Selma Uamusse is a Mozambican singer born in 1981, living in Portugal since 1988. She sings professionally since she was a teenager, having a very diverse career in music. Her versatility, her powerful vocal instrument and her performative genius led her to shine from rock (WrayGunn) to afrobeat (Cacique’97), through gospel Gospel Collective, (Gospel Sisters), soul and jazz (Rodrigo Leão, tributes to Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba), enriching her journey with different languages, always aware of the transformative social and political power of music.
Selma studied at the Hot Clube of Portugal and created in her own name the projects Souldivers, Selma Uamusse Nu Jazz Ensemble and Tribute to Nina Simone, where she collaborated with Ana Bacalhau, Rita Redshoes, Marcia, The Legendary Tigerman, Luisa Sobral, Elisa Rodrigues, Gospel Collective, among others. Selma participated in albums and shows by several artists such as Samuel Úria, Medeiros / Lucas, You Cant Win Charlie Brown, Joana Barra Vaz, Moullinex, Orquestra Todos among others. Last year she also lent her body and voice to theater projects (“Ruínas” staged by António Pires and “Passa-Porte” by André Amálio), cinema (“Cabaret Maxime” by Bruno Almeida and “Fogo” by Pedro Costa) and in the visual arts (installation by Angela Ferreira).
In her own name, Selma Uamusse explores the roots of her country of origin, using Mozambican rhythms and lyrics in native languages, using traditional instruments such as timbila and mbira, combining everything with electronics and other references that mirror her diverse influences.
Her debut album, “Mati“, which means “water” in Changana (one of the three most spoken languages in Mozambique), published in 2018 by Ao Sul do Mundo and distributed by Sony Music, was widely praised by national critics, having been performed on several prestigious national and international stages, on a tour with more than 60 concerts, such as Rock in Rio (Portugal), Vodafone Mexefest (Portugal), FMM Sines (Portugal), Festival MED (Portugal), MiMO Amarante (Portugal), MaMA Paris (France), MMM Maputo (Mozambique), MIL Lisbon (Portugal), SIM São Paulo (Brazil), Back2black Festival Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Siesta Festival Gdansk (Poland), Galician Art Center Contemporary Santiago de Compostela (Spain), NY SummerStage in Central Park (USA), Festival Crespo at Circo Voador (Brazil), Atlantic Festival in Philharmonie (Luxembourg) and Akropolis Palace in Prague (Czech Republic).
If there is a musical encounter between Selma and Mozambique on her first album, there is also a spiritual encounter with the African continent. Selma Uamusse’s first album, produced by the precious hands of Jori Collignon (from Skip & Die), is heard as two simultaneous journeys – a geographic one, a visit to Mozambique, where the singer draws on sounds and shares her identity; and an interior, in a spiritual map that is discovered as the music infiltrates the listener. In each second, this long-awaited debut album by Selma produces a hypnotic effect, weaving us between past and future, belonging to the ancestor and the explorer, creating a song that has no possible name. Or maybe it does. Perhaps it is simply called Selma Uamusse.
Selma Uamusse released in 2020 her second album in her own name, “Liwoningo” (which means light in Chope, a traditional language of Mozambique). Produced by Guilherme Kastrup, a Grammy-winning producer for the albums “A Mulher do Fim do Mundo” and “Deus é mulher” by the acclaimed and also awarded Elza Soares, this is an album that accentuates the African intangible heritage of Mozambique, an Africanity that continues to inspire lyrics and melodies, but that mixes around the world, in themes and arrangements, some closer to the tradition of folklore, others that wander between electronic, rock, afro-beat and experimental, always maintaining as a common place, the power of African rhythm, language or sounds, opening space for other influences, of Portuguese and Brazilian music.