b. Ceres, Brazil. Mendes has been dubbed ‘the Brazilian Sade’. According to pop legend, the student of Brazil’s University of Music relocated from her country of birth to the UK in order to track down producer Robin Millar. Acquiring the phone number of the sometime Sade and Everything But The Girl collaborator, Mendes apparently seduced Millar into the studio by singing onto his answer phone. Nevertheless, uttering lines like ‘You are the sexiest man I ever saw’ (‘Night Night’) and ‘Freedom is the best gift of life, so take it’ (‘Natural High’), Mendes’ sensuality can seem slightly forced in comparison to her heroine. Credited as part of the nu Brazil scene, Mendes merges the traditional influences of her birthplace with contemporary inspirations (including Björk). Gentle Brazilian beats are juxtaposed with acoustic guitar, synthesizers, and subtle programming. Mendes states her aesthetics succinctly on ‘Night Night’: ‘I know what life is for/I want to live life for pleasure’. Ive Mendes was released in 2002 via the Brighton-based Mr Bongo label, which commissioned sympathetic remixes of Mendes work by the likes of DJ Marky And XRS, Thomas Schumaker and Sao Benitez, releasing the results via the label’s Brazilian Beats compilation series. A Mendes recording was notably used as the theme to Courpo Dourado, a major Brazilian soap opera.
- Ceres, Brazil