Sabrina Malheiros is a singer and songwriter from Brazil whose music falls firmly in the MPB tradition while reflecting an active engagement with house, contemporary jazz, and 21st century samba. Her style is credited with pioneering the global nu-bossa scene. Her cool, nocturnal style has drawn apt ...
Sabrina Malheiros is a singer and songwriter from Brazil whose music falls firmly in the MPB tradition while reflecting an active engagement with house, contemporary jazz, and 21st century samba. Her style is credited with pioneering the global nu-bossa scene. Her cool, nocturnal style has drawn apt comparisons to other club-friendly artists including Ceu and Bebel Gilberto.
Malheiros is the daughter of Azymuth bassist Alex Malheiros. Born in 1979 and raised in Rio de Janeiro, she was enrolled in music school at the age of six and made her first recorded studio appearance a year later. At 11 she sang lead vocals on the title track of Azymuth's Curumim. (Perhaps it's no surprise that she cites her father's band and bossa legend João Gilberto as primary influences.) In 2001 she sang lead on "Porto Do Sol" on the United Future Organization's album V. In 2004, Malheiros singed to Far Out Recordings and placed the track "Estacao Verao" on its Brazilian Love Affair 5 compilation. It was later remixed for Kenny Dope Presents Brazilika. It was also featured on her debut album, Equilibria, in 2005. Another album cut, "Cade Voce," co-written with her father, was featured on the German NovaLatino compilation in 2006, comprised mainly of remixes from producers such as Nicola Conte, Kenny Dope, Quantic, Incognito, and Kirk Degiorgio; it also included the new song "Lemanja." The singer became an in-demand presence on the global club and bossa scenes, and played everywhere from South America and Europe to Japan. Malheiros' proper sophomore date, New Morning, appeared in 2008 to massive critical acclaim -- after many of her songs had appeared on compilations inside and outside Brazil. Produced and engineered by Daniel Maunick, son of Incognito's Bluey, Malheiros wrote or co-wrote all but one of the album's 12 tracks -- the lone exception a stunning reinvention of Carole King's "It's Too Late." The album was re-released in a Deluxe Edition the following year and featured reworkings/remixes of several tunes by Conte, IG Culture, and Para:diso. Her live and collaborative recording appearances continued in earnest. The press was falling all over itself to reflect what club audiences already knew: Malheiros was dubbed the "reigning princess of nu-bossa" by one British publication and described with the words "...heads the new generation of samba..." by another. Malheiros' songs appeared on more than two-dozen compilations and she gained attention across the internet for her soulful, groundbreaking songs and arrangements. That same year she also worked with Alex Malheiros & Banda Utopia feat. Sabrina Malheiros on the album The Wave, also issued by Far Out. In 2011, the full-length Dreaming was released. Malheiros not only wrote or co-wrote all of the album's tracks, but arranged and co-produced them with Maunick. The album was greeted with wildly enthusiastic praise in the press and on the digital charts, and received airplay all over the globe. Malheiros also sang a duet on the track "Meu Mengô" with David Brinkworth for Azymuth's Aurora album.
2015 saw a tenth anniversary commemorative reissue of Equilibria with bonus tracks (many of them revelatory instrumental versions of album tracks). It offered a stopgap given her nearly constant activity as a performer and recording collaborator (she worked with Sean Khan on the fine Muriel offering in 2015 as well). Malheiros did perform in 2016, but spent the majority of her time writing. Entering the studio in early 2017 with Maunick, her father on bass, Azymuth keyboardist Kiko Continentino, and Brazilian saxophone legend Leo Gandelman, she tracked a slew of new material and settled on 11 songs (including a new version of "Porto Do Sol"). First single "Sol, Céu e Mar" was released on June 29, 2017 and scored high on streaming charts; the full-length Clareia was released two weeks later. ~ Thom Jurek