Dubbed by British newspaper The Guardian “The Diva of World Music”, three-time Latin Grammy Award winner and No. 1 representative of the famous melancholy music of Portuguese fado with over a million album sales, Mariza will take the stage at the MEB Şura Salon in Ankara on November 6 and at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul on November 7.
After being crowned Portugal’s first fado musician with the BBC’s Best European Artist award three times in a row, Mariza has come to be known as the greatest fado artist since the legendary Amalia Rodrigues who created a modern take on the tradition of fado and has been the subject of great attention by all. in the world.
Mariza will perform in Ankara and Istanbul as part of her world tour which includes countries in Asia, Africa, North and South America and Europe, in which she has embarked to present her album “Best of Mariza 2014”. Mariza hit millions with her last performance in the Champions League final in May.
Mariza, who is named by the Portuguese government as the artist who best represents Portuguese culture abroad, tells us about Fado music, its songs and the audience it envisions in Turkey.
The famous Guardian newspaper has called you “The Diva of World Music”. Is this a burden on you?
Mariza: Making music is always a big responsibility. When you make music, you share your feelings, and that always comes with responsibility. However, I never sing my songs with plans or with those in mind, I just say how I feel, nothing else.
Fado songs are usually full of sadness and sorrow. What can you say about your mood on stage?
Mariza: The music takes me and I just follow it. Like a lover, a boyfriend, it attracts me. All I do is use my voice as a small vehicle – it’s the melodies and songs that blow my mind and my audience.
You became the first Portuguese artist to receive a Grammy Award. What kind of emotions were you greeted with when you returned home with your rewards?
Mariza: Being nominated for such a prestigious award, I was already a winner. What I told everyone in Portugal is that being accepted in this way as a fado artist was more important than winning the award, but of course winning the award and coming home with him made everyone happy.
As the daughter of a family that ran a fado tavern, you were born into fado. How did Fado make you feel at that age?
Mariza: I grew up among people who led a very traditional life. Music has always been very magical for me. Of course, I was not aware of the things Fado was saying. For me, singing meant Fado. Maybe I didn’t even know I was in love with fado, but I really loved it.
Your success and your voice have always been compared to Amalia Rodrigues. Which contemporary artists do you like?
Mariza: There is only one Amalia Rodrigues. She is unique and always will be. However, it is a great honor to be compared to her. I travel so often that I can’t say I’m new artists, not least because I listen to old songs and traditional Fado. What I do know is that a lot of contemporary artists sing fado.
You add African-inspired piano, strings and even percussion to your fado songs. How would you define your Fado?
Mariza: Amalia Rodrigues did that too. I approach music with this innovative approach since my first album. Carlos do Carmo, one of the legendary names in fado, also produced great music like this. In particular, since my album “Terra” we have traveled for years and added new things that we have learned about various cultures to our songs and music with a variety of different colors. As I change over the years, my music changes too.
You are known for your melancholy fado songs. Do you listen to popular music in your daily life to balance your mood?
Mariza: Of course I do, but I generally prefer traditional African and Brazilian music because this music is in my roots. The Pasion Turca group I work with always gives me Turkish albums as a gift. However, although fado music takes me away from my personal mood, as I have been singing fado since childhood, it doesn’t necessarily make me melancholy.
You are considered the only diva in the world music arena. If you had to do a duet with a famous pop star, who would you want it to be?
Mariza: John Mayer would be great. One of my favorite male pop singers is John Mayer. I think I would love to sing with him the most. I’m trying to figure out who else I would like to duet with, but I think my answer would be John Mayer again.
Most of the fado songs are songs of deep nostalgia. Is there a Fado song that has a story that really touches you?
Mariza: It can be any song from my albums because I select them carefully, I love them all, they each have their own unique stories and are each very special. Choosing just one is like asking a mother to choose which of her children she loves the most.
Is there a song you like to sing when you work at home?
Mariza: “Fadista Louco”, which we recorded as part of Javier Limon’s “Mujeres De Agua” project, is exactly like you describe a song that I always sing at home. Javier attached great importance to sincerity in his project. In my opinion, the best way to express our soul and communicate our feelings is to sing. “Fadista Louco” tells the story of a singer who sings with his heart and it is one of my favorite songs. The singer tells us how crazy his heart is.
You will be giving a concert for the first time in Ankara on November 6, then you will be in Istanbul on November 7. What kind of audience do you imagine in Turkey?
Mariza: I know that the Mediterranean people express their feelings with joy. In particular, Mediterranean people use body language very effectively. The sorrow and melancholy of fado runs very deep and I believe the Turkish audience will deeply feel the emotions of all the songs.