Anané and Louie Vega

ON ANANÉ’S MIAMI TO-DO LIST
FAVORITE PLACE TO CATCH SOME SUN: THE BEACH AT
78TH AND COLLINS... NO TOURISTS, JUST LOCALS
BEST WAY TO SPEND A SUNDAY: SHOPPING AT THE
FARMERS’ MARKET ON LINCOLN ROAD
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: MR CHOW AT THE W SOUTH BEACH
FAVORITE PLACE TO STAY OUT ’TIL DAWN: MY TERRACE,
WATCHING THE SUNRISE
THE FIRST PLACE I PLAYED IN MIAMI: THE VAGABOND
A TRIP TO MIAMI IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT: A COOL
PAIR OF SHADES, SUNBLOCK AND LIP GLOSS

W

hen the singer, songwriter, DJ and producer Anané was growing up—first in Cape Verde, then in Portugal and finally in Rhode Island—the music of her native West African island often filled the house. On weekends the extended family would gather, and “everyone was singing and playing guitars into the night,” says the former model and part-time Miami resident best known for her vocal work as part of Louie Vega’s Elements of Life collective.

You can hear a taste of that morna—the melancholy Cape Verdean music made popular by Cesaria Evora—when Anané sings “Terra Longe,” a Cape Verdean standard, onAnanésworld, the singer’s new album. Her father plays percussion and her mother sings on the track. The lyrics are in Cape Verdean, a dialect Anané didn’t even speak growing up but found herself instantly writing from when she began composing.

Ananésworld is the singer’s first solo stateside release (she had an album in Japan five years ago). The music varies from rock to reggae to morna to afrobeat, all united under a pulsing dance groove. The singer says the disc opens with a cover of Yoko Ono’s “Walking on Thin Ice” because she could relate to Ono’s effort to free herself artistically from her husband’s shadow. “Being associated with a genius can be a double-edged sword,” says Anané, who is married to Vega. “My husband is someone I admire, but his are pretty big shoes to step into.”

Anané is stepping out on her own quite well these days. She’s known to take to the mike and sing during her DJ sets, like she did at last month’s Winter Music Conference where she performed at Wall at the W South Beach. She’s been coming to WMC since before she hooked up with Louie—it would be hard to imagine a Conference without the Vegas’ famous sets. “It’s interesting to see how it’s changed; the crowd’s changed. To still be involved after so long and have the newer generation wanting to hear you, I must be doing something right.”

Working on Nulu, the label she cofounded, also keeps Anané busy. Nulu has been releasing a single per month, mostly by African artists to whom the Cape Verdean native feels a kinship. “Nulu” stands for “nothing ultimately leaves us.”

“That’s what music is,” Anané says. “It stays embedded in you. You hear a song and it takes you back to a time and place.” And sometimes, it can even take you back to a language you didn’t know you knew.

Like what you're reading? Get it delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now for our newsletters >>