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Musician Spotlight

Karyna Gomes

Karyna Gomes


Karyna Gomes is a singer-songwriter and women’s rights activist from the West African county Guinea-Bissau. Born in 1976 to a Bissau-Guinean father and a Cape Verdean mother, Gomes was immersed in music from a young age, and was exposed to various local and international genres. She got her start as a singer with a gospel group in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she lived for 5 years. After returning to Guinea Bissau, Gomes joined the iconic band Super Mama Djombo, leaving them in 2011 to relocate to Lisbon and start a solo career. Gomes has released two solo albums to date, "Mindjer" (2014) and "N’na" (2021). Gomes often accompanies herself on the tina, a unique percussion instrument made of two gourds, one filled with water and the other inverted on top, that is traditionally crafted and played by women.

On “Dissa,” Gomes blends elements of contemporary Afrobeat and electronic effects with Bissau-Guinean roots music. She sings in Creole about her hopes for a better world through compassion and a rejection of materialism. “If your enemy holds a grudge / Give them water to drink.”

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