She’s being called the Cape Verdean Diva, and for good reason. Her voice is like silk. She commands her audience with how she moves on stage. When you hear this young lady’s soulful music for the first time, the infectious melody penetrates your soul and permeates your body. Join me as I get to know this superstar.
We kicked the interview off asking about Mayra’s parentage: despite having two Cape Verdean parents, she was, in fact, born in Cuba. How did this come about?
I get this question a lot. In those days in Cape Verde, there wasn’t a lot you could do if there were any complications with your pregnancy. So when my mother did indeed develop complications with me, she and my father knew they had to seek help elsewhere. Fortunately for us, my father was in the military and was able to travel quite extensively. Having previously visited Cuba with his job, he was well aware of the advances in medical technology that had been made there. So there we went. When we arrived, they had everything ready for her and it was a seamless delivery. So yes, I was born in a Cuban hospital. But after a few weeks, the three of us: my father, my mother and I retuned to Cape Verde so my family could meet me.
Mayra quickly jumped into talking about her childhood and how she grew up. Shortly after her birth, her parents’ marriage broke down and her mother remarried. But she has fond memories of her first couple years in Cape Verde. By then, her father was a diplomat for the Cape Verdean government, which granted her the opportunity to travel often with her family and to live in numerous countries during her childhood.
I lived in Cape Verde until the age of six before we moved away but, even though I have lived in many different countries, the summers were always spent back in Cape Verde with my family. It was so much love and culture. I can remember playing in the mountains and building cabanas on the beach. It was a simple life.
Not missing a beat, we move on to music as I’m really curious to know where this passion come from.
I can remember being very young singing everywhere, for anyone: I wasn’t shy! I asked my parents for a guitar when I was about four years old. As a kid, people didn’t have to ask me to sing because I was always ready. When my family had guests over, they always had to sit through one of my shows. Looking back now, it is so funny. It was something I really enjoyed doing! So, I guess that I was truly destined for this career.