Anabela Silva is a 21 years old girl, she loves music and enjoys creating and making music. We saw her on Instagram where she posted one video from a Dire Straits song. The song was “Romeo and Juliet” and Anabela played and sang with her amazing voice. She played on acoustic guitar and we contacted her.
So we decided that is good to do a short interview with Anabela. The whole interview you can read down below.
DSB: Firstly we want to thank you for this exclusive interview for the Dire Straits Blog and for the fans that will read this. Can you tell us something about yourself, who is Anabela?
Thanks for the invitation, my pleasure! Well, it’s never easy to describe ourselves. Anabela is a country/folk singer, songwriter and composer: that’s what I do for a living. I’m also a student of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Faculty of Pharmacy (University of Porto). Mainly, I’m a singer in the world.
DSB: How old are you, where do you live and where are you from?
I’m 21 years old and I’m from Portugal. I was born in a beautiful small village called “Abragão”, in Penafiel (Oporto). Currently, I moved to the city of Oporto because it’s where I give most of my shows and where I’m studying.
DSB: Are you a professional musician and do you have a music career?
I’m a professional musician. I used to say that to everybody but they don’t seem to believe. In my country being a musician, it’s not taken seriously, unfortunately. It’s a “spare-time” thing, you know.
DSB: What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m a volunteer firefighter. I love helping people in everything I can, it’s a part of what I really am and that’s a huge chunk of my spare time. I love knowing everything about my biggest inspirations so I’m always watching biography movies and reading books. And of course, I take my guitar everywhere, literally. I’m always trying to write new songs, create melodies, re-invent songs, that’s it.
DSB: When and why did you start playing?
I sing since I can breathe. I remember when I was a little girl, my neighbors passed near my house and always asked me to sing. I never said no. I think I always knew what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do for a living.
On guitar, things started a little bit later. When my big brother turned 16 years old, he received an acoustic guitar for his birthday. When he wasn’t home I used to go to the internet and see how to play the songs I wanted to. I was 12, and I never stopped since then. My brother had to buy a new guitar a few years later, because I totally took her for me and called her “Lucille”, like B.B. King. A few years ago I bought my first guitar, a 1988 Japanese acoustic Takamine and she’s my baby. I play with her in every show.
Me and little brother playing “Jenny Wren” by Paul McCartney. #jennywren #paulmccartney #chaosandcreationinthebackyard #rooftoplive #rooftop #rooftopsessions #acousticsession #acousticcover #brother #beatles #takamineguitars #countrylife #countrystyle #folkmusic #hippielovers #zoomh4n #zoom @zoomsoundlab #musicians #singer @singer_songwriter_talents
DSB: Which famous musicians have you learned from?
I never wanted to sing or play like anyone. I want to sound like me. Untune the strings, find my tuning, and play like myself. Obviously, I have my inspirations and always people who sing and play alone: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Melanie Safka. I’m not a great guitar player, I do what I have to do to support my voice, to create songs, I don’t know, to feel alright, to sound alright.
DSB: What kind of music do you like and who is your favorite music bands/artists?
I’ve been through many different stages in my life when it comes to musical taste. When I was young, I used to listen to a lot of hardcore, heavy metal, and stuff. When I turned 18, don’t ask me why, I started to listen to different things, like country and folk but soul, R&B, rock and roll and blues too. But there’s one thing that never changed: I listen to Dire Straits since…well…always.
My mom used to call Mark Knopfler “the guy with a ribbon on his head”. I grow up with their songs and, maybe, that’s why I love them so much. I can say, with no doubt, that Dire Straits are my favorite band, ever. And everybody that knows me, knows that as well.
DSB: About Dire Straits, when was the first time when you listened to a song from them, which song was that and when was the first cover version that you made from Dire Straits?
I don’t remember exactly the first time I listen to them, because I must have been very young. But the oldest memory I have is my mom and I whistling “Walk of Life” and that was probably the first song I listened to. The first song I covered from Dire Straits was “Romeo and Juliet”. Covering their songs it’s almost forbidden for me because doesn’t make sense you cover a song if you have no intention to make your own version or turn it better.
