Artist Profiles: Fantcha

Fantcha

Her songs are filled with the romantic, acoustic sound of Cape Verdean music. Fantcha’s torch-style songs and dance numbers appeal strongly to lovers of Brazilian music and always stimulate the crowd to dance. Her sensual, beautiful voice showcases the African, Cuban, and Brazilian influences in her music.

Fantcha, was born in the neighborhood of Laginha in Mindelo, Cape Verde. As a little girt, she already loved to sing. Her two brothers played guitars and cavaquinhos at home, and rather than play hopscotch or dolls with other girls of her age, her great pleasure was to accompany her brothers.

As a young girl, Fantcha, whose real name is Francelina Durao Almeida, was a member of the Flores de Mindelo carnival troupe, and its director, composer Ti Goi, immediately noticed her voice. Convinced of her potential, he introduced her to Cesaria Evora in the late ’70s and they soon became friends.

Fantcha

In 1988, Fantcha was in Lisbon where she recorded for Bana, the great Cape Verdean singer who had settled in Portugal. Then she traveled to the U.S.A. for the first time, invited by the Cape Verdean community to perform with Cesaria Evora. In the 1990s, Fantcha emigrated to the U.S. and settled in New York.

Although many people associate Cape Verde with Cesaria Evora’s soulful morna, Fantcha surprises everyone by combining the bluesy songs of morna with her islands’ upbeat rhythms. She sings the coladeira, which is more for partying.

Discography:

Boa Viagem (1988)
Criolinha (Lusafrica, 1997)
Viva Mindelo (Lusafrica, 2001)
Amor Mar e Musica (RB Records, 2009)
Nôs Caminhada (RAJ’D, 2016)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart.

Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.

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