Talented young Brazilian musician CéU (pronounced “say you”) is the next artist to be featured in the innovative Starbucks Hear Music Debut CD series, as announced today by Starbucks and Six Degrees Records. CéU is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist whose music is rooted in samba, the infectious rhythmic style made famous in Brazil, which she blends with hip-hop, jazz and soul to create an intoxicating and distinctive sound. Her U.S. debut album CéU is a co-release by Starbucks Hear Music and Six Degrees Records and will be released simultaneously at traditional retail and Starbucks Company-operated locations in the U.S. beginning April 3, 2007. CéU is the first international artist featured in the Starbucks Hear Music Debut series.
This debut album joins breakthrough works from musical artists Antigone Rising, Sonya Kitchell and Low Stars, all of which debuted through the Starbucks Entertainment program.
CéU has been garnering impressive reviews from around the world. Liberation in France calls her “the new voice of Brazil.” Journal de Montreal in Canada calls her “an excellent new artist to rise rapidly.” In Brazil, she has been praised as “the future of Brazilian music” by Jornal do Brasil, and “a revelation bringing originality to the crowded terrain of young Brazilian singers” by O Globo.
Nominated for a Latin GRAMMY in 2006 for “Best New Artist,” CéU is a rising star. Her full name is Maria do CéU Whitaker Poças, but she goes by the simple moniker CéU. It is a name that when translated into English means “sky” or “heaven.” Born into a musical family in São Paulo, she was immersed in the music of Brazil’s great classical composers at an early age. A skilled player on the violão (a nylon-stringed Brazilian guitar), at 15 she was performing onstage with major artists. After a stint living in New York City, where she was influenced by the sounds of hip-hop and jazz and inspired by the work of singers Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu, CéU returned to Brazil and teamed up with celebrated producer Beto Villares and recorded her first album. That collaboration resulted in an album that is surprisingly mature and fully realized – filled with an intoxicating mix of samba, reggae, dub, electronica, love, heartbreak, chaos and sweet tunefulness. The song “Malemolência” has already found fame on the soundtrack to the Brazilian TV show based on the acclaimed movie “City of God.”