One of da Silva’s songs has been licensed for use by ESPN during World Cup coverage and the singer is finishing up her third album. She plays The Pyramid Scheme on Friday.
Singer Monica da Silva grew up in two different universes, regularly traveling between the United States and her mother’s native Brazil.
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
It’s that duality, that rich cultural upbringing, that’s colored da Silva’s rhythmically intriguing pop music with distinctive hues.
“That came about because both cultures are in my bones, so I guess it kind of comes out naturally,” da Silva says of the music she calls “indie nova” – a meshing of Brazilian bossa nova and indie-pop. “I grew up back and forth in both places and it felt really natural.”
Currently living in Holland with her fiancé and musical partner, Chad Alger, da Silva was born in the United States but spent three months every year as a child in her mother’s Brazilian hometown along the Amazon River. Her father, James, a native of Holland, met her mother, Lucia, while in the Peace Corps in Brazil.
Reared in an intensely musical family, da Silva has leaned on that foundation – studying piano and flute, and playing in a band with her siblings – to establish herself as an emerging artist on the indie-pop scene.
GETTING WORLD CUP LOVE IN BRAZIL
She’s already independently released two solo albums, 2008’s “Miles from Nowhere,” and 2011’s “Brasilissima,” which included the track, “That’s Not the Way,” a song ESPN recently licensed for use during its coverage of the current World Cup soccer extravaganza taking place in Brazil.
“The music director (for ESPN) contacted me last May and was really interested in me as an artist and thought it would be a good fit for the World Cup,” da Silva says. “I’m really excited about it.” The was, indeed, featured this past week during ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, along with songs by major artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Isley Brothers, Pitbull and Sergio Mendes.
The singer also has licensed her music for use by other television shows, including “Miami Ink,” “LA Ink,” and “Dr. 90210,” with one of her songs used for a Wal-Mart commercial in Asia. Putomayo World Music also featured her song, “Ai Entao,” on its 2013 “Brazilian Beat” compilation.
The West Michigan singer, who’s also lived in Chicago and Florida, moved to Holland in 2012 to concentrate on her music career. Da Silva and Alger have a home studio where they work on producing music, with a brand new album slated for release later this year.
“It’s the perfect place to record an album,” she says. “Music is our full-time thing. We do it from morning to night.”
On Wednesday, da Silva – with Alger on acoustic guitar – graced the studios of News Talk 1340 AM (WJRW) to discuss her music and perform a song for Local Spins Live. Check out a podcast of the show here, with a video of their performance of the tune, “Push Me Away,” below.
Da Silva and Alger currently are working on producing and releasing the next album on their own, but are open to the potential for linking up with a record label if the offer is right. They also hope to tour behind the new album, with a trip to Los Angeles on the docket for August and September.
“We’re just trying to connect with everyone and build that fan base even though it’s kind of a grass-roots thing,” da Silva says.
OPENING FOR RODRIGO AMARANTE AND THE GRAND RAPIDS PICNIC POPS
That includes spreading the word via live shows. On Friday, da Silva opens for Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante (a member of the band Los Hermanos) at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids.
The show begins at 8 p.m.; tickets are $13 in advance, $15 the day of the show. Jenny O and Chris Dupont also are on the bill. Details and tickets online here.
Next month, after playing an event at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, da Silva will perform as the opening act at the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Picnic Pops Series at Cannonsburg Ski Area. She’ll play on July 31 and Aug. 1 prior to a presentation of “The Music of the Eagles.” Get details and tickets online at grsymphony.org.
For da Silva, it’s all part of a musical master plan hatched from the time she was a young child.
“Singing has always been my first love and came very naturally to me. When I was little, I was obsessed with musicals, especially ‘Annie.’ I wanted to be her,” da Silva says.
“I am really driven by life and spreading love around. I feel like music is a great way to connect with and inspire others. I hope people feel good they listen to my music.”
For more information about da Silva and to purchase her music, visit monicadasilva.com.
Email John Sinkevics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2014, Spins on Music