What happens when a Massachusetts farm girl falls in love with a man from Brazil? She abandons her pop career and returns to her country music roots. This time around, she sings each song half in English, half in Portuguese. The story of Shanna and Joe starts in 2014, “When I first met Joe, his English was broken and we had some cultural differences. But as time progressed, I realized that there was never a barrier between us at all. Even though we spoke different languages, we had love.
“Love has always been the universal language.”
So began Shanna’s introduction to Brazilian culture in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Although the Bay State’s climate can’t be any more different than, say, Rio de Janeiro’s, Massachusetts is home to the largest Brazilian population in the United States. What’s the attraction? It’s a combination of the state’s robust job market and a thriving Portuguese-speaking community that has existed in Massachusetts since Colonial times.
As her relationship with Joe and his friends deepened, Shanna grew to love the Brazilian culture and community. “I often joke with him that I’m the wannabe Brazilian,” she says.
“Every single Brazilian person I’ve met has worn their heart on their sleeve. I realized their community was much like the small town I grew up in,” Shanna says, recalling her years in Dunstable, Massachusetts, a farming community on the New Hampshire border.
She says, “My original pieces of music discuss three different types of love a person can experience throughout a lifetime. They can experience self love, love of another, and or a spiritual love with their creator, whomever they may define as such.”
Lifting spirits—while bridging cultures—is what Shanna’s music is all about. Think bilingual pop tunes like her recently recorded singles, “Amor” and “Diferentes Anjos,” or “Todos os Dias.” Or, her saucy cover in English of The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love” which touches on both Brazilian and Anglo sensibilities.
Through music, Shanna aims to create hope in a tumultuous, unsettling world.
As you listen to Shanna, you find your experience going well beyond hearing an artist in performance. It becomes a musical relationship with family.