The greatest living fado singer.
Since her debut more than twenty years ago, Mariza's status has grown, from the darling of a small circle of music lovers from Lisbon, into the greatest living fado singer.
In 1999, the great fado singer Amália Rodrigues passed away. In the mourning that followed, fado music experienced a resurgence in Portugal. Mariza, who was born to a Portuguese father and a Mozambican mother, and who moved to Lisbon as a child, was one of the artists performing heartfelt tributes to Amália. When Fado em Mim dropped in 2001, it sold an astounding 100.000 copies - unprecedented for a fado album at that time. Her vibrant voice and personal style shone through, even as she was singing material associated with a national icon.
Several albums have followed, such as Fado Curvo in 2003, Terra in 2008 and Mundo, which reached double platinum status in Portugal in 2015. Each of them document an artist with growing confidence and dynamic range as a singer, moving effortlessly from tender whispers to powerful climaxes. They also show a fadista willing to move the genre forward, while at the same time being conscious of its deep roots.
Her success is remarkable. Mariza has worked with stars such as Gilberto Gil, Cesária Évora and Sting. She has five Latin Grammy nominations to her name. She has performed sold out shows at some of the biggest venues all over the world, including Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall. As a matter of fact, in 2018 Mariza graced the stage at the opening of the Eurovision Song Contest, which is considered a unique moment in the history of Portuguese music.
In 2004, the mayor of Lisbon nominated Mariza as ambassador for Fado’s candidacy to UNESCO’s Representative Shortlist of the Immaterial Cultural World Heritage. In short, she has become one of the most important tradition bearers in fado music. It is perhaps fitting that on her latest album from 2020, Mariza canta Amália, she returns to Amália Rodriguez, offering a new and mature perspective on her legendary musical ancestor. It does not feel so much as a tribute, but as a meeting between equals.
In 2008, Mariza had her first concert at Oslo World, when she held the festival's closing concert. Therefore, it is about time we invite her back. On Sunday the 5th of November, she is playing the festival's last concert at Sentrum Stage, the perfect end to our 30th anniversary.