Sara Alhinho: a voice without borders
Born in Portugal, daughter of a Cape Verdean mother and a Mexican father, Sara Alhinho is an artist who has intercontinental references. Last year, with the release of her album "Ton di Petu", the singer consolidates a career that began at the age of 8, when she participated in the recording of her mother's album, the also singer Teté Alhinho. There have been many wanderings around the world so far: besides living in Cape Verde and Mexico, she has traveled extensively in Europe on tours. In her songs, we can see the richness of the various genres that make up the little-known musical universe of Cape Verde.
® How is the trajectory of your album since the launch in 2018?
The trajectory has been good and rewarding. When I arrived in Portugal I was fortunate to meet good musicians who have embraced this project and with whom I have been doing concerts whose return has been very positive. The next step is to try to publicize the work further and broaden the audience.
® Cape Verde is well known for its rich and diversified musical production. What is missing to be discovered in this mosaic?
In my opinion what is known about the music of Cape Verde is just the tip of the Iceberg. There is a great diversity of musical genres such as talaia baxu, finason, tabanka, kanizade, among others that are not as well known as the morna or coladera. On the other hand, today there are many young Cape Verdean artists in and out of the country with authentic and differentiated projects that deserve, in my opinion, international publicity.
® When you lived in Mexico in your teens, you were very close to signing a contract with a major label and having the opportunity to enter the Latin American market. Today, with the modified market and several other possibilities, that still interest you?
Working independently since my first album was circumstantial, but with the time it took me to think that maybe could be a way forward. Currently, I explore this possibility which has allowed me to learn more about the music, knowing where to walk and understand how best to position me. But the possibility of working with major labels is always a good opportunity to share resources. If it's done with the right people, I believe that the projection of a musical career can be greater.
® Being born and growing up in a musical environment can sometimes help create a very playful vision of the profession. Does the course of Marketing & Foreign Trade, which you completed in 2015, help you in the management of your career and opens another professional field?
Yes. Marketing allowed me to think in a more strategic and less emotional way. It also allowed me to see that in addition to being an artist I am a product that seeks a position in the market. It helped me to perceive in a more pragmatic way the same and showed me other perspectives on the music business.
® I know that Djavan is a great reference in his musical formation. Talk a little about him and the musical influences that accompany you and can be noticed in your work.
I learned to play the guitar by ear and by myself, reading the figures from volumes 1 and 2 of Djavan's Songbook, offered by my mother. With Djavan I discovered the metaphors, the beauty of the dissonant chords and the harmonic conduction less obvious. For me, as for many fellow musicians of my generation, he was a source of inspiration and reference. I still dream to meet him and play with him, which in fact was very close to happening when in 2011 I was invited to open his concert in Cape Verde, which unfortunately did not materialize due to the cancellation of this concert for health reasons.
® What are your next projects?
As is well known, the changing and circumstantial nature of artistic life demands a lot of focus and organization on the part of its actors in order to articulate the personal, artistic, professional and material aspects. In this sense, the process of establishment as an artist residing in Portugal (since I have lived the last 8 years between Cape Verde and the Canaries) has been a challenge that I carry forward with determination, but also an inspiration that opens a perspective of expansion in the musical production in several areas. But for now, it is too early to reveal how this could materialize, because the ideas are many but need their maturation time. For now the aim is to continue with the release of the album "Ton di Petu" and along this artistic growth path I will be preparing the next record, maybe for 2020.
® Luciana Werner
Photos . Daryan Dornelles