Overcoming all prejudice, Ellen Oléria, the overweight, black, lesbian, afro-rockin’ sista, wins The Voice Brazil competition

black Brazilian women

BW of Brazil has been wanting to do a piece on singer/musician Ellen Oléria since about March or April of this year, but other stories kept pushing back her debut on the site. Her 2009 CD Peça, a simmering stew of musical elements from Samba to Soul, to Jazz and Hip Hop, would be a welcome addition to anyone’s music collection and her recent victory on the Brazilian edition of the musical reality show The Voice signaled that it was time to finally introduce Ellen to our followers. Below are a fan’s feelings about Ellen’s The Voice Brazil victory, the official news of her victory from the Globo TV network website and a short review of her 2009 CD Peça. Also be sure to check out the videos of her rousing performances on the show and an official video of her song “Tentando”. Hope you dig her!

Ellen Oléria, the talent that defeated all the prejudices

By Leiliane Rebouças, blogger from Brasília

Ellen Oléria won “The Voice Brazil” competition on Sunday. I that never votes in these TV programs didn’t stop from voting at the computer to see this talented warrior from Brasília win. I already knew of the talent of the singer from performances in Brasília and from some chance encounters in a shopping mall in the city, before this national fame.

What made me happy about this win was not just the fact that a singer from Brasília stood out on Brazil’s largest TV station. What made me most happy was the fact that the singer was Ellen Oléria! A black woman who came from the outskirts of Brasília, who is not a “Popozuda (big-bootied woman) and an assumed homosexual! That is, a woman who probably suffered every kind of prejudice: racial, aesthetic, social and religious! And who won through talent! She won through art. She who battled much to come to success!


Her talent overcame prejudice! In a country full of prejudiced people, where we are used to seeing on TV screens and in the pages of gossip columns a white, rich, heterosexual majority of hot women and men, that gain prominence not for their IQ but only for their beauty! And the emergence of the diva Ellen made a majority of people who have prejudices, often veiled, let all this foolishness slide (Yes, because racism, social prejudice and all other kinds are foolishness) and surrender themselves to the light and talent of Ellen Oléria. (Visuals of the performance on The Voice have been disabled, but the audio versions are in videos below).

Ellen’s rendition of the Jorge Ben classic, “Zumbi”

How I was thrilled to see Ellen Oléria in “trending topics” on Twitter! I kept thinking that one day, when she was a child, that little girl black from Comunidade do Chaparral (Community of Chaparral) must have dreamed of success! And she grew up and faced all the difficulties to reach her deserved success, leaving a capital where it is so difficult for the artistic class to win!

Now Ellen will sing for the crowds, starting New Year’s Eve 2013 in Copacabana! To Ellen I can only give a great “Viva” for her victory! And wish that other Ellens Olérias arise from the outskirts of our city to conquer Brazil through their talent! Congratulations Warrior!

 No surprise: Ellen Oléria wins The Voice Brazil with 39% of the votes; program back in 2013

by Janaina Nunes

With a predictable end, The Voice Brazil competition consecrated Ellen Oléria as the new voice of the country with 39% of the public’s votes. Since her audition, the participant from Brasília became a unanimous favorite among jurors and most viewers. Sunday was not even her best day. However, it became clear that the singer was chosen for her track record (which was flawless). It was enough just watching the girl’s first performance. Now, truth be told, the battles of the program were much more interesting than the final. Besides knowing the winner, the audience learned that The Voice Brazil will be back in 2013 (the program returns in July).


Friends of the blog celebrated the fact that the TV station identified in the subtitles showing the family of Ellen, the winner’s girlfriend again (the first was last week). But the great thing will be to celebrate when this is not so amazing.

Ellen’s mother and girlfriend

Ellen Oléria: Strong black woman from Brasília offers her soothing stew of musical styles
by Soba Livros

What place is there in the world for a fat, lesbian, black woman? The place that she conquests! The power of Ellen Oléria’s music comes from there: the reasons that the world uses to oppress her. As a strong black woman, she faces war on a daily with sweetness and strength, and puts it in the lyrics of their songs and the sound of her voice.

In her debut CD, Peça, from 2009, her infallible, vibrant voice slides into the ear like hot wind and warms the entire soul. The artist mixes funk, samba, soul, hip-hop and poetry, appropriating the best of each style she touches.

Ellen’s 2009 CD Peça

The swing of “Testando” speaks of daily mishaps that only those who feel it in the skin know: being a woman and being afraid to walk alone on a dark street, seeing someone change sidewalks after seeing the color of their skin. And at the end of the day, the irony is completed by three young white men steal her borrowed equipment.

“Senzala” repeats the energy of “Testando” (see video below), showing the scene of a peculiar and exciting street fair in Ceilândia, a town on the outskirts of Brasília (Brazil’s capital city), known for its poverty and violence, with many good and nice people. Ellen wouldn’t trade the fair for any Ceilândia downtown shopping center.

Video: “Testando”

In “Não-Lugar” and “Posso Perguntar”, she softens her tone, and what hits the mark on these two tracks is not the strength of the cry, but the precise calm of her song, in a thick sauce that spills slow as lava oozing from the top of a volcano.

Each track is worthy of highlight, but the experience of seeing, hearing and feeling Ellen Oléria is unique. Listening to her CD excites, soothes, stirs, heats, stirs and agitates. Watching her show simply confirms all of these emotions. And Ellen is just that. Clean faced, whole, dedicated, she gives us her best.
Experiencing her is a path of no return, and the mark it leaves is irreversible, it can’t be erased.

With her curly afro, Ellen assumes a fearless feminist and anti-racist stance. In March 2010, she gave a concert in the city of Várzea Paulista, for almost 3,000 women who walked for the Third International Action of the World March of Women, a movement which marked the centennial of International Women’s Day. At the time, women from various countries walked for 10 days from the city of Campinas to São Paulo, passing through various cities of the state.

And her path is like this, exciting and inspiring whoever hears her words, because the whole world is hers.

Source: Acontece Brasília, Yahoo TV Brasil, Soba Livros

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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