So, it’s impossible to turn better a Dire Straits song. Their songs are what you can call perfect. I do not have the courage to cover Dire Straits very often, but I also can’t resist, (haha). So, sometimes I play “So Far Away” and “Walk of Life” in my shows too. But, to be honest, I prefer to avoid doing that.
DSB: Which are your favorite classic songs from Dire Straits?
My favorite song is “On Every Street”. That says everything I need to hear for every moment of my life. That makes me feel happy, sad, hungry, inspired, and everything at the same time. I never get tired of listening to that song, analyze the lyrics, listen to the different versions. “There’s gonna be a record of you someplace, you gotta be on somebody’s books”. Maaaaaan! That’s so inspiring. I wanted to give up so many times, but I think “No, wait! You have to leave a mark before that”, because of that song.
“Romeo and Juliet” is my favorite love song. It’s not like the other ones, in which everything is perfect or everything went wrong. It shows the truth of love. It’s not perfect, you fall in love and it’s amazing but it can go wrong, and Mark Knopfler shows it so well in this song. “Private Investigations” from “Love Over Gold” is one of my favorite songs too. It’s so powerful and so hard to talk about that song. “Local Hero” and “Brothers in arms” are in my top as well. It’s so hard to pick some of their songs, but these five are the most special songs for me.
DSB: How many cover versions of Dire Straits songs have you made?
Like I said before, not so many. They’re too special for me to do that. There’s only one person I love to listen to play their songs, his name is Sérgio Vasconcelos. One of my favorite guitarists and I love listening to him. He can give the soul, the feeling, and turn them of his own and still perfect. Sometimes I sing Dire Straits songs with him, but only for our private consume, haha.
DSB: Do you enjoy listening to music from Dire Straits?
I love to listen to Dire Straits. They have songs for every moment: when I’m going on trips, when I go driving to the shows, when I was melancholic at home I play their albums on vinyl when I’m sad when I’m happy… I can discover new songs, new artists but I will always come back to my roots.
DSB: Do you perform in public?
Yeah, a lot. I play every weekend, sometimes 3 or 4 shows for the weekend. I’m not a very social person, so I have my ideas, my songs and I play a lot of solo because of that. But through the years I met people who helped me change my mind a little bit.
Sérgio Vasconcelos is the musician who understands me better, he knows what I like to do with songs, he gives his ideas but he still respects the soul I want to give for songs. So, I play a lot with him too and we understand each other very well. Like Sérgio, there are three other guys who saw me grow and that I love to play and share things with. Their names are Rogério Santos (he’s keyboard player), André Barbosa (he’s bassist, drummer, pianist and play a million of other instruments), and Ricardo Jesus (Drummer). They are really great musicians and we play together in a band called Ømnia.
DSB: Who are your musical influences?
I used to say my biggest inspirations are Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and the 6 J’s: Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Jeff Buckley, Johnny Cash, and Joss Stone. People can see one little part of each of them in me. Dire Straits are not an inspiration, they are the air I breathe, it’s a completely different thing.
DSB: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
To not be nervous. What the worse thing that can happen? People say “no”? People don’t like what you’re doing? Even the kings have had those feelings once in their lives. What really matters is to stay true to yourself, do what you want, say what you want, and don’t have fear to be criticized or hated. People do that all the time to everyone.
DSB: What is your motto in life and what is that which motivates you to continue with good vibes and positive energy in life?
Always stay true to yourself, and no matter where you go in life, come back to your roots. Be kind, be honest, and make a difference in someone else life. If at the end of the day you made one person smile, that definitely worth it.
I love my family, I love my brothers, they are so amazing people, so smart, so active, and they always tell me that I’m terrible. I know that’s not what they think, but they keep tell me because they know that my goal in life makes them proud of me. And that’s the way I grow, always trying to be better. Always.
DSB: And for the end can you tell something to all fans who read the Dire Straits Blog?
You’re awesome guys! Awesome musical taste. Keep supporting the people who fight to make good music last. I want to thank Dire Straits Blog for the great time I spent answering these questions, and for supporting new musicians. You’re awesome as well.