Musical Road to Womex  2021 – Lucia de Carvalho

Our Musical Road to Womex brings us to Angola, via Portugal, France and Brazil. These are all the places that shaped Lucia de Carvalho‘s sound.

The music of the singer/songwriter and dancer born in Luanda and grown up between Lisbon and a small Alsatian town, fully and rhythmically reflects her life following the Afro-Luso cultural connection.

After years spent performing and touring as singer and dancer of the Afro-Brazilian band Som Brasil, she embarked on a solo career which, in 2016, brought her to release her debut album and a documentary titled Kuzola. The project is an intimate re-discovery journey in which Lucia unearths and asserts her roots. 

Lucia’s musical journey has now led her to record and be ready to release her second LP, Pwanga, expected for early 2022. But since we don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, we directly asked her to make the introductions and compile a playlist epitomising her influences…

Can you briefly introduce your music to someone who will listen to it for the first time at Womex?

My music is a mixture of what I am, what I listen to touches me and sometimes makes me dance. It can go from traditional Brazilian rhythms, to Angolan semba or American black music influences.

Who and what are your music influences and where does your sound come from?

The inspiration comes from the wind, the sand, the trees, heartbeats, human sufferings and joy, from a sound heard in the radio or in a movie…. I like to feel that ancestors are there to support me in making music for my contemporaries. That’s probably why rhythms and percussion are so important: for the roots part. Then electric guitars give the anchorage on a more modern and western mood. The cello takes us higher to heaven and simplicity of life. And I like backing vocals that remind me of pygmées and tropical rainforest. I used to listen to Lenine, Carlinhos Brown, Angélique Kidjo, Bonga, Keziah Jones, Joss Stone, blues, jazz… and traditional music from around the world.

As well as a Worldwide Music Expo, Womex is a good and proper global music fun fair. Is there anything you are looking forward to attending/enjoying during those five days?

Knowing that professionals and musicians come from all around the world, Womex is just a dreaming place to discover new musical tendencies, traditions and have real heart to heart connections with people. I also love it when professionals invite us to play at their event because they feel there is a human link. Seems like the probabilities of collaborations with musicians and professionals are bigger when both souls dream about it 😉

This Womex edition will happen in Porto. Have you ever been there and is there anything you are looking forward to doing/visiting/eating or drinking in the Portuguese city?

I’ve spent part of my childhood in Portugal, from 6 to 12 years old. I love to go back regularly in order to “matar as saudades”, eat carcaças, bolinhos de arroz, bacalhau à bras, caldo verde… Walk around those small cobbled streets and talk to the sea.

It goes without saying that Covid-19, lockdowns and regulations have deeply affected the music world in the last 20 months. How do you think the “post-pandemic” music world is going to unfold and what will be the “new normal” in the world music scene?

My crystal ball doesn’t know how the “new normal” is going to be but it’s great and important that each of us starts dreaming of what we would like to sow in our new normal musical garden. I’ve been wondering how  “slow tours’ can be possible. Fewer airports? More nature, more contact with people living in countries we play in, more connections between professionals from the same surrounding area to facilitate artist circulation ? The range of possibilities is wide.

Womex is a unique opportunity to share and showcase your music with new people and let them know about your upcoming projects. Can you reveal to us some of your plans for the future?

We are launching our new album in January 2022 with Zamora Label. It has been recorded at Studio Ferber in Paris with great musicians and special collaborations. It is really a “musical photography” of the beautiful things I’ve experienced since our last work: joys, doubts, motherhood, rants, beauty, hopes… We are really looking forward to it !

Let’s say that you have to draft an invitation card for our readers to join you at Womex and enjoy your showcase. What would you write in it? 

From heart to heart, from soul to soul, let your body move connecting to the high vibrating grooves.


Photo ©: Franck Loriou



– Check out the previous Musical Road to Womex episodes HERE –