Photo: Taos News

Photo: Taos News

 

Biography

"...The closest analogy for DULA’s powerhouse mix is Angelique Kidjo in the first flush of her earlier exuberance. Soulful, stirring, sharp and sassy, Dula is a new African voice to rank alongside the very best." Songlines

Born and raised in Luanda, Angola, Vivalda Dula become one of the voices of the new generation of Angolan musicians that creates a significant cultural and international impact on today's Angolan music. Dula is an activist, singer-songwriter, percussionist and dancer. She is multi-award winning, nominated/finalist of StarAfrica Sound, (ISC) International Songwriting Competition and Angola Music Awards (AMA). Dula sings mostly about Love and social inequality, particularly in Angola. Vivalda is raising social awareness against child labor, modern slavery, and human trafficking with her award nominated song ´Mázui´(voices) and ´Monandengue´(children).

In 2013 she released her first EP “Insanidade Mental” (Mental Insanity) that has been awarded a Best World Beat Song by The Akademia Music Award with song “Marcas do Meu Olhar”. Among her awards include finalist of Star Africa Sound, Angola Music Awards, International Songwriting Competition. In May 2015 she released her full solo album named 'Africa' recorded in Houston-Texas, USA featuring Nu-Classical Pianist/Composer Kris Becker from USA and Guzheng player Shiwei Wei from China.  Vivalda is also raising social awareness against child labor, modern slavery, and human trafficking with her award nominated song “MÁZUI” that in Angola native language Kimbundu mean ´´Voices´´.

As a young child she was influenced by her grandfather António Domingos a storyteller and her great grand father Dia Lobilo, a master instrumentalist of the Madimba (African Xylophone) and the Kisanji (Thumb Piano). Vivalda joined Minessa Dance company as a dancer in 2004, and in the same year she co-hosted the television show “Estrelas ao Palco”, that aired on Angola’s Public Television (TPA) network.

In 2006, Vivalda joined the Afro-contemporary Dance and Percussion company Manésema, where she had the opportunity to represent Angola at the 7th International Festival of Traditional Music and Dance in Valencia, Spain. A year later she joined the dance and percussion group Kielela that specialized in traditional Angolan music.                             

After forming the Afro-contemporary Dance and Percussion company “Karapinha Dura“ in 2009, Vivalda started working with classic Chilean guitarist Dr. Marcelo Vilches-Robert (MV-Robert), and began experimenting with the fusion of Angolan traditional sound and classical music. This creative musical relationship between Vivalda and MV-Robert, gave birth to her first musical “MUJÍTU” or “The Guest“ in 2010. The MUJÍTU Afro-contemporary musical premiered in 2011 in Luanda, Angola at the prestigious LAASP, and then in Houston, USA in 2013 during the 6th Akwaaba Dance and Drum Festival.

Dula´s father was a former FAPLA soldier (Angolan Armed Forces) in Angola civil war period. When he returned unstable from the war, Dula's mother worried about the children's safety ran away from him taking  the children including Vivalda Dula. While a teen, she was a football player and entered to a second-division team called Footscola in Terra Nova. She earned a scholarship for playing sports that allowed her to conclude her pre-university studies in Social science at private school named ´´Cruz Linda´´ in Luanda.

While leading Karapinha Dura and studying International Relations at UPRA a university in Angola, Dula worked a day job as Ambassador Assistant of Mr. Kazuhiko Koshikawa former Japan Ambassador in Angola to pay for school tuition of her youngest brother and sisters to allow them to have the same education as well as her mother who is a military widow. Later Dula relocated to USA to pursue a solo music career. 

Throughout her career, Dula shared the stage with well known world music artists and bands such as Salif Keita, Cheick Hamala Diabate, Allen Toussaint, Ruth Foster , Beat & Wind from Japanasia, Cassandra Wilson and Gabriel Tchiema. Also, in November 2017 she was invited by playwright, theater and opera director Gerald Thomas to sing ''Gimme Shelter'' and ''Out Of Control'' from Rolling Stones to his highly acclaimed play named ''Dilúvio'' (Deluge).