Already a local favorite in Rio de Janeiro, da Silva shines in the national spotlight
Karla Smith thrilled the audience of The Voice Brazilsinging the Djavan hit “Serrado”. For The Voice Brazil, contestants sing in hopes of being selected to be on one of the teams of the judges, who are also coaches. After the selection rounds, the contestants who have been chosen by a coach will compete on that team against the other teams in a “sing off” round. All four of the judges/coaches are well-known Brazilian singers in their own right.
The candidate from Rio de Janeiro was chosen to be part of judge/coach Claudia Leitte’s team: “Welcome to The Voice! Are you success!” Claudia Leitte approved of da Silva’s performance saying, “I really liked her voice, I love her attitude to sing,” she said. Karla welcomed the opportunity: “Thank you! I am very happy!” said the contestant. Karla also revealed that she has been singing for 5 years and that she is 28 years old.
Like other contestants, The Voice Brazil may be Karla’s first exposure to a national audience but like other contestants, she has been honing her talents locally for several years. Here at BWof Brazil, we featured Karla as one of the women in the upcoming documentary AfroCariocas, where she spoke of her pride in rockin’ her ‘fro in its natural state. Karla was born and raised in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro and began her initiation into music in the guitar circles of her backyard as a child. Her grandfather, a lover of Brazil’s traditional Choro music, passed his afternoons to the sound of his seven-string guitar and her aunt, Irene Kendal, a crooner, as they called her at the time, sang at night in various houses in Rio de Janeiro and rehearsing her song repertoire by day.
Karla grew up listening to musical works of an era full of gems. At age six, her joy were the days when she participated in the trials of the Samba School of her neighborhood, Caprichosos de Pilares, where her parents were the directors of harmony. In 2002 he joined the Villa-Lobos School of Music of where he studied violin. Da Silva has a degree in Portuguese Literature from the Veiga de Almeida University in Rio de Janeiro. However, her passion for singing spoke a little louder.
She studied singing with the master pianist and singer Vera Gama, and in 2005 was invited to sing at Orchestra Popular Brasil de Cara, a group formed of mostly music students from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, that blended Brazilian rhythms such as Xote, Samba, Baião, Coco, Maracatu and Choro into a performative fusion of sounds.
With the group she experienced wonderful musical experiences, winning the award for second best song best song in the Festival do Conservatório of Tatuí, São Paulo in May 2007 and 1st place in Piraí Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro in August 2007. She was ranked among the 10 finalists of the 2nd New Talent Show at the famous Samba house Carioca da Gema in November of 2007 and winner of the Holofote Contest at the Bar da Ladeira in March 2008, both hotspots in the legendary Lapa district in Rio.
In June 2008 she participated in the final of the Concurso de Calouros (Newcomers Contest) of the Ponto do Samba program on Rádio Nacional, held in July 2008 at the Teatro Rival in Rio de Janeiro. In October 2008, da Silva participated in the international contest Prata da Casa Petrobras held at Villa Country in São Paulo directed by musician and arranger Ivan Teixeira, competing in the category of “Best Performer”, which was judged by a team of Brazilian musical heavyweights and received the award for 3rd place.
Considered one of the new voices of the Lapa area, Karla released her first CD, Festejo e fé, which feature songs from a new generation of Brazilian songwriters and shows off her musical influences such as Brazilian legends Clara Nunes and Elizeth Cardoso as well as Americans Janis Joplin and Sarah Vaughn and Malian singer Oumou Sangare.
Karla pledges to rescue the poetry of old Samba and Bossa Nova songs, and bring back memories of a classic era in Brazilian music.
“Singing is the thing I love most in life and every day singing the best way for me to deal with the world, with nature, with emotions and people. I like eye contact, I like to see the people’s laughter, I sing to live, I sing for the world with love, I sing for the heart of every human being, whoever it is,” she says.