Paula Lima is the queen of a style known as Samba-Rock or Samba Soul, a sophisticated mixture of Brazilian Samba with elements of American Soul, Funk and sometimes Disco*.
Lima, born in São Paulo in 1970, is a singer/songwriter whose style is influenced by Bossa Nova, Samba, Brazilian Soul, and international funk music. She was one of judges of Brazilian Idol, and Ídolos Brazil (Season 3 and Season 4) Brazilian styled takes on the American Idol brand.
Lima’s career started a little by chance but she had been involved in different school festivals. In 1992 she joined her firs band, the “Unidade Móvel”, which later became “Unidade Bop”. In 1995 she was invited to sing in a Samba, Rock, Funk and Soul band, led by Skowa. Lima lists her influences to be Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Elza Soares, Ed Motta, Gilberto Gil, Banda Black Rio and Jorge Benjor. She also played Grizabella’s role in the stage for both São Paulo’s and Rio de Janeiro’s productions of Cats in 2010.
Paula Lima (2003)
Diva Paulista (Europe, 2003)
É isso aí (2001)
Stayed tuned to Black Women of Brazil for a more in depth article featuring Paula Lima. For now, check out the slinky rhythm of “SambaChic”.
Paula Lima singing “SambaChic”
* – For more on Funk/Soul influenced Brazilian music, see my article on singer Negra Li.