How did this new EP and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?
I felt I needed to add more songs in English to my performances; especially for American audiences. I also had several requests by some of my American fans and that led Kleber Jorge, my legendary guitarist, and Mike Shapiro my legendary drummer/percussionist to arrange and produce seven sensational tracks for this EP. We liked the results so much early on that we released "Lovin' You" (the first track) as a single. It enjoyed several months on the charts. Dim The Lights contains remakes of seven Billboard Hot 100 70ís/80ís hits with samba, bossa nova, baiao and other brazilian rhythms. I feel like I was able to make them all distinctly my own and we have already moved them into the playlist for our shows.
What aspect of the creative process, from concept to market, do you personally find to be the most rewarding?
I love the activities in the studio during the actual recording of the song or CD. I find the synergy of everyone involved (producer, engineer, band members, myself) the most rewarding aspect of the creative process. Each song takes on a life of itís own in the studio and each person contributes in such a way to nurture the song into a collaborative effort that everyone is excited about. Itís amazing how much a song can change or even how the slightest change or nuance positively affects the result.
Going back in your life as far as you can remember, what song or performance is the first you recall hearing and being affected by?
That was a long, long time ago. I was about 6 years old and my father sang for me a song he composed called Mulher Delicada (Delicate Woman). We would sit on the couch and he would compose other songs and I would sing along with him. He taught me the art of interpretation and how to play to an audience. He was responsible for shaping my early musical career
What would you define as the most life-changing event so far in your musical career?
Absolutely the most significant life-changing event in my musical career was my recent three-year battle with breast cancer. I hit Ďrock bottomí physically and emotionally during chemotherapy and this put me on a journey not only of survival but a closer examination of just who I was. Even with just a flicker of hope, my dreams never faltered and my soul and spirit helped win the battle and also led to a deeper discovery of my own personal musical style as a singer/songwriter
Outside of your musical career, what else in your life gets you excited and fulfilled?
I love to work out. Iím not your typical Ďgym ratí though because I try to maintain a good balance of nutrition, exercise, and mental health. Iíve attended a world fitness convention for the past 3 years and believe it or not Iím a certified Spinning Instructor. Fitness is a very important aspect of the persona that I strive to present during my musical performances and in my life in general
What would be the most important piece of advice youíd impart to a young musician just starting out in the jazz/smooth jazz arena?
As simple as it sounds; my advice would be to never abandon your dreams. No matter how many times you get knocked down or discouraged, keep fighting for what you believe in and want. Perseverance is the key to fulfilling your dreams.