Mayra Andrade

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Mayra Andrade
Mayra Andrade.jpg
Mayra Andrade performing in June 2009 at Central Park, New York City, USA.
Background information
Born (1985-02-13) 13 February 1985 (age 34)
OriginCape Verde
Years active2001–present

Mayra Andrade (born (1985-02-13)13 February 1985) is a Cape Verdean singer who lives and records in Lisbon, Portugal. Often compared to Cesária Évora,[1][2] Andrade has been praised for her modern interpretation of the traditional Cape Verdean morna music.[3][4]


Although she was born in Cuba, Andrade's parents are both Cape Verdean, and she and her family returned to Cape Verde a few days after her birth. Andrade spent the first years of her life in Cape Verde, but because her father was a diplomat for the Cape Verdean government, she traveled extensively with her family and lived in many countries during her childhood. Hence, during her childhood, she lived in Senegal, Angola, and Germany.[5] However, she spent around two months of the year[5] in the Cape Verdean island of Santiago.[6] Andrade moved to Paris in 2002 when she was 17 years old[7] and lived there until late 2015 when she moved to Lisbon, Portugal.[8]

She is multilingual, but most of the lyrics of the songs on her albums are in her native Cape Verdean Crioulo language. The first song she remembers singing is "O Leãozinho" by the Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso, whom she has cited as a musical influence.[9]


Andrade often performed as a teenager,[9] beginning voice lessons in Paris at age 17.[5] During this time, she also met the composer Orlando Pantera and began collaborating with him.[9] Andrade then began to perform in various Portuguese-speaking regions, including the Cape Verdean cities Mindelo and Praia as well as Lisbon.[10]

In 2011, she collaborated with Trio Mocotó on the track "Berimbau" for the Red Hot Organization's most recent charitable album "Red Hot+Rio 2." The album is a follow-up to the 1996 "Red Hot + Rio." Proceeds from the sales will be donated to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues.

Andrade has stated that her fourth album, Lovely Difficult, released in November 2013, is less traditional than her first three efforts and more pop, with collaborations with artists from the United States, Israel, France, and The United Kingdom[11] and songs in Portuguese, Cape Verdean creole, French, and English.[12]

Andrade's fifth album, Manga, is scheduled to be released on 8 February 2019.[13] The album was recorded in Paris and Abidjan and features a mixture of Afrobeat, urban music, and traditional Cape Verdean rhythms.[13][14]

Since 2015, Andrade has served as a celebrity ambassador for the United Nations campaign "Free and Equal", which seeks to promote the human rights of the LGBT community in Cape Verde.[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

At age 16, Andrade won the 2001 Jeux de la Francophonie songwriting contest.[10]

Andrade won the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (English: German Record Critics Award) for her album Navega in 2007 and for Stória, stória... in 2009.[16][17] She also won the Newcomer award at the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music 2008.[6]

In 2013, she was nominated in the music category of the 21st Femmes en Or prize.[18]

In 2014, her album Lovely Difficult was nominated in France for the Victoires de la Musique Award, in the World Music category.[19]



Year Album Peak positions Certification
2006 Navega 124
2009 Stória, stória... 157
2010 Studio 105
2013 Lovely Difficult 98
2019 Manga 22


  1. ^ "Lovely difficult, o novo álbum da sucessora de Cesária Évora". Outros Mundos. 12 November 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-13. (Portuguese)
  2. ^ Filipa Santos. "Entrevista a Mayra Andrade". Agenda Cultural Lisboa. Retrieved 2014-05-26. (Portuguese)
  3. ^ "New Album: Lovely Difficult by Mayra Andrade". Akatasia. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  4. ^ The Complex (9 February 2012). "The Voice of Cape Verdean Soul: Mayra Andrade". Sinuous Magazine. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  5. ^ a b c Jaggi, Maya (2008-03-26). "Mayra Andrade, voice of Cape Verde". The Sunday Times. News International. Archived from the original on 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  6. ^ a b Lusk, Jon. "Mayra Andrade". BBC Radio 3. BBC. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  7. ^ Carinya Sharples. "Ten minutes with... Mayra Andrade". Arise Live. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Mayra Andrade: "hoje as coisas estão a acontecer de forma muito mais rápida e democrática"". Conexão Lusófona (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  9. ^ a b c Brown, Helen (2007-09-27). "Mayra Andrade: Beats on a collarbone". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  10. ^ a b Gutierrez, Evan C. "Biography". allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  11. ^ Cláudia Marques (21 August 2013). "Já não tenho justificações a dar, quis agora fazer algo por prazer". Sapo Musica. Retrieved 2013-08-22. (Portuguese)
  12. ^ Marcelo Monteiro (22 August 2013). "Entre África, Europa e Brasil: ouça o novo single de Mayra Andrade". O Globo. Retrieved 2013-08-23. Portuguese
  13. ^ a b "Mayra Andrade já lançou o seu novo single "Manga"" (in Portuguese). CA Noticias. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  14. ^ "Mayra Andrade lança "Manga", "uma fruta que faz bem ao coração"" (in Portuguese). Sapo24. 22 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  15. ^ "Journée internationale des droits de l'homme au Cap Vert : Lancement de la campagne Libres et Egaux" (in French). United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  16. ^ "Bestenliste 2-2007". Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. May 15, 2007. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  17. ^ "Bestenliste 4-2009". Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. November 15, 2009. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  18. ^ "Femmes en Or 2013 : la liste des nommées dévoilée !". Femmes en Or. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-14. (French)
  19. ^ "Les nommés des 29ème Victoires de la Musique sont..." Premiere. 14 January 2014. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-14. (French)
  20. ^ "Mayra Andrade discography". Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 7, 2019)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved February 18, 2019.

External links[edit]