In the wake of the release of her acclaimed second full length album, Soyo, and in between her many live dates around the world, Brazilian born, Parisian resident, Dom La Nena has recorded a beautiful new EP of cover versions of some of her favorite songs.
Dom explains the inspirations behind the Cantando EP and why she felt compelled to record these particular songs from this diverse group of global composers:
I am a composer, although sometimes my desire to sing the songs of other artists is strong. These creative impulses often inspire me to record cover versions. I actually perform some of the songs chosen for the “Cantando” EP in my live concert set, others I only sing at home. All of the songs selected for this EP are long time favorites of mine, many of which I have enjoyed since I was a child. With these four songs, I wanted to achieve a variety of moods, languages, atmospheres, time periods, and revisit my musical roots.
I approached the arrangements of these recordings with the intention of keeping things simple, a minimalist vision, placing the focus on the lyrics and the melodies. This is why I only used my cello as accompaniment. Additionally, I found Maxime Le Guil to be one of the best sound engineers with whom I have ever worked. His delicate and insightful touch was extremely important to the creation of each arrangement.
“Felicidade," from Brazilian composer Lupicinio Rodrigues, reminds me of my childhood. It is one of the first songs I learned to play. "Felicidade" means “happiness”. I have a strong sense of contentment whenever I hear or perform this song. I think Lupicinio makes me feel so happy because she transports me back to my hometown of Porto Alegre (Lupicinio was also from there), back to my family roots. Suddenly, I am back in the school choir, singing this song with my best childhood friends. Recording this song preserves these wonderful feelings and honors my origins.
Chilean composer and musical pioneer Violeta Parra is one of my biggest musical references and inspirations. She was an extraordinary woman, a Latino-American innovator. "Gracias a la Vida” will always be a part of my life. It is a song that is a part of the musical and cultural heritage of every Latino-American. I remember passionately singing this song during my teenage years while in Buenos Aires.
When I arrived in Paris for my studies, I was 18 years old, and listening non-stop to Beirut's first album, "The Gulag Orkestar.” I don't know why but I always found Brazilian influences within the song "Scenic World," almost like a little Samba. Perhaps I felt this way because I was far from my country, and was sensitive to every little detail of life that might remind me of Brazil, making me feel closer to home. When recording this song, I wanted to finally create the little Samba that grew from my imagination over the years.
"Les Vieux," by Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel is my mother's favorite song. She was the one who introduced me to Brel's music during my childhood in Brazil before I arrived in France. It was with this song that I became familiar with the French language.