InterNational Day of FIERCE!

She is fierce. End of. I’ve been hearing about the band MONA (Rock / Marrabenta / Progressive Metal) for quite a while now, but never bothered to go and see their shows,I simply thought it wouldnt be my 'thing'. Last Saturday my friend Johara convinced me to go to their Video premiere, Txopela, at Gil Vicent, and I thought..."Oh what the heck. How bad could it be?" Not bad at all, in fact, it was great! I found out that right now they're are owners of the only Rock/Metal Record Label in Mozambique. How about that?!

The beauty of music is that it is highly universal and at the same time, very diverse. Universal in the sense that everyone can relate to it (duh!) and diverse in the sense that there are soooooooo many different genres and while I'm hot for a particular genre, you hate it completely. That being said, whether you are a rock head, a jazz fellow, a lover of the more traditional afro beat or a whatever toots your horn, you’ve got to give Miss Yara Polana her due. She is good at what she does.

You may know her as Monace, Guitarist/Back up Vocalist. Her voice is amazing, not that clean-cut pop star kinda voice, but the ruged edgy kind, the kind we like. Screaming out things like "Tenho um pe cheio de matequenha!" she can make any song sound good. Add the fact that she has an absurdly charismatic and energetic stage presence, then multiply that by her fantastic personality, gorgeous kinky hair, simplistic wordrobe, and overall amazing sense of confidence and you’ve got a chick who inspires me to step my game up everyday in terms of how I present myself to the world and how I tackle my professional life.

No, seriously. As far as talented young female Musicians in Mozambique are concerned, they are not many. A complete list would probably make the World’s Thinnest Book. I’m quite sure Yara is gonna be adding a leaf to this book.

If you’ve never seen/heard her live before (or if you have, whatever) I urge you to to go see the next MONA show. FIERCE.

I just called Yara up this morning for this quick chat...

Tell us about yourself, we know your name is Yara but where
are you from, where did you grow up, school etc?

Born and raised in Maputo, I went to a school that was know as Delta, but it no longer exists. Not much to say.
Would you say you are from a musical family?
No. not really. My family isn’t one you’d call a musical family but everyone has an
ear for music. I learned to play the Piano with my father. But I didn’t like it. I even went to the Music school, in around 2000, but I gave up. I just wasn’t interested.
What made you choose music, was it always something you knew you would do?
Not really...
I like challenges. And music was a new challenge for me. I wanted to be the only woman to play rock. I bought my own guitar. Music began to kickin around 2005. And I immediately joined a band, that was called Guided by Nightmares. It was sort of magical how it all happened so fast.

What challenges have you faced in your journey thus far ?
Me, being woman. They don’t believe in women. No one ever wanted girl to play in their the band. They would be like “Oh no, she’s a girl. We don’t need girls in our band.” So I started to play metal. That really impressed people.
And shortly after I joined Simba and the Brown Band. and started travelling and playing in different countries.
Do you sometimes feel there are two different yous… Yara the
musician and Yara the….?

Absolutely! I’m completitly shy about…everything; [laughs]
The Yara onstage is totally different, on stage I have to show people who I really am. I have to show my skills.
What genre of music do you consider categorize yourself to be in?
Metal. Rock is more popular, it’s more pleasing to the crowd. But Metal is personal to me. It’s about me, and no one else.
Are you currently signed to a record label?
No I’m not. I’m totally independent.
Typical question but who writes the songs for Mona?
We all join in. We work on it has a group.
What would you say or who would you consider to be your biggest
musical influence
My own stuff inspires me. Musicians are constantly creating. My inspirations is continuous work, and creation.
What are your immediate music career goals?
Open doors for Rock in the Mozambican music industry.
Any advice for all of us wanna-be’s?
Challenge. The more you challenge yourself, the better you are. Go out and show what you can do. Playing inside your room to yourself wont do you any good.
If you could have one song playing softly in the back of your hear. What would it be?
Im Bad – Michael Jackon.
Enough said!


Anonymous said…
yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... viva miss Talumba win!!huooooooooooooooooooooooo....!vivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa os monas...talu es unica!

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