Lura was quietly studying sports education (her speciality was swimming) in Lisbon, when Juka, a successful singer originally from São Tome e Príncipe, asked her to appear on his new album. “I was seventeen. I was supposed to be sing backing vocals, but in the end, Juka asked me to sing a duet with him. I’d never thought about singing, but he insisted,” remembers Lura. It was then that she realized she had a voice, with a deep, sensual tone. Juka’s zouk was a hit when a Portuguese producer helped her record her first album, a dance record for her generation. She was then 21. “The record was mainly meant for clubs,” she explains, but despite the album’s commercial flavour, one song, Nha Vida (My Life), drew a great deal of attention when it was included on the “Red Hot + Lisbon” compilation the following year, in 1997.
Lusafrica took an interest in the young singing prodigy when she sang a duet with Bonga, Mulemba Xangola, and in 2004, the label produced “Di Korpu Ku Alma” (Of Body and Soul), Lura’s real Cape Verdean record, whose reputation was boosted back home and among the diaspora by the success of Na Ri Na. In 2005, the album was released in more than countries, including the USA, Italy (where it was one of the top-selling records of the summer) and the UK (where it was nominated at the “BBC World Music Awards”). About “Di Korpu Ku Alma”, Portuguese journalist José Eduardo Agualusa wrote, “as I have constantly told anyone who would listen, the future of Cape Verdean music already has a name, and that name is Lura”, while UK daily The Independent promised, “When her international career gets going, this girl will fill stadiums.” With this album Lura was nominated in 2006 at the “Victoires de la Musique”, for “BestWorld Music Album”.
For her next album, “M’bem di Fora” (I’ve come from far away) in November 2006, the archipelago’s treasure trove of beats sweeps us up in a dizzying, frantic whirlwind of batuque (Galanton), funana (Fitiço di Funana), not to mention coladera (No Bem Fala). Following the success of this record, Lura travelled the world, winning over audiences who proved ever more loyal and attentive to her music. Three years later, she launched “Eclipse” which confirmed the immense talent of Lura, jewel of the new Cape Verdean generation. With the beautiful Marinheiro composed by Mario Lucio, the superb ballad Um Dia, or the catchy Quebrod Nem Djosa, her voice again made
the difference. Yet she modestly admits: “My career has been a continual surprise to me since I discovered my voice in my teenage years up until now. I take it one day at a time, but I’ll be a singer for the rest of my life. I’m positive about it. I don’t know why.”
While Lura is in studio recording her new album scheduled for 2011, Lusafrica releases by the end of November 2010 “The Best of Lura”, an album gathering her best recordings, together with 2 exclusive tracks: Amor E Tão Sabe (recorded during the “M’bem di Fora” sessions), and Moda Bô, recorded with Cesaria Evora in the early weeks of 2010 which is a tribute song to Cesaria Evora, written by Lura. “As a child, I dreamed of being like you / Singing on stage in divine light, like you / Often in my teens in front of the mirror / I used a pretend microphone to sing like you / I want to sing like you”, she sings when Cesaria replies to her: “In my time, I’ve met people and seen the world / Achieved my life’s dream, singing of Cape Verde, singing of my land / I want to share my experience with everyone / I want to share the history of a people with the world / The history of a life”. The album also includes a DVD containing a concert shot by the Portuguese television, RTP, in Torres Novas, as well as bonus videos.