) and countless waterfalls in the state of Mato Grosso, the 26 year-old singer and composer cannot play an instrument but has music running through her veins. She boasts over 250 compositions written down in a noteback or recorded on a tape recorder she always carries around in her purse. “My writing process is really crazy, I have a very fertile imagination, I like to invent things. I write compulsively. I ll sit at a cafe and start jotting things down. I ve even composed on an answering machine tape”, she laughs. Even before the year and a half her first album took to be ready, her name was already in the spotlights. Maria Bethania not only recorded “A forca que nunca seca” (Vanessa s song with Chico Cesar) but also turned it into the title track of her 1999 CD. Daniela Mercury recorded “Viagem” and “Onde ir” sung by Vanessa da Mata on her first CD - included in the soundtrack of the recent TV Globo soap opera “Esperanca”. Chico Cesar was the first one to believe in her and introduced her to guitarist Swamy Jr. “He made me a demo tape and took part of my first solo shows before I could even hire him”, says a grateful Vanessa. Besides Chico, this first CD also boasts a team of instrumental majors and the joint production talents of Liminha, Jacques Morelenbaum, Luiz Brasil, Dadi and Kassin. A range of styles that confirms the scope of this new talent.

“I even have a fan club in Sao Paulo”, Vanessa says, surprised. Despite her youth, musically speaking, Vanessa has been around. She was influenced by Dona Sinha, her baiana grandmother who has a natural gift (“she has a beautiful pitch”). Dona Sinha descends from indians and negroes and would sing at popular festivities like Folia de Reis. At age 15, her granddaughter, Vanessa, then living in Uberlandia


Vanessa da Mata – 2002 – Sony Music
Essa Boneca tem Manual – 2004 – Sony Music