Daniela Mercury was born in the state of Bahia, one of the most musical regions of Brasil, and the place of origin of artists such as Caetano Veloso , Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil and many others.
At eight years of age she started dance classes which would give her the physical conditions to become, at 16, an artist and singer of the “Trios Elétricos” – sound equipped street trucks which lead enormous crowds parading through the center of Bahia’s capital, Salvador – during Carnival marathons, which in the case of the trio led by Daniela, lasts four days, seven hours a day.
These initial performances of audiences of over 10,000 people, taught her at a very early stage to feel completely at ease with the public that sere would start to dominate with her first appearances outside Salvador.
The first album, released by an independent label, took Daniela’s incredible shows to other Brazilian cities, with the single “Swing da Cor” a “samba-reggae” with the participation of Olodum, the percussion group from Bahia which became internationally known after their cooperation with Paul Simon and with Michael Jackson in the video “They Don’t Care About Us”.
In June 1992, while recording her debut album for Sony Music, Daniela, already known as the Queen of Axé Music, performed for audiences of over 30,000 people at São Paulo’s Museum of Modem Art. In Rio, her concert was attended by almost 40,000 fans, and later became a TV program.
The album “O Canto da Cidade”(The Chant of the City) was released in October 1992, reaching sales in excess of 1,2 million copies, and revealing the phenomenon of her talent. Internationally, the album was released in nine European countries, the US, Japan and Latin America.
The title track opened the album and her shows, full of drums and percussion. One of the most colorful and energetic performers of the world was emerging to become Brazilian music’s greatest representative.
Her first International show was at “The Ritz”, in New York, in April 1993.
In August 1994, Daniela Mercury delivered her second album for Sony Music, suitably called “Música de Rua”(Street Music). Produced by Liminha – as the previous one- this album was also launched worldwide, with the inclusion of a bonus track – the title song recorded in Spanish specially for the Spanish speaking territories, which ,by then, already represented established markets for her music.
Speaking of other markets, Daniela feels completely comfortable when she is asked about a possible language barrier for her music: “Perhaps I am the Brazilian artist who has less difficulty to express my work internationally. My audience might not understand the words when I sing but they certainly get the energy and the joy out of my music, and they sing to it.”
The video clip of “Música de Rua” was shot on 42nd Street and on the roof-tops of New York, in two versions – Portuguese and Spanish, under the direction of Danny Wolf.
October 96 – The long awaited third album on Epic / Sony Music is released “Feijão Com Arroz” (Beans and Rice) with an initial shipment of 500,000 units, (update sales are over 1,350,000 copies, Triple Platinum Award).
Among its 15 tracks, this album includes one of the most airplayed songs throughout Brazil over the first 6 months – “À Primeira Vista”- (At First Sight) a romantic song written by Chico Cesar, an author from the new generation of talents who’s been acclaimed by critics.
Also in this masterpiece album, the participation of Samuel Rosa – Skank’s lead vocalist – in the track “Minas com Bahia” , which describes the encounters of their two native states – Skank’s Minas Gerais and Daniela Mercury’s Bahia.
Another name from the new generation of artists, Carlinhos Brown, wrote two songs for this album: “Rapunzel” (with Alain Tavares) and “Vide Gal”, the latest with sweet and sour lyrics paying homage to the nature of Rio de Janeiro.
The album also includes a brand new recording of “Você Abusou”, a standard samba hit from the seventies, which Daniela heard on Stevie Wonder’s voice in Brazil in 1995 and decided to re-record it. It also appears as a bonus track in the international version of the album, in Spanish. A recording of all time famous Japanese song from the 60’s “Ue Wo Muite Aruko”, brilliantly sung in the original, is also included in the international version of this album.
In the middle of 1997 Daniela started an international tour, in Europe and United States which was also a great success with sold-out concerts.
