Born in 1993 in the town of Pedra Badejo, Santa Cruz, on the Cape Verdean island of Santiago, Elida Almeida lived in her grandparents’ home in rural Matinho. When her beloved father died, she was devastated. As if this loss were not enough, she then had to leave behind all she knew and move with her mother to the unfamiliar island of Maio. But despite all this, Elida refused to let misfortune dampen her spirits. After school, she would help her mother, who was working as a street vendor but, above all, she learned to sing at church and even presented a local radio show. Elida had a strong sense of justice and thought of becoming a judge or district attorney to help people who, like her, were facing hardship through no fault of their own. But music was her great passion.
You will be enchanted by Elida’s deep, powerful voice, which seems to spring from the innermost sanctum of her heart: animated, still youthful and steeped in her childhood blues. This voice evokes the crystal water of a stream gushing over the arid, rocky landscape of Santiago, weaving around the obstacles in its path as if overcoming one challenge after another on its way to the sea – like the “moments of joy and pain” that fill the lives and destinies of the Cape Verdean people.
Elida’s debut album, Ora doci Ora margos, (Sweet Times Bitter Times), is based entirely on the singer’s early life and the experiences that shaped her humble existence. With its folk melodies enhanced by Santiago beats (batuque, funana and morna) and uplifted by the subtle arrangements of guitarist Hernani Almeida, this recording has the power to roll back frontiers and conquer the world.