A chat with soulful jazz vocalist Carmen Souza!

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I recently had the pleasure of chatting with renowned international jazz superstar Carmen Souza, after her soulful performance at the Molson Canadian Studio. Currently on a tour, Souza is undoubtedly “a world music force and one of Europe’s most in-demand jazz singers”(www.carmensouza.com).

Illuminessence Event Coordinator- Rachel Rukeba and Jazz songstress Carmen Souza (Photo Credit: Rachel Rukeba/Illuminessence)

Illuminessence Event Coordinator- Rachel Rukeba and Jazz songstress Carmen Souza (Photo Credit: Rachel Rukeba/Illuminessence)

Born in Lisbon, Souza’s Cape Verdean heritage and traditional roots are distinct in her music, as she sings in her native languages Creole and Portuguese. Souza’s impressive resume includes winning the title of Best female singer and Best Morna with the album Kachupada at the Cape Verdean ‘Grammys’- Cabo Verde Music Awards 2013. After a hectic year with concerts in Major Festivals and venues all over the World, Kachupada was again included in the Best Album list (www.carmensouza.com).

Carmen and band members (Photo courtesy of Carmen Souza)

Carmen and band members (Photo courtesy of Carmen Souza)

The kind, humble and soft spoken singer graciously accorded Illuminessence the opportunity to sit with her for a chat, following her concert in Hamilton on April 5. I was thrilled to also get a signed copy of her CD and can’t wait to see what’s next for the incredibly talented Souza.

What has been the most memorable highlight of your career?

I don’t have a particular highlight of my career. My contribution to the world is my music and having people enjoy it is my overall highlight.

What has been your experience as an international female artist?

My experience has been challenging just like any career but with confidence and passion for my music, I will say it has been great. Internationally I’ve been exposed to different instruments and I like exploring that part of learning and of course being on tour and travelling the world is great too.

What inspires your musical creativity?

Life! Inspiration in all things around me and the situations I might be going through at the moment.

What has been your experience in Hamilton?

Great! People are full of energy and are genuine, and I see you guys like to dance.

What should we expect in 2014?

This year I have challenges- working on new projects and touring. The two might conflict but I can manage. I have a project coming up with my bass player Pascal and it is called Pascalsouza. It involves us putting ourselves in different environments and adapting to them. I am also learning to improve my piano skills and learning more languages.

Born in Uganda and raised in Rwanda until the age of five, Rachel had lived in more than five countries before the age of ten. She is currently a second year student at McMaster University majoring in social sciences and wishes to pursue a career in criminal law.