Original from Mozambique is difficult to say but origin from Mozambican family explains better the Novellas music style. All reach in rhythms and polyphony of voices music with large range in the orchestration and instrumentations (big us Africa…)coloured and timbered to describe African environments. The Novellas themselves would call it “Novellas music for the world”. In their beats, harmonies and balances you hear originality and influences of other African music like Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, classical structures and of course the Asian melodies, rhythms and timbre brought with their religion and established in Africa even before the colonial times. The Chopi identity is expressed best and centred on the Timbila, the characteristic instrument, a kind of xylophone. Together with guitars, drums, voices and practically any other instrument they play and dance. However when the Timbila comes in the beautiful mixtures of all different music are ignored; the origin of their spirits and roots come out and make you long for being in Mozambique by seeing them playing, singing and dancing. The Novellas’ song texts are mostly compositions of collections and contributions to their stories connected with the rituals, daily lives and family histories in which all members take part. The sharing and recreation of these stories, part of their collective memory, leads to a unique working process to be felt when attending Neco Novellas live demonstrations. Born and raised in a musical family in Maputo Mozambique, Neco together with his brothers and sisters were exposed to playing and dancing music from their early childhood as a lot of African traditional ceremonies involving music and dance rituals were daily practice. Along their youth they got confronted with different rituals and music from other tribes. Later they also got involved with Western music through their participation in catholic church activities, experimenting new harmonies, forms, structures and musical concepts. Played with Kapa Dech (Mozambique) where two of his songs where recorded in France by Lusafrica: Ngonane mis sinha and Kavata.
From 1996 till 2001
he played with national and international musicians in Portugal when he formed the Neco and Friends Band. In the meantime his brothers got familiar with South(ern) African music while living in Johannesburg, playing with South African musicians. They accompanied the ex-bassist of the Tananas (Gito
Baloi) amongst others. His sisters stayed in Mozambique, frequently invited to play with Mozambican musicians (backing vocals). Most recent was their contribution with backing vocals to a concert of Gilberto Gil. In the Netherlands they give workshops to students and musicians about Mozambican music. They perform, playing their own compositions together with other resident musicians. This summer (2005) they will focus on record the tracks for finalizing their first disc.