Vanessa De Mata
Vanessa Sigiane da Mata Ferreira was born in Alto Garças, a small town in Mato Grosso located 399 km (248 miles) from state capital Cuiabá. Her article in the Portuguese Wikipedia stated that she has Xavante ancestry through her maternal grandmother. Vanessa has denied these claims, but said that her grandmother has indeed Native Brazilian ancestry, although she “can’t identify from which tribe”.
An autodidact in music, Vanessa listened to very different genres in her childhood; from Luiz Gonzaga to Tom Jobim, and from Milton Nascimento to Orlando Silva. She would also listen to regional music like carimbó through the records brought by an uncle who travelled to the Amazon. She was also familiar with samba, sertaneja music, and even brega Italian music, which were available to her through a local AM radio station. In several interviews, she cites deceased samba singer Clara Nunes as an influential figure in her compositions and image.