In December, Daniela returned to Portugal for six sold-out gigs. The expectation from media and audience was strong, as her album was Top # 1 at the charts. “Feijão com Arroz” had sold over 200,000 copies until the end of 97 (5xPlatinum Album), which had never happened to a Brazilian artist in that country for over 15 years. Update sales in the Portuguese market are 250,000 units (6xplatinum).
During the first semester of 1998, Daniela Mercury visited France three times, for an intense promotional agenda with TV France 2, who chose her as the Brazilian music star of the European summer. She also recorded a brand new version of Jorge Bem Jor’s hit “País Tropical” , which was included in the official World Cup album“Allez!Ola!Olé!” .
In April, a TV France 2 crew came to Salvador to record a videoclip of the European summer hit “Rapunzel” (single sold over 320,000 copies in France). In June, the singer started and extensive tour all over Europe, including promo activities in different countries as well.
On August 22, Daniela
recorded her first live album in Salvador which included her main hits
and some unreleased tracks. The album, called “Elétrica”
, celebrated the huge success of her career and was recorded at one of
the most scenic spots in Brazil, a historic colonial mansion by the
1 - Her first single album was accomplished by Eldorado records in 1991 and it has Daniela Mercury’s name as the title. Her extraordinary success in Bahia revealed Daniela Mercury all over Brazil. The result was 300,000 copies sold and Swing da Cor, the best hit of the album, was sung across the country, after becoming a famous singer, Daniela Mercury signed a contract with Sony International.
2 - Daniela Mercury sold over a million copies and presented herself almost daily with her song “O Canto da Cidade”, which is also the name of the album. This album acclaimed her as the greatest success of the Brazilian radio broadcasting. in 1992 and 1993. During her tour through Latin America, U.S.A and Europe, she won the respect of audiences and critics. Her success has definitive reasons. She is a complete artist, she sings, dances, composes, makes the arrangements of her records and worries about all details involved in her concerts. She leads her own career.
3 - Her third album “Musica de Rua” put the artist again on tours throughout Brazil and abroad. Daniela Mercury has achieved an audience of 280,000 people at Praia Grande beach in Santos, Brazil. She has made two historic concerts in Uruguai, Latin America. The greatest one drew an audience of 250,000 people in Montevideo.
4 - Her album “Feijão com Arroz” consecrated Daniela Mercury as one of the most important Brazilian artists, this album sold 800,000 copies in just 6 months. She has four songs in the Brazilian hit parade. Thousands of people have attended her concerts and she has also been awarded as a great singer. Her songs are respected by the critics and loved by the fans.
5 - Daniela’s first live album by Sony, “Elétrica”, brought together her greatest hits and seven new songs, one of which a remake of a classic by Gilberto Gil. The album was recorded in 1998 and was a big success in the summer of 1999.
6 - her latest album, “
Sol da Liberdade”, the first by BMG, is a pop work which brings
together the best Brazilian composers as well as world famous producers
like Emilio Stefan. Its 13 and vibrant tracks mix up samba, reggae,
funk, pop, electronic and rap. “Ilê Pérola Negra”
and “Santa Helena” are the leading tracks airplayed all over
“Daniela Mercury is an
effervescent song stylist whose full bodied voice powers both
hip-shaking, anthemic tunes and poignant romantic narratives with
unwavering conviction and passion. A larger-than-life performer,
Mercury possesses a magnetic stage personality that never fails to
enrapture and fascinate concertgoers.”(John Lannert – Billboard
São Paulo stopped. How come? São Paulo never stops. But this is what happened in a winter afternoon, when over 30 thousand people were packed in Paulista Avenue (the heart of the city) beside the Modern Art Museum to watch Daniela Mercury. It was her debut in the biggest city of Brazil. And then, there were sold-out concerts all over the country. It was the establishment of an artist who made her singing and dancing the celebration of a nation. And melodiously she said: “The color of this city is me. The chant of this city is mine” (O Canto da Cidade), and she conquered the country!
