Cape Verdean singer Elida Almeida returns with a fourth album, Gerasonobu, in which she confirms her status as the leader of the new generation of musicians in Cape Verde.
At the age of 27, Elida Almeida already stands out, with her honeyed smile and solar energy, as youthful as she is mature, as the muse of Cape Verde’s new musical generation. She deploys this status like a banner and inscribes it on the front of her new album, entitled Gerasonobu (“New Generation” in Cape Verdean Creole).
Together with other fellow musicians, the young woman, whose roots lie on the island of Santiago, is helping to explode the codes of Cape Verdean music: a tradition illuminated by the guardian figure of Cesaria Evora, jealously watched over by so-called “experts”, who grumble as soon as one takes a (dance) step outside the norm.
But Elida is not satisfied: “Even Cesaria’s creations are different from ‘traditional’ pieces. The music of my archipelago of sailors, open to all winds, permeable to all influences, all crossbreeding, is defined precisely by its permanent evolution…”.
So, unlike her last record, which takes its name, Kebrada, from her native village, and roots on the small piece of land without electricity that saw her grow up, she now travels the world, all the way out to feed her newly traced tracks.
In her luggage? The Cape Verdean songs that rocked her early years on the radio. Gerasonobu’s wandering songs were composed all over the world, during tours, in the semi-awakened dream of an airplane trip to Lisbon where she lives, or to Abidjan… “Each time, my creations, in the heart of Cape Verde, were impregnated with the vibrations and music of the territories in which I wrote them”, she smiles.
NMR (photo: press Elida Almeida)