Artist Profiles: Lucibela

Lucibela – Photo by N’Krumah Lawson-Daku

Lucibela Freitas Dos Santos, better known as Lucibela, was born in Tarrafal on the island of São Nicolau, one of the Barlavento islands, in Cabo Verde on April 18, 1986.

When Lucibela’s family moved to Mindelo on the island of São Vicente, had an opportunity to develop her singing skills. While in high school, she joined a local band called Mindel Som.
Years later, she began to sing in the hotels of Santa Maria on the island of Sal and Sal Rei on the island of Boa Vista. She refined her technique and became an instant hit with the tourists, performing songs made famous by the great singers of Cabo Verde: Cesaria Evora, Titina, and Bana.

In 2012, the young vocalist relocated to Praia where she was almost immediately a star attraction at musical events in the capital. She met different musicians there, including the guitarist Kaku Alves, who had played throughout the world with Cesaria for around 15 years.

In 2016, Lucibela made her debut in Lisbon. Some journalists compared her to Cesaria Evora. “Cesaria is unique and there’ll never be another Cesaria,” humbly asserted the young singer. “My aim is to carry on the work Cesaria began. I want to sing Cabo Verdean musical genres – such as morna and coladera – pretty much anywhere in the world and I want to succeed because of my own talent.”

Lucibela was selected to showcase at the 2017 Atlantic Music Expo – a major music fair where musicians and producers from all over the globe meet in mid-Atlantic in Praia, a focal point of world music. Lucibela became a sensation for the professionals, journalists and show promoters visiting the Expo.

In October and November 2017, Lucibela recorded her first album in Lisbon with highly respected guitarist and arranger Toy Vieira, produced by Lusafrica’s José da Silva. The album, titled Laço Umbilical (Umbilical cord) was released in February 2018.

Lucibela – Photo by Alex Tome

In 2019 Lucibela released a new edition of Laço Umbilical with new versions of some songs and additional new material as well.


Laço Umbilical (Lusafrica, 2018)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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