Elida Almeida

Elida Almeida (Cape Verde)

© NKrumah LAWSON DAKU 2014

Cape Verde is a nation spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands located 570 kilometres off the coast of Western African. Uninhabited until the 1500's, it was settled as a Portuguese colony, growing prosperous for a time from the Atlantic slave trade. Cape Verdeans gained their independence in the mid-1970's. The mother tongue of most of the islands' population of just over half a million is Cape Verdean Creole or Kriolu, but the official language remains Portuguese, for now.

Into this culture and heritage, Elida Almeida was born in 1993 in the town of Pedra Badejo, Santa Cruz, on the largest Cape Verdean island of Santiago. Hers was a tough childhood - but through times of sorrow and challenge, music was what kept Elida positive, helped her dream of a better times.

She was a mother at a young age, but still managed to successfully continue her studies to college, and to pursue her music. The first song she wrote when still at high school already spoke of sorrow, but also reflected her soaring hopes and dreams. Elida’s first album, Ora doci Ora margos (Sweet Times Bitter Times), is based on the singer’s early life and the sweet and bitter experiences that shaped her humble existence.

Her youthful voice is deep and powerful, her folk melodies are enhanced by Santiago beats (batuque, funana and morna) - and her songs have the power to roll back frontiers and conquer the world.

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