ANA RITA SIMONKA

Biography

"The Brazilian soul has a profound vocation for the fusion of different languages in art: I did nothing but take this vocation to the last frontiers, including in my roots elements that had never been experienced before - and that is why they call me as a visionary artist, but I want to go far beyond aesthetics: I want to open minds and hearts to break their own internal barriers on a philosophical path to the Truth "

 

Few artists are so inspired to the point of creating a new genre: the Brazilian-born vocalist and songwriter Ana Rita Simonka is one of these artists hard to label. Independent producer, she is deeply committed to joining tradition and future. Her debut Album “Bossa Nova Delhi” – an exotic fusion between Brazilian MPB with Classical Indian Music - has been acclaimed worldwide with the track “Mais Filhos de Gandhi” selected to the Putumayo-USA's special “Gardens of Eden” compilation. Since then, she has been working with the main independent Labels in Brazil such as MCD, AzulMusic, LuaMusic and Tratore and also having her music on TV shows, soap operas and well-being programs.  

Master in combining different musical languages, her melodies stems from an unique vocal personality where the density of her mantric voice joins intricate Brazilian rhythms with refined improvisations; playing guitar, she creates an exotic blend of Bossa Nova, Brazilian Jazz, folk rhythms such as Maracatus, Cirandas, Forrós e Milongas ornated by modal atmospheres that evoque an ecstatic and devotional mood, revealing the profound influence of many traditions such as Indian Raga, Arabian Maqam, Gregorian Chant, Flamenco and Shamanism. Opening the Brazilian roots to all kind of sonorities that she feels are suitable to create an hypnotic and cozzy atmosphere to give life to the visionary message of her lyrics, her Albums are an obsessive seeking of new sounds that you've never heard before such as Tibetan Bowls with Afro-Latin Percussion; Persian Santur with Cavaquinho, Ney Flute with Bombo Leguero, Zampona with Indian Sitar, Berimbau with Snujs, Tablas with Brazilian Viola, Derbaques with Djembê amongst many other surprises.

Proficient in many instruments, Ana Rita Simonka plays Acoustic Guitar, Brazilian Viola, Indian Tampura, World Percussion and Synths leading all levels of musical production and reaching an incredible and organic fluidity.The repertory is also an astonishing journey presenting new versions of traditional chants such as mantras, sufis and gregorian prayers beside of her own songs.The main subject in her lyrics is the contrast between the ordinary life and the deepest realms of the soul in a mystical poetry full of symbols and hidden messages depicting the sacred and the profane, the meaning of life, the path of awakening, the seeking for Truth and the hero´s journey. She celebrates the ordinary man alongside yogis, shamans, mediums and healers in a dimension where the spirituality is in the core of everyday life and also any language can be a sacred language as long as the message is love. Her songs elevates the audience to a dimension of enchantment where the most humble facts of life reach a philosophical status bringing quotes from the Gospels, Upanishads, Vedanta, Plato, Plotinus, Thomas Aquinas or St. Francis os Assis and remembering Tagore, Rumi, Kabir, Sanay, Dante Alighieri or Shakespeare. She incorporates to Brazilian music the force and ecstasy from the Qawalli Sufi, the Indian Kirtan or the Gurbani Sikh definitely creating a remarkable and personal style of music.

She grew up surrounded by music and dance and since childhood she has been involved in the arts: her father is a renowned traditional dancer, the "Old Pietro", and for several years she worked teaching and performing Latin dances with him. Her taste for dance took her a long way that introduced Yoga and Belly Dance into her life, arousing her interest in meditation through the arts. Her father was the one who took her to study music with internationally renowned Brazilian names such as Maestro Benedito Costa, the percussionist Papete, the Trio Mocotó artists who accompanied Jorge Benjor and the guitarist Carioca among many others. From this eclectic lineup, Ana Rita highlights the classic study of Choro Brasileiro and Bossa Nova harmonies having as her main inspirations to develop her guitar style the influence of artists such as João Gilberto, Baden Powell, João Bosco and Toninho Horta.

Her art also reflects her mother´s land heritage from Minas Gerais, where more than 300 years ago the Brazilian cultural identity emerged from the unusual blend of Christian Chants of the Portuguese and Spanish Baroque Churches with African drums beside local indigenous rattles and prayers to reveal the essence of fusion that defines the Brazilian soul – much more than aesthetics but also a wise way of life: through the music the boundaries between people of such different backgrounds have been broken, thus creating a nation who are famous for their contagious joy, spontaneous fraternity, and powerful intuitive spirituality – and it´s from these blended boundaries that Ana Rita Simonka makes her music so universal and energetic.

Tireless traveler and seeker, Ana Rita Simonka currently lives in Portugal where she breaths the air of her Portuguese heritage and dives into her Iberic origins to discover new possibilities to inspire her life and her art.

 

Academic Training

Ana Rita Simonka holds a Master of Science in Communication and Music from the University of São Paulo and also a Master of Yoga / FMU (Kayvalyadhama - India). She has been a disciple of the great Brazilian holistic healer Dr. Mário Baldani, and has studied with Sufi teacher Adnan Sharan (Sufi Foundation of America / NM) since 2009. She has pioneered teaching Mantra Yoga and Yoga Dance in Yoga Teacher Training Programs in Brazil leading workshops and retreats at holistic events all over Brazil for the last twenty years.

Discography

Her debut Album “Bossa Nova Delhi” has been acclaimed worldwide with the track “Mais Filhos de Gandhi” in Putumayo-USA's special “Gardens of Eden” compilation; in this work she creates songs using the Ragas of India as melodies as well as incredible mergers of new rhythms. Next are the Albums “Mantra 1” and “Mantra 2”, thus establishing her unique style of Brazilian New Age. Her tracks soon hit international collections such as “Budha Lounge”, “Saara Lounge” and “Caras Zen”, as well as many soundtracks for TV shows, series and soap operas having the labels MCD, AZULMUSIC, LUAMUSIC and TRATORE as partners. In the last years she has been dedicated to the creation of long music for meditation and healing, launching the series “Yoga Dance”, “Dances of Fire, Wind, Clouds and Earth” and “Yoga Music Brasil” and the single “Resistiremos!”. She also produced many multimídia textbooks such as “Mantras and Chakras” and “Subtle Sounds”, among others.