The first time I spoke to Suzanna Lubrano was in her hometown Rotterdam. She just released her album Tudo Pa Bo (Everything for you). In the Netherlands she was hardly known which was a big contrast if you compare it to the fame she had in African countries like Mozambique, Angola and Cabo Verde. Her popularity in Africa was confirmed later that year when she received the Kora award, for best female African singer. (A kind of Grammy for the African world.)
Suzanna Lubrano is a singer from Cape Verdean descent. Her mix of Pop, R&B and Zouk music is immensely popular in the Afro-Portuguese communities around the world. A few years later I interviewed Suzanna Lubrano online when she had just released her album Saida and was touring in the USA and Africa.
You already have quite a fan base among the Cape Verde immigrants in Boston en Miami, can you explain something about this ‘Cabo’ network?
There are over half a million Cape Verdeans in the US, many of them living in the New England area, others in Miami and Atlanta. I always receive a great welcome there. In general, the Cape Verde community is a worldwide community, living in North and South America, Europe and Africa. We also have a large Cape Verdean community in my hometown Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Do you think it is difficult to put a label on your music?
Because I’m Cape Verdean and many of my songs are in the Cape Verdean Creole language, they often categorize me under World Music. But in fact I’m a Pop artist. In my view, whether I sing in Creole, English or any other language is irrelevant. Nevertheless, I’m fine with every label people want to put on me, as long as they like my music.
Although you are based in the Netherlands, you have many fans outside your country. It means you do a lot of concerts abroad. How about that?
I’ve got used to it. I travel to Angola and Mozambique, many European countries, the Americas. It’s tiring, but I like it.
You are a big star in some African countries; you even received the Kora award (the African Grammy) for best female artist. How it is to do concerts over there?
It’s always great to perform in Africa especially when it’s in countries where the fans sing my songs word by word. That happens a lot in Angola and Mozambique and it is really amazing. It’s true I’m a star over there. In the Netherlands I can just walk the streets without being noticed. In those countries that is impossible…
Suzanna Lubrano performing live at Off Corso in her hometown Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Interviews in retrospect
A serie of interviews I did during the last two decades.