In 2012 Da Chick released her first EP ‘Curly Mess’ – ten years later, her new album ‘Good Company’ sees the light of the day. The gorgeous, colourful artwork leaps out at us, radiating good vibes and so does her eclectic music that is full of elán, humouristic and playful elements and a very unique style. We talked to the artist about the inspiration around her new album ‘Good Company’, what she was like when she was growing up and the importance of learning and taking risks.
Before we talk about your new album, I would love if we could start by going back to the very beginning. What was the young Da Chick like growing up?
I was a very happy and enthusiastic kid, very into sports and hanging out with the boys mostly. Nevertheless, I was quite shy to get out of my comfort zone most of the time. Fortunately, I had the privilege of traveling a lot with my parents and older siblings. We went around Europe by car and to other beautiful warm places around the globe, which I’m sure shaped me to become part of the person I am today — a passionate traveler in search of my own freedom. Although traveling a lot and seeing many different cultures, my family is very conservative. So as you can imagine, it was not easy to be accepted when I started developing interests in Art. Not to mention wanting to go study Arts in school, and later wanting to do music for a living. I had to fight all odds but they are my number 1 fans now ! And I can see that the struggle I had to go through made me this focused, outspoken and fearless chick I am today.
Was it love at first sight — you and music?
The moment I wrote and sang my first song, that’s when it hit. As a teenager I was like any other kid, listening to MTV, VH1 and that local radio station with all the hit Pop songs. Then around the age of 16, that’s when I started to discover Hip-Hop, Funk and later Disco. Next to that, I was also paying attention to some Jazz and Soul records my father had in his CD collection. Around this time I started writing down some thoughts, ideas, just words or “songs” with no intention to sing them really… I just wrote stuff. Fast forward to when I’m 21, in college studying Advertising and spent most afternoons with these two neighborhood friends that had started producing. They produced Electro beats, influenced by Daft Punk, Digitalism, Boyz Noize.. and they asked me if I wanted to sing over a beat, and so that’s when I wrote my first song ever — My Booty.
“I am a passionate traveler in search of my own freedom.”
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
“My Booty”. In school my friends always made fun of my voluptuous booty, and I guess I was ok with it. So I started writing down “You want to have my booty/ You want to have my booty/ But you know what?/ You can’t do it…” Had to come up with an artist name to upload the track to Myspace and that’s when the beast was unleashed.
You’ve recently released your latest album ‘Good Company’ — what was the inspiration behind the title and the artwork?
Good Company is my third album and a very special one. I feel confident and very accomplished at this stage of my life. I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing and I know who I want to share it with. Good Company is a record of many Souls, connecting over my magnetic field. The artists I invited to join me represent the best of the Portuguese Soul scene and I admire them all very much. It’s not just a record of Soul, but Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz and Electronic grooves. It’s a peaceful yet energized sound, mature yet naive, but mostly an enlightened masterpiece. I wanted to represent all of it on the cover (illustrated by Kruella D’Enfer) — the sun which stands for light, the ocean who’s my healer, the mountains for the ups and downs, and of course the company (souls). Most importantly I wanted to express the good vibes that are inside.
“Good Company is my third album and a very special one. I feel confident and very accomplished at this stage of my life.”
The album gives me a mix of ‘I wanna put my disco pants on’ and ‘I just wanna chill and drift away’ — what was the inspiration for this album?
Haha, that’s a good capture. Da Chick is a cocktail of feelings, sounds and ideas. It’s hard for me to just do one thing and express myself in a single way. This album was composed during the pandemic and I guess I was trying to keep myself together as we all did, but at the same time I was already projecting how the return to the clubs and to our life as we knew, would be. It’s also an album that speaks about heavy subjects but always with a bright and joyful perspective, a New Day. Besides the sonic part I tend to visualize my music very graphically as well, so it’s very natural for me to direct all parts of the aesthetics, from photos to music videos, to all sorts of presenting myself as an artist.
You recently picked up a jazz study at the university in Lisbon — how important is it to explore new ways and challenge yourself?
Well I’ve been doing music for 13 years now and I’ve never studied music before. I guess I didn’t have to, but my curiosity and love for Jazz just made me take this step further and here I am. It’s been a crazy adventure, cause it’s hard AF but I see my mind blooming already. It’s this whole new world opening up for me, it’s like learning a whole new language. These kind of decisions and actions are the ones that keep me going really. The importance of the need to experience, to learn, to take risks and mutation is inevitable.
What do you consider your role as an artist?
That’s something I was never “worried” about because to be honest, I feel like I have no idea of what I’m doing. I’m just living my life, following my dreams, and trying to become a better person every day while exploring and evolving in harmony with my surroundings. I hope that’ll be enough.
“The importance of the need to experience, to learn, to take risks and mutation is inevitable.”
Any cultural experiences that changed the way you look at the world around you?
Travelling is key, which I get to do a lot for gigs, but also due to my addiction to surfing. In fact, the art of surfing is a very important part of my life and it has been inspiring my music now more than ever. Every time I get in the water, either in Portugal or some other part of the world, that experience in itself changes me. The surf culture is something I’ve been getting more involved with, and it switches the way you connect with everything — people, nature and yourself.
What is the most important for you in what you do?
Being in love and being free to do what I want to do, when I want to do it and get to share that with the world. Music is a really special thing and I’m just a lucky gal that gets to spread love through it.
Is there anything you’d like to say to young female artists out there?
Just do your thang :) Believe, work hard, have fun, and share it!