Cissa Paz is a Brazilian singer-song writer. The diversity of her cultural experience merges with her fearless taste for new combinations, as she creates and rearranges songs that are melded with the rich traditions of Afro-Brazilian and Luso-African concepts. Cissa’s captivating stage presence and soulful voice bring music that is fresh, fun and rhythmic.
Cissa’s self-titled album released in September, 2015 “is unexpectedly playful and whimsical in the nicest sense of the word, and we almost always end up falling in love with her on this…The bounding momentum of some of her sambas is uncompromising and she evokes the joie de vivre of much that is beautiful about being Brasilian.” (World Music Report).
Born in Belgium by chance, Cissa was raised mostly in Rio de Janeiro. She began her musical love affair by spending afternoons with the sounds of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Elis Regina and other Brazilian greats coming from her parents’ record player. She would get home after school and rush to the vinyls, memorizing all her favorite lyrics. She absorbed every note, riff, and samba beat. Her musical tastes matured as she kept sampling the musical diversity of the world. Cissa’s passion for music started with dance, she studied ballet, jazz, modern dance and the urban styles of samba and salsa, leading her to perform and teach later on. Her dance background is reflected on her music and is why most of her songs have a rhythmic sound that gets people on their feet.
Cissa’s sound was initially influenced by samba, afoxé, forro, maracatu and the popular music of Brazil. After moving to the U.S., she fell in love with RnB, Soul and Hip Hop and over the years her travels exposed her to more of the world’s music landscape. Upon learning about Cape Verdean and the music coming from the Lusophone diaspora in general, she felt an inherent familiarity with the sound. The parallels between her background and theirs were unavoidable. So she has devoted the last few years to studying those styles and finding even more ways of blending them with what was familiar to her, the music of Brazil.
Cissa performs songs in Portuguese, Portuguese Creole, Spanish, French and English. With a voice that is soft and soulful and a vibrant stage presence, Cissa is fun to watch and enjoys talking about the lyrics and teaching audiences about the styles of music she performs.
Currently living in DC, Cissa has just released her self-titled debut album, going for sale on September 15, 2015. She has been collaborating with local artists and a new project is in the works to be recorded in 2016.