Mariza, the fado singer with Africa in her veins

Mariza, the fado singer with Africa in her veins

Mariza was born in 1973 in Mozambique. Mariza was born to a Portuguese father and a mother of partial African heritage. At the age of 3 she came to Portugal, namely to Lisbon. She was raised in Mouraria and Alfama two historic quarters of the Portuguese capital, which are the birthplace of Fado.

The Portuguese traditional song was a daily presence in her life as Fado was sung in her parents’ restaurant almost every day. Nevertheless, Mariza chose to embrace gospel, soul and jazz in her early years. I believe that these music styles, along with her African roots, influence her way of singing Fado and contribute to make her unique in today’s music panorama.

In 1999, Fado’s most famous and beloved interpreter, Amália Rodrigues died. In the public remembrance and mourning that followed, Mariza was asked to perform a broadcast tribute to Rodrigues’ memory, which caused her friends to begin urging her to record an album of Fado music. She did so, and in 2001 Fado em Mim was released.


The unique approach to several hits of Amalia’s repertory and the high quality of the new material presented at the album conquered the public and turned it into a huge success. It sold an astounding 100,000 copies. After this the record company made the disc available worldwide, and sales eventually topped 140,000 copies.

Two years later Mariza released her second album, Fado Curvo, which brought a more wide repertory and influences.

Mariza sang the Portuguese national anthem at the 2002 FIFA World Cup of football, at the game which pitted South Korea against Portugal.

Transparent album was released in 2005 revealing an even more mature singer, fully aware of her vocal capabilities. She was considered a member of the New Fado movement, with a voice reminiscent of traditional divas of the musical form such as Rodrigues. She took the chance to honour three fado singers she has always considered as a reference, namely Amalia, Carlos do Carmo and Fernando Maurício.


In 2006 was published a CD and a DVD of the memorable anthological concert Mariza performed in Lisbon, accompanied by the Lisbon Sinfonietta under the direction of Jacques Morelenbaum.

Terra album was released in 2008 to offer us magnificent songs, including incredible partnerships with amazing artists such as Concha Buika, Dominic Miller, Ivan Lins, Rui Veloso and Tito Paris.

Two years later, Mariza goes back to Fado’s root, by recovering themes from iconic traditional composers such as Alfredo Marceneiro at the Fado Tradicional album.
Last April was released Best of Mariza which bring us some of the most amazing songs of her career and also the brilliant O Tempo Não Pára.

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