Cibelle Cavalli was born in São Paulo, Brazil, 2 January 1978, and now resides in East London, UK. She attended Marcelo Tupinambá Conservatory in São Paulo from the age of 6, where she studied guitar, piano, percussion and theatre. Cibelle had a short career modeling in her teens, but left it to dedicate herself to acting until her early twenties. Cibelle worked in musicals, short films, and Brazilian TV, until music took a stronger lead in her life.After meeting the Serbian-born producer Suba in a bar, she appeared as the main vocalist on his album, São Paulo Confessions
, on Ziriguiboom (Crammed Discs' Brazilian imprint) in 1999. It was a mixture of traditional and electronic sounds which has been said to be years ahead of the Brazilian Electronic music boom. São Paulo Confessions
is regarded as an important precursor and a landmark album for Brazilian Electronic Music. Suba died shortly after the album’s release.Cibelle next appeared on Celso Fonseca’s album, Natural
(2003). Cibelle’s first solo album, Cibelle
, was also released in 2003. Signed to Belgian record label Crammed Discs at the age of 22, she started spending more and more time in Europe, specifically Paris. By the completion of her first album, she moved to London's Brick Lane, and has since been moving around East London.
Music and Methodology
Cibelle does only concept albums.The performances usually happen in trios; her band is made of around 10 musicians or more that at each time combine themselves as trios depending on the country of performance. Her latest performances ranged from having two drum kits on stage, to having none at all.Cibelle works by building tracks live on stage, welcoming special guests and inviting the audience to contribute to her ”bric-a-brac DIY” sound through sweet vocals, creative playfulness and lots of instrumental experimentation. Since moving to Dalston, Cibelle has been working more with visual arts and performance, taking part in the abravanista movement with Rick Castro – also a part of Assume Vivid Astro Focus – and collaborating as a part of collective and artzine FUR, ran by photographer Cássia Cabatini and artist/printmaker Fábio Gurjão. She is also a part of Supine Studios, a collective of artists/musicians based in Dalston.In visual arts, she sometimes takes on other names, and mostly goes by Sonja Khalecallon, working with GIF animation, collages, multimedia pieces, videos, performances and vivid anatomic looking watercolors.
Cibelle has collaborated with a range of music and visual artists all over the world for recordings, film, performance, and installation, including: Devendra Banhart, Seu Jorge, Cocorosie, Rio en Medio, Gilberto Gil, Júnio Barreto, Vanessa da Mata, Orquestra Imperial, Vetiver, Lightspeed Champion, Josh Weller, David Shrigley, Doug Aitken, Vanessa da Silva, Adem, Tom Zé, Johnny Flynn, Quist, Tunng, members of Nação Zumbi and The Legendary Tigerman. The video for her version of Tom Waits’ Green Grass, directed by long time friend Gustavo Guimarães and Adams Carvalho, had over a million views on YouTube.