Artist You Should Know: Paula Fernandes

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Image courtesy of http://www.submarino.com.br

Born as Paula Fernandes de Souza on August 28, 1984 in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, she was raised on a farm and began singing in 1992.  Two years later in 1994 she made her self-titled debut album.  Her first studio album, Canções do Vento Sul was released on September 14, 2005 and was certified Gold.

Her second album and the first of five that I will be profiling here in March was a very stirring remake of the 1978 slow guitar ballad of Kansas’ most famous song, “Dust In The Wind.”  Back in the days when TV shows like Alice, Barney Miller, and WKRP In Cincinnati dominated the Nielsen ratings, the original song might have been too laid back for the high school crowd that was into a lot of disco music–but it might have taken a lot of Baby Boomers a while to figure out which genre it really belong to.  Was it love, adult contemporary, or just plain slow music?

In February 2007, Paula decided not on just using the guitar but with the help of Marcus Viana on violin–she comes off as a cross between Gloria Estefan, Diana Krall, and a little dash of Lori Carsillo in spots.  Her vocal range in English was consistent throughout this compilation album, especially on other remakes of famous songs such as Sarah MacLachlan’s “Fallen” (Track 2) and one of The Cranberries big early hits for the alternative rock group in “Ode To My Family” on Track 4.

Beautifully done, but the next few songs nearly drove me to happy tears–and there aren’t many songs that get me a bit emotionally speaking.  Her pitch is a bit higher on the Shawn Colvin single, “One of Us” (Track 6) and the Paul Simon classic tune, “The Boxer” on Track 8.  The final track is in her native language with the Per Gessie/Mats Persson/Luis Gomez Escolar hit single, “Un Dia Sin Ti” (translated from Spanish means, “One Day Without You.”

Overall, this is an excellent introduction to the fabulous musical talent that is Paula Fernandes.

Each of the final four weeks in March, I will profile each of her key releases over the last four years.  Next week, sandwiched between another Olympic update will be her next major work–all sung in Portuguese titled, “Meus Encantos.” 

Just my humble opinion…

If you look at the pics of Paula posing both in a studio and touching some waterfalls inside that 20 page booklet, Paula could give new Dancing With The Stars contestant who happens to be the lead GMA weather meteorologist in Ginger Zee a true run for her money.

See you all next week.

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