Mozambican star Neco Novellas enjoyed fame and success on his native soil long before seeking training in European conservatories and quickly earning recognition on that continent as well. The story of Neco's musical success is one best told as a family portrait. Neco was raised in a house filled with music, both his parents active musicians. Alongside his two brothers and two sisters, Neco became familiar with classical music via church, jazz and pop via the radio, and traditional African ideas via the street. The Novellas children played together regularly, calling their blend of influences "Novellas Music for the World." Guitar in hand and siblings backing him up, Neco rose to prominence in Mozambique as a recording artist. Having already accomplished what many peers could only imagine, Neco sought a formal music education. With grant help, Neco attended the Academia de Musica Eborense and Universidade de Musica de Evora to study classical guitar and voice. While his brothers and sisters worked in South Africa and Mozambique as musicians, Neco traveled across Europe performing. On a visit to Holland, Neco fell in love with the Codarts Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, where he soon resumed his studies. Although his brothers and sisters joined him for occasional performances in Holland, it was not until 2004 that they were able to work together consistently. The five Novellas reunited in South Africa for the recording of Neco's debut disc, Mita Famba. The following year Neco was joined by his brothers, who enrolled as students at Codarts, making Rotterdam the Novellas' home base. Neco's second original production, New Dawn -- Ku Khata, was released by the Netherlands-based World Connection label. The artist got his first taste of large-scale international touring following the record's release. Neco could be seen on stages from Istanbul to New York performing alongside labelmate Sara Tavares.
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