CéU’s real name is Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças, but perhaps ‘Mary of heaven, full of grace’ would better describe how she looks and sounds! What strikes you first and foremost is CéU’s incredible voice, with its highly subtle tessitura.
For Brazilians, it might evoke the multicultural quality of Gal Costa, and for others, Lauren Hill. These names can serve as reference points, but they are soon forgotten as we listen to CéU’s unique timbre. The versatility of her voice in different registers is truly astonishing. Her cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Concrete Jungle’ shows what a great voice can do for legendary music – transcending it without betraying it.
From contemporary Brazil comes CéU, with an album blending force and grace.
Her roots are in samba, which “sticks to the soles of her feet”. But she covers many other musical territories too, from soul to afrobeat and electrojazz. With a rare maturity and finesse, she has taken a rich and eclectic musical culture and made it all her own.