Her beautiful track, Moya, was nominated for a 2014 RnB Song of the Year at AFRIMA. Hailing from a family of talented musicians, we got a chance to speak with the musically gifted Mozambican Isabel Novella.
When did you know you had a talent for music?
I always say music chose me, I grew up in a musical family where my mother, father and older brothers played and sang, being surrounded by music the interest for it came naturally to me. When I was 5 years old, I asked my brother NecoNovellas to teach me and my sister how to sing. Being involved in the music world from that tender age, my passion and interest kept growing to a point I realized that music was part of me.
Do you write your own songs? What inspires your songs?
Yes, I do write my own songs. I like writing a lot, and inspiration comes in any moment , place and time, I am inspired by life itself, my experiences, my views, the world around me. And I write about all that, life experiences, thoughts, feelings & emotions, love, other people stories, fantasies, nature, conversations I have and the changes I would like to see in the world.
Which African musical artists have inspired you or influenced your music?
Miriam Makeba (South Africa), Sally Nyolo (Cameroon), Asa (Nigeria), Mingas (Mozambique), these are some of the African women artists that inspire and influence me as an artist, through their stories and achievements. In my family, my big inspiration is my brother NecoNovellas, who has been with me in this musical journey since the beginning.
What languages do you sing in? Are there any other languages you wish to perform in one day?
I sing in Portuguese, English, Changane and Chope (Mozambican languages). Definitely, I hope to use other different languages in the future, I would like to sing in Swahilli, Macua and Mashuabo.
What else are you passionate about besides music?
I have a passion for fashion and I am living this passion by designing my own stage clothes and now working on my own clothing line, INkama, to be released soon.
I also have a big passion for children and I really want to be able to work with kid. I am working on my project for kids (to target orphans and children infected and affected by HIV). I will bring news on this the near future. Being able to help others and giving back is a priceless sensation and is something I am passionate about and hope to do more and more to help others.Tell us more about your charitable work?
I have recently been nominated as an AAPI (African Artists Peace Initiative) Ambassador, a Pan-African movement of artists and peace-makers, championing a culture of peace and non- violence in Africa. The idea is to use ''ARTS'' as a weapon and tool for peace education and non-violence in Africa.
What is your favourite place in Africa, and why?
I must say that Africa is a blessed continent. I haven’t been able to see many countries yet, but I want and hope to explore more of this continent.
My favourite place so far is Zanzibar, Tanzania. It felt like home to me as it reminds me a lot of Mozambique Island in the north of Mozambique, which is another of my favourite places. I felt the warmth of the people from the moment I arrived there.
Cape Town, South Africa, has Signal Hill and Table Mountain, which are peaceful and a place I could just go to be with myself.
One of the places I really want to visit soon is the Okavango Delta in Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. They are on top of my list for now.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years from now, I will be running my own charity foundation and the kids will be having opportunities to fulfill their dreams and pursue a good education. My name and music will be a reference for the African continent and my clothing line will be well known. People will be rocking the INkama outfits everywhere (I dream big!).
I want to inspire people and in 10 years, I want to look back and see that I have inspired young generations to fulfill their dreams.
What advice can you provide other young people trying to pursue their dreams?
My advice is: you must dream, believe, have faith and work hard to make your dreams come true. Dream big, start small and grow bigger, but do all this using the correct ways and means. Nothing is impossible when we are strong, persistent, have faith and know where we coming from!