A Brazilian Diva Takes The Stage
Brazilian singer Xênia França is ready to melt your heart as she takes over stages in New York City.
On August 5th, Natura Brasil will proudly introduce Xênia França to music lovers at Central Park, presenting the crowd not only with her voice but the energy of Bahia, the most musical, artistic, mystic and African state of Brazil. On August 7th, she will also perform at Natura's store, for a smaller crowd in a more intimate setting - this is her first time in New York, and you cannot miss it.
Followed today by over 40 thousand fans on Instagram, she recorded three albums with a band, before taking off solo, and recently releasing her first album. This 30-year-old beauty was born in Candeias, a small city of 80 thousand inhabitants.
She was not involved with music until she left Bahia, moved to São Paulo, and became friends with rock band members. They would gather to play guitar and genres like Samba and Bossa Nova. In 2009, she created her band, became a student at Tom Jobim Music School - and, since then has been playing a relevant role in the Black female music scene. It was a pleasure to listen to this charismatic young lady, as she shared a bit of her story with Blog do Brasil.
What is Natura's impact on your career?
Natura Musical supported my former band, so, as I turned into a solo singer, I signed up again for their audition. I wasn't expecting to be chosen as this is a fierce competition. Surprisingly, Natura awarded me with this opportunity and gave all the support I needed - it was an excellent way to accomplish this project the way I envisioned it.
Who are the artists who inspire you?
Among Brazilians, I have always cherished Djavan, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Margaret Menezes and Elza Soares. As for Americans, I have a makeshift altar made for Michael Jackson at home. He captivated me as a child, and through his music I started to discover big names, like Quincy Jones, James Brown, Badu and Whitney Houston. I have always loved African-American music, and Michael Jackson was the first portal into it.
How do you see the Afro-Brazilian music’s role in the countries culture?
Without the Black Music in Brazil, I cannot even tell you what the Brazil music would be. All Brazilian music derives from its Black Music, originated by the Africans who arrived in the country as slaves. The first one is Samba, which has opened many doors for artists like us and giving us the freedom to make the music that we please. African legacy is the pillar of our culture in general. There's no Brazilian music without it.
What are you bringing to the Brasil Summerfest at Central Park, and also to Natura Brasil's store?
For the Central Park show, I picked the ones with stronger connections to Brazilian roots, as well as the fusion rhythms that have influenced my latest album and the music of the Americas. For the second show, which will take place in a smaller setting, I will sing mild melodies.
Do you have any new plans for your career?
After coming back from the USA, I will tape two video clips for my solo album - the songs are called Nave and "Pra quem Me chama." Other than that, I live for the now and work with the things I possess at the moment. Showing my work in New York is a dream that started as a small girl when I watched all the Hollywood movies on TV - this is the most filmed city in the USA. The person boarding the plane to New York isn't Xênia França, but little Xeninha, who always wanted to "enter" the TV set to be in New York. But I'm also focusing most of my energy on the show: I feel that it will be unique and emotional.
How do you treat your voice and health?
It's hard to keep up with perfect healthy habits since I travel so much around Brazil and have a few allergies - air conditioning on planes, buses, vans are always hard to beat. But I do drink lots of water, take vitamins and have weekly appointments - even when long distance - with my speech therapist, who gives me daily vocal exercises to keep up with my voice. It's crucial to maintain my immune system healthy as the first sign of weakness goes straight to the throat.
Could you share your top beauty tips?
Every morning, I wash my face only with water and soap, immediately after waking up. But there's something else I found to be very useful: to spread coconut oil over my body every day. It hydrates my skin, which tends to be dry, and it also removes small stains. My tip: after using this oil, brush your eyebrows, put some mascara on, and you're ready to go. No makeup needed. Plus, since I was a little girl, I've been using Natura's Almond and Cherry Oil (Seve) - there was only a bottle at home, my mom was the one who introduced it to me.