by Rick Grant
After a year’s respite from covering live music, the wild night called me back to Aromas to cover Monica da Silva-a gifted Brazilian singer/songwriter. Since it was my call to trudge out on Saturday night, I previewed Monica’s music on Rhapsody. I was mesmerized by her bossa-nova rhythms for her Brazilian songs and her cleverly conceived pop songs, many of which have a Latin flavor.
Monica sings in Portugese and English with velvet pipes that seems to require no effort on her part. Monica sings lead and her partner and soulmate, Chad Alger accompanies her on acoustic guitar. The music this couple produces flows from the stage like cool water mixed with fiery sparkles of passion. Monica’s voice is distinctive and hits the ears with gentle tones. Her songs have catchy hooks and clever phrasing built around her Latin rhythms. Indeed, meeting Monica and Chad was a distinct pleasure.
Monica came off as a vivacious and down-to-earth young woman free of the ostentatious trappings of some flaky female singer/songwriters. Her Brazilian/American roots have given her a global sophistication which she fuses into her creative songwriting ideas.
During a break, Monica chatted with me about her career on the road. “We’ve been touring continuously and have played many gigs around Jacksonville. In fact, we are looking for a permanent place to stay and store our stuff while we tour in our Ford Explorer. My parents live here in Jax. So, it makes sense for Jacksonville to be our home base.”
“But we love to tour and we’ve had exciting experiences and met many musical icons. We tour as a little family with our two dogs and enjoy it tremendously. We love what we do and even when the money gets tight, we find a way to survive. We have some great road stories and I love to blog about our adventures,” Monica said.
Yes, Monica has the gypsy spirit which is the life-force of a musical artist. The entire music business is on the road most of the year. So, Monica and Chad have the right attitude to go through the ups and downs of a viciously competitive business that eats its own kind.
Monica’s music from her debut album Miles from Nowhere is breaking big on television shows, MTV, and The Style Network . Her relentless touring is beginning to pay off by winning new fans across the country. Monica is presently recording a new CD titled Brasilissima. She is planning to record at studios along her planned route to at least 20 States.
While Monica and Chad were having technical problems, I was amazed that Monica kept her cool. She just shrugged it off and took the time to fix the problem. Technical glitches are part of every live performance. Wires break, amps go down, microphones go silent. There are a myriad of things that can go wrong in a live situation.
My evening with Monica and Chad at Aromas was a delightful experience. It was fun to cover a truly deserving musical artist at the only club in town where I can smoke a cigar and drink a beer. Monica has a bright future in the biz. She’s smart and street savvy with a deep well of songwriting talent. And, above all, she is fully committed to doing whatever necessary to succeed by keeping a positive attitude and vision for the future.
Monica da Silva Live at Aromas
by Rick Grant