This weekend I woke up to a Facebook post from Nicolas Jaar that read “one of my biggest inspirations passed away this morning…” which was followed by a link to a very beautiful song by Cesária Évora titled Sodade. Naturally, I had to check it out and within a matter of seconds I was swept away from what would have otherwise been a very groggy start to the day. It’s the kind of song you immediately 5-star on Itunes (if you’re into that sort of thing). The next step was to listen to an entire album, so I chose Miss Perfumado which contains the track.
Unfortunately my knowledge of “world music” is not matched by my enthusiasm for it, so I can’t tell you much about this talented lady without directly ripping off Wikipedia. She was the most famous “morna” artist, a genre that started in her birthplace, Cape Verde, using mostly string instruments to create something that can equally feel like a ballad as well as an uptempo dance song. The playfulness and diversity bring to mind Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso (who’s called her “an inspiration” when they were on stage together in 1994).
While Nico was probably trying to play something a little more apropos on this sad day, I’ve had Angola (also off Miss Perfumado) on repeat, a track which I like to think celebrates her memory in a different way. Whether you choose to listen to Sodade, the track I chose (below), the entire album or simply go on your own adventure, I am sure you will not be disappointed. By the way, Nico’s inspirations are very evident here. He’s not the only electronic producer out there to have been inspired by her, you should check out the amazing remix project that came out a few years ago featuring Pepe Bradock, Carl Craig and Chateau Flight (who i’m included a second selection as a bonus)
R.I.P Cesária Évora