Elida Almeida (born 1993) is a #Cape Verdean singer. At 17, she sang at church then worked on radio commentaries, especially with DJs and presenters. When she started writing her album Nta Konsiqui. Then producer José da Silva who had previously worked with Cesária Évora, became interested in her career. Two years later, she made her first album Ora doci, Ora margos, later she did her first concerts in France and the United States. Elida Almeida was present at the 2016 Cabo Verde Music Awards (CVMA) together with Hélio Batalha. A month later, she went to the 10th edition of JazzKif, the Kinshasa Jazz Festival. Last year she made her second album Kebrada.

Adam Seczkowski: Nice to meet you here in Poland. You grew up on the Maio, Cape Verde. We imagine a living on the islands a life of leisure and recreation. Describe a normal day on Cape Verde.

Elida Almeida: "Nice to meet you.

I grew up in Matinho a small village in the mountains of Santiago, I went to the island of Maio when I was 14 years old. A day in the village starts very early with the rooster crowing, and everyone has his tasks. Some go for water at the well, others go to the fields or take care of the animals. At the end of the day everyone is in the yard and there we sing and dance batuku."

Is there any place on Cape Verde that is particularly important to you, unique?

"Matinho the village of my childhood, a time that is very strong of my life and it is from there that my passion for music came. This is also where I wrote my first song."

You helped your mother who was a street saleswoman and at the same time learned to sing in a local church. Have you got a favourite religious song?

"At the church, there was no song, but we sang the verses of the Bible, and I especially loved the verse The Lord is my Shepherd."

You worked on radio commentaries. Why didn't you didn't want to become a journalist?

"My first option of study was law and journalism the second.

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But it was already too much, I moved on."

You managed to continue learning and bring up not only your child but also your brothers and sisters. Where did your determination come from?

"Seeing my mother's determination to educate us in the best way possible, I could only follow her example. I wanted my best for my family. I took the role of head of the family very seriously."

The producer José da Silva, who previously worked with Cesária Évora, was interested in your career. How did you start to work together?

"It was very fast, until the time of the release of my CD. I could not believe my ears. In Cape Verde, he is the producer that every artist wants to have, so I felt privileged. We share a great complicity and I think that's what makes our work a good result."

Your first album had the title “Ora doci, Ora Margos”. I hope that now there are more moments of happiness in your life, but how do you fight with your sorrows?

"Of course, there are inevitably bitter moments in life, but I try to turn them into good times.

Everyone has to do that."

What should we know about Elida Almeida to know and understand her music?

"If people want to know me better, they must know where I come from. Also know that I like to go to meet other cultures."

You became a mother while a young girl. How did motherhood change you?

"It radically changed my life! I became even more responsible. And my desire to succeed for my son meant that I put more willpower and aggressiveness into everything I undertook."

In the music video Lebam ku Bo we can see a very special gesture of greeting an older person. Raising your hand and touching your head is an expression of respect for the elderly. How important is culture for you?

"My culture is very important to me. I was raised to respect the elderly. They inspire me to write. I sometimes use old words that come from these elderly people. I really care about my origins, my culture."

You come to Poland for a series of concerts at the invitation of Marcin Kydryński. How did you meet?

"It was through my French agent that the contact was made. I can't wait to meet him and I would like to thank him for everything he does for me in Poland."

Did you know anything about Poland before you first time came to Poland? Did something particularly surprise you, or particularly enchanted you in our country?

"I knew that Polish fans love Cape Verdean music because other artists have always told me that the audience there was great. So I could not wait to go there. Unfortunately when I went to play in festivals, my two previous stays were very short, I did not have time to see much of the country. I hope that this time I will be able to see a little more."

What do you think about Poland and polish audience?

"From the little that I saw it is a beautiful country with a very strong culture, and a very good people - attentive and warm. I think they feel the music with the same feeling as us."

Traditional dish on Cape Verde is catxupa. Have you had the opportunity to eat traditional Polish dishes?

"I remember eating well, but I can not tell you if it was the traditional cuisine of the country, I only have the memory of eating a great pork sausage, excellent!"

I have seen your music videos and I have to declare that you're a very good dancer. Citizens of the Cape Verde dance very well?

"I think this is one of the strengths of Capverdien, he loves to dance!"

I read one review your new album Kebrada. Word Listening Post wrote "With the most mournful doses of reality, Almeida's warm voice and gentle or upbeat rhythms remind us that music is a balm for hardship. " How do you feel when you read such a positive opinion?

"I like that!! When I read this kind of opinion of my music, it gives me more strength and will to go even further. I think any artist is proud to see this kind of positive criticism."

What is your greatest success?

"My first song Nta Konsuigui because it has reached all generations in Cape Verde."

What do you think about mixing music from different cultures?

"It is necessary that cultures meet, it always gives good results. Since prehistoric times, civilisation has progressed when human beings have met, exchanged and mixed their cultures. I, myself, do need this and I think everyone can feel it in my music - well, I hope ..."

You'll be on 16 March in Bonn. There will be a concert to honor Cesaria Evora. How do you remember Cesaria Evora?

"Unfortunately I did not have the chance to know her personally. But apart from her music that I love, from what I have been told about her, I am very appreciative of all she has done for Cape Verde. And I am an unconditional fan of her music, her voice, her way of singing."

You have got fans in Poland. Do you want to tell them a few words?

"I thank them for the way they received me the two times I came to Poland. And I hope to find them again soon."

What are your dreams?

"May my music be shared to by more people and bring them happiness. It will be a real recognition of my work."