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Carcavelos, Lisbon, Portugal

Carcavelos, Lisbon, Portugal
Band World Folk


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"Africa Today"

Yami não conhece o país que canta mas conhece a Angola descrita pela sua mãe e que deu origem a este som luso-africano, tão contagiante como o riso que o intitula.

Fernando Araújo é o seu nome verdadeiro, mas Yami é o que melhor se adequa à experiência de ouvir a sua música. Em kimbundo, «o que vem de mim», Yami conta as boas histórias de um país, retratando os sons de Angola na sua guitarra e numa voz doce.
Aloelela, ou em dialecto, «Eles Estão a Rir» dá o nome ao primeiro disco a solo do artista e a forma ao seu projecto de vida como músico, intérprete e compositor africano. O disco foi editado no final de Novembro pelas mãos da HM Música, também responsável por outros artistas de renome em Portugal como a diva do Jazz, Jacinta e a fadista Raquel Tavares.
As raízes africanas de Yami transportam os ouvintes para o continente do hemisfério sul, com uma mistura de calma e agitação que canta as cores e os cheiros de África em português, Kimbundo e crioulo.
Metade português, metade angolano, Yami vive na Europa há mais de 28 anos, ligando cada idioma e país com os sons da diáspora africana. Apesar de ter iniciado a sua formação na guitarra clássica, o artista deixou-se levar pela magia do baixo eléctrico enquanto frequentava a famosa escola de jazz lisboeta «Hot Club».
Desde então, tem vindo a participar em projectos originais e em espectáculos com nomes conhecidos do circuito musical português, como Dulce Pontes, Carlos do Carmo e Sara Tavares.
Compondo sempre os seus próprios temas e canções, Yami leva-nos ao despertar das suas origens, fundindo África na Europa, «numa voz que lembra o vento e que se deve ouvir de olhos fechados».

- Nádia Morais


2007, Aloelela



"Africa? It’s my mother"

Once upon a time there was a “minhoto” (from North of Portugal) that came to Lisbon and got fascinated by the ships he saw in the wharf leaving for Africa.
After accomplishing the military service, before the Portuguese Colonial War, he asked for a job on board of a ship that would leave for Luanda. Being a skilful adventurer, he was quickly hired, leaving for his own great adventure.
In Angola he soon realized he was supposed to live there the "rest of his life." He met an African woman, with whom he married and had children.
One of them, Fernando Araújo, lived in Luanda till his 4 years old. With the Portuguese Colonial War and the Portuguese Revolution on 25th April 1974, most of the Portuguese that lived in the colonies returned to Portugal.
This family belonged was one of them. They settled in the suburbs of Lisbon and there they started "the rest of their lives" once again.
"Africa is my Mother" is Fernando Araújo's (YAMI), most fluent expression when questioned about his country of origin. Because of Maria Augusta, a born African in a coffee farm deep inside Angola, who insisted on passing to her children the whole magic of her birthplace, the whole wealth and the whole passion that she felt and goes on feeling about this land where she was born and where she grew, in a time of peace and happiness.
This is not, in way any, a unique story, or the story of a single family. It is the story of thousands of families, which traveled to Portugal because of the war and of the fall of a magic land, as so many others in the African continent. But she never failed to transmit to her children a message of peace and hope, so that they could grow as good people, without revelry and without sorrows. Making them believe in the land that would have seen them grow.
Fernando Araújo (YAMI) didn't return to Angola after his 4 years old. He doesn't know the country where he was born or the country nowadays. But he knows an Africa and an Angola revealed by his mother, born and grown there as if in a corner of Paradise.
And, no matter how strange it seems, in this record all this if reflected, as if he had grown there himself, in another time. In the time of the so told stories from the woman who insisted thoroughly on teaching him her dialect (kimbundu), at the same time she planted deep in his soul his true roots.

"They are laughing" is the meaning of the theme that gives name to this first record of YAMI. And it is also his life’s project as a musician, interpreter and composer. Telling and dreaming the good stories of a good country, without forgetting all present realities, but above all those which tell a past that will be future once again.

“[…] The world was no longer the addition of enclosed worlds, it was one alone, more and more Mestizo”.
Pepetela, Lueji: O Nascimento Dum Império (The Birth of an Empire), Lisboa, Publicações Dom Quixote, 1990, pp. 26-27.
They come from south and are transmarine, the roots. Maybe for that, there is neither sound or rhyme nor panoramic that don’t tropicalize.
Irreducibly diverse, they stand upon pan-african rhythmic figures, between traditional forms and Creole innovations – either in dancing music from Africa’s cities, such as semba, coladera and morna, either in music from African’s Diaspora, such as funk, reggae and rumba – and in Yami’s music creations germinate one and the other thing.
The chant, trained by the heart beat, mixes Kimbundu, Cape-verdian Creole and Portuguese vocabulary in a dark’s accent and rhythm, in a narrow, ancient, neighbourhood, connecting each idiom to the other, each country to the other.
If, with the eyes wide shut – as listening is advised –, one experiences without distance the heath from the lips that sing and laugh; the ebony from the dancing bodies that, either close or apart, smooth the grass and shoo the ants; and the scent of blossom acajou trees and the fruitfully mango trees, climbing and descending the spiral of sound that returns voyage from the hemisphere of soul.
Aloelela∗ is, at a time, desire and celebration, corporality and spirituality. In sum, an african-lusofoolishness, as contagious as laugh.
∗ Aloelela is a word in Kimbundu (traditional language of Angola) that means “they’re laughing”.