To complement the recent great reporting from Brazil Carnival by Banning Eyre (and another nod to Women’s History Month), we’re showcasing one of Brazil’s best-known female singers, Daniela Mercury—who hails from the music-rich state of Bahia—with an interview from 1998 by Beat contributor Marty Lipp. At this time, she was touring with her fourth album Feijao Com Arroz, which “in Brazil means black beans and white rice, a playful reminder of the unity that can come from embracing diversity,” as illustrated by the album cover photo seen below. On it she offers a selection of the many music styles found throughout Brazil.
A veteran of the trios electricos that roll with high-spirited, high-volume live music performed on flatbed trucks that roll through the streets during Carnival, Mercury continues to thrive as one of the best-known female Brazilian singers. She performed as recently as March in Miami, FL, and has released some 17 albums to date. Her records have sold over 10 million albums in her home country and almost 20 million worldwide.