Vanessa Da Mata – Artist Bio

Latin Grammy Award winner Vanessa Da Mata is a Brazilian singer and songwriter from Mato Grosso, Brazil. Her musical style is a mix of Brazilian popular music (MPB), samba, pop, reggae, and R&B. Her music is shaped by Brazilian artists such as Luiz Gonzaga, Tom Jobim, Milton Nascimento, and Orlando Silva, and she cites the samba singer Clara Nunes as a great influence in her songwriting and style.

Vanessa Da Mata’s career spans over a decade, during which she has recorded 5 studio albums, 2 live DVDs, and several #1 hits in Brazil. She was the headline performer at the 2014 ceremony in South Africa at which Brazil was named the 2014 World Cup host. She was also a featured artist at the 2016 Paralympic Games closing ceremony in Rio.

Her earliest songwriting success is marked by “A Força que Nunca Seca,” co-written in 1997 with renowned Brazilian singer-songwriter Chico César. The song was first recorded by iconic MPB singer Maria Bethânia in 1999, a recording which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in 2000. Da Mata went on to write songs for Bethânia, Caetano Veloso, and Daniela Mercury, and she performed backing vocals with artists such as Milton Nascimento, Baden Powell, and Maria Bethânia.

Her eponymous debut album Vanessa Da Mata, released in 2002, included chart-topping hits such as, “Não Me Deixe Só,” “Nossa Canção,” and her own recording of “A Força que Nunca Seca.” Her second album, Essa Boneca Tem Manual (2004) further shaped her signature sound: a mix of pop, reggae, and Brazilian music. This album included “Ainda Bem,” “Vermelho,” and her first #1 hit, “Ai, Ai, Ai,” which also peaked at #13 in Sweden.

In 2007, Vanessa Da Mata released her third studio album, Sim, which won the 2008 Latin Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Brazilian Pop Album. The album included #1 Brazilian hits “Amado” and “Boa Sorte/Good Luck.” “Boa Sorte/Good Luck” is a bilingual English/Portuguese duet with North American star Ben Harper that gave her global exposure. The song was a #1 single in Portugal and set the stage for widening her international audience.

Da Mata’s most recent album is Segue o Som (2014) and the song “Segue o Som” was nominated for the 2014 Latin Grammy Award for Best Brazilian Song.

In May 2009, she released her first live album and DVD, Multishow ao Vivo – Vanessa Da Mata, to commemorate the first six years of her career. Her latest DVD special, Caixinha da Música (2017), was performed live in concert at the Casa Natura Musical in São Paulo with guitarist Mauro Pacheco. Her debut tour to the United States this September will feature the music from the Caixinha da Música special.

Da Mata has collaborated with a number of Brazilian artists for charitable causes and to raise awareness and money for health and social issues. In 2011, she worked with Seu Jorge and Almaz on the song “Boa Reza” for the Red Hot Organization’s charitable album Red Hot + Rio 2 to raise money to fight HIV/AIDS. In 2013, she was sponsored by the cosmetics brand Nivea to offer free concerts in tribute to Brazilian composer Tom Jobim to raise awareness about his cultural importance in Brazil; the concert material was later compiled for the album Vanessa Da Mata Canta Tom Jobim (2013).

Photo credit: Geraldo Pestalozzi