“This young woman
has party in her blood. When she steps on stage, everybody dances
have fun. She smiles all the time, always excited and charming”
(Isabelle Nataf – Le Figaro – June 16, 1998)
Four albums were released by Sony Music – Canto da Cidade, Música de Rua, Feijão com Arroz, and Elétrica. Brazil was no longer a sleepy giant and danced and jumped with the axé-samba-pop sound of Daniela Mercury. The streets and uphills of Salvador, the electric trios (trucks with a sound system, which go along the city during Carnival any other time of the year) were showing an artist in the top of her performance and charisma. And the boundaries were too small.
“She is one of the
most popular singers of the last years: a white woman predominating in
the percussive music of the biggest black city of Brazil. Her
latest album, Feijão com Arroz sold over 1 million copies.
For months Daniela is triumphing in Portugal and France. A tour
along 15 European cities brings her to Madrid and Barcelona”(Carlos
Galilea – El Paris – July 20, 1998)
Argentina was the first country, the year was 1993 and the language was not a problem. The sonority and sensuality of Daniela Mercury were easy to be understood. The themes were sung in Portuguese and the lines in front of theaters and stadiums were no-ending. The sales were over 200,000 copies (3 times platinum).
“When Daniela was
interviewed last summer, I could check her magic, beauty and
sensuality. At that time I wrote I admired her voice, charisma
and presence. I already watched her in an electric trio in
Salvador. I saw a fascinated audience, singing her songs in
unison. This woman is definitely a very dynamic person blessed by
the gods of her home land. Porto and Lisbon will confirm this”(Jose
Manuel Simões – Jornal de Notícias – November 26, 1997)
Taking the “caravel” the opposite way, Daniela landed in Lisboa and Porto. And both astonished and curious, the Lusitans were coming, singing and dancing. Just a repetition, of course, as this is the normal reaction of the artist’ sound and work. And the radio stations airplayed her songs in a rhythm never seen before with any Brazilian artist. Week by week she was in the Top #1 position. And then came the first Gold Album, the first Platinum Album, the second, the third... the sixth Platinum Award. A record of all times. Over 250,000 copies sold in Portugal.
Daniela Mercury is
part of the notable Brazilians who reached an unequal success in
Portugal. After Feijão com Arroz reaches the double
platinum, she will play six concerts in Porto and Lisbon, for
over 18,000 people. It is the establishment of Bahia’s samba.
France was the next step. The song “Rapunzel” reached the Top #8 position at radio charts and the single sold over 170,000 copies that year. She was chosen by TV France 2 as the Brazilian music star of the European summer and of the 1998 World Cup.
“With the single
“Rapunzel”, the beauty from Bahia invades France. In Brasil and Latin
America she is already a star who crowds stadiums. Here it will
not be different, in the Prado beaches” (Denis Bonneville – La
Marseillaise – June 23, 1998)
Her live album. Eletrica (Electric), mixes electronic instruments used on trios with rock’n roll guitars and afro percussion. It was recorded in Salvador before an audience of 2,000 guests. It includes her main hits, such as “O Canto da Cidade”, “Swing da Cor”, “Musica de Rua”, “Rapunzel”, and six unreleased tracks. Eletrica also has a new recording of “Toda Menina Baiana”, a classic track of Brazilian Pop Music, written by Gilberto Gil.
“In Bahia, one of
the ultimate places in the world where music comes to light any time a
puts his foot on the floor, in Salvador of Jorge Amado and Dorival
there is a star, who opposing the Astronomy laws, doesn’t stop,
They also call her a volcano and a twister, to avoid any doubts about
phenomenal character and her condition as a force of Nature. She
sings, dances, contaminates, seduces – and she inflects all these verbs
in the first person. She mixes in wise and spontaneous
talent, vanity, sweat and professionalism. Thus she shines as a
The finishing stroke is her happiness, further irresistible for being
and popular. In Bahia of All Chants, just Daniela, electric
of our best and healthier energies’ (João Gobem – Revista
Visão – Lisboa).