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Marisa Monte: The Greatest Brazilian Singer of Her Generation

By Sujany Baleswaran

With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, Marisa Monte is getting ready to release PORTAS – her first solo album in 10 years. Throughout her career, Marisa has won numerous national and international awards, including having two of her albums listed on Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Best Albums of Brazilian Music History”. With a beauty that matches her voice and the creative strength of her music, Marisa is acknowledged to be the greatest Brazilian singer of her generation. With a vast and acclaimed musical versatility, ranging from pop to pop-rock, samba, jazz, and folk, Marisa Monte has creative collaborations with talented names such as Arnaldo Antunes, Nando Reis, Julieta Venegas, David Byrne, Marc Ribot, Devendra Banhart and many others.

You spent your childhood watching your sister play the piano, loved to dance and learnt the drums – music was an integral part of your childhood. Do you remember the first moment that made you want to pursue a career in music? 

I’ve always been interested in music, ever since I was a kid, and there was no specific moment when I made a decision to be a singer. Ever since I was a teenager, my friends kept asking me to sing, and they’re still asking me, and I just keep singing. It all happened naturally and too early. But I’ve worked really hard, and I’ve always devoted myself to my profession with a lot of love.

Can you tell us more about your connection with Brazilian music?

The fact that I’m Brazilian and have grown up within this culture, with such diverse and rich music, already connects me organically to Brazilian music. I can’t picture myself in a way that isn’t connected to this young country, with its multiracial culture that’s wide open to the world.

You have a strong interest in the arts and literature. Are you drawn to a type, and how does it influence your music?

I love to discover what’s already been done in art and literature, but I’m also really interested in contemporary production. I’m interested in various styles, and I like to be influenced by other artistic fields besides music and to stimulate dialogues between them.

You have incredible talent as both a composer and a vocal performer. What does your songwriting process look like? 

I don’t follow any specific routine, but I always stay tuned to capture new songs. I love working with partners and brainstorming with other artists.

Leo Aversa

You have a career spanning over 30 years, won numerous awards and collaborated with talented names – what has been the highlight of your music career? 

It’s hard to choose a standout moment among so many, but I hope the best will be the next one.

You will be releasing your first album in ten years, PORTAS, and have released the lead single, Calma. Tell us more about this album and how it came about.

I had already been composing most of the songs in recent years, but the recording took place during the pandemic in a process heavily impacted by isolation. Lots of remote recordings, lots of tests, lots of masks, and lots of hope for better days

Mirela Sula is the CEO and Founder of Global Woman Magazine and Global Woman Club. Mirela has worked in media and education for the last 20 years and has a speaking experience from all around the world. Her background is in psychology and counseling, journalism, teaching, coaching, women’s rights, and media training. Mirela is also the organiser of the Global Woman Summit and Global Woman Awards. She has appeared on Channel 5, London Live TV, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, Sky TV and has also been featured in the 'Evening Standard', 'The Guardian', “Marie Claire” etc. She is best selling author and has helped more than 100 women to publish their books. It was in 2014 Mirela created Migrant Woman Talks, a platform for women to share their stories and experience of life in a new country. By the end of 2019 Mirela had created more than 25 Global Woman Clubs for women all over the world, and she has helped hundreds of women to unlock their potential, start their business and take it Global! Mirela has received many awards for her work, including the ‘Inspirational Award for Women 2015’ for Human Rights, the ‘Best Up-And-Coming Inspirational Influencer’ Award from The Best You, in 2017 and the Universum Donna Award 2017 from the Universum Academy of Switzerland. Mirela is passionate about empowering women worldwide and always stands up for inclusion, diversity, gender balance and supporting the next generation. Her mission is to create a global movement to improve the future for women, by economically empowering each woman.

Founder of Global Woman