Quem você é é importante!
What is a Cape Verdean? We are of African decent but we aren’t connected to the continent. The islands were colonized by the Portuguese and it’s the official language but the people speak Kriolu most of the time. The Latin community can identify with us, but don’t consider us Latino. The answer is, we are everything!!
Nearly ever slave ship that left the coast of Africa stopped on the Cape Verdean Islands before continuing where they would eventually land. It is almost impossible to track how far the Cape Verdean blood lines have reached on the globe.
My mother was born on the Cape Verdean Islands before immigrating to the United States. Growing up hearing her talk about the Islands it was like an imaginary place that I knew existed but had never seen. My mom speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole, and English so at times I didn't know what her race was other than, Cape Verdean.
But my thoughts right now are more about nha avo (My Grandmother) Maria De Grace aka Mama Daluz. I grew up very close to my father's mother so my heart was built for that type of love. I really wish I could've had more time with Mama Daluz but life happens and we all go on our paths and we don't realize how much we wish we had someone until they are gone.
I was blessed enough to visit Mama Daluz a few weeks before she passed. Mama Daluz spoke some English, but for me it was very hard to understand her. At the time that I sat with her, I could understand some Spanish but couldn't speak it, and really couldn't speak any Portuguese or Creole. So I remember sitting there with her trying our best to communicate. Thankfully, the few things we were able to express to one another were very significant but most of all we shared love in that moment. May God rest her soul in peace!
On my album "Coach Rise" I make reference to Cape Verde several times. But none more than on the song "Dancing With a Spanish Jawn" featuring my Boriqua brother JB Real. Prior to writing the song I started taking Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese classes. I am now about 2 months into those classes and all of the influence I have to learn come directly from my Mama Daluz, my mother, as well as Jabriel's (JB Real) mother, Nilda who is Puerto Rican. For that influence is why the song is 4 minutes and 21 seconds long which is my mother's birthday 4/21 and actually my birthday backwards 1/24.
Obrigado, mães, por suas influências para mim. Você me ajudou a fazer música melhor. Que Deus abençoe todas as mães do mundo!