Brazilian folk duo Ana & Eric bring their eclectic stylings and unmatched chemistry to Newfoundland and Labrador, their newfound home away from home
There’s an old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Another, home is where the heart is, certainly carries some weight.
For husband and wife musical duo Ana Luísa Ramos and Eric Taylor Escudero – who moved to this province in 2019 – the miles between their home country of Brazil to the windswept shores of Newfoundland and Labrador have only galvanized a decade old partnership.
‘A wonderful surprise’
“I think that we expected a quieter city and we got it,” shared Escudero in a sitdown with The Herald. “We expected more contact with nature and the proximity to the ocean, which is something that we appreciate a lot. We didn’t expect so much culture, so many musicians everywhere. So this is something that has been a wonderful surprise.”
“When we moved here, everything was new,” adds Ramos. “The architecture, the houses, the food, the language, everything and even the music. It was something new, but at the same time, not new.”
Escudero – pursuing a degree in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University – and the powerhouse vocalist Ramos, perform under the moniker Ana & Eric, combining folk, Bossa Nova, and Brazilian popular music for a genre-bending and addictive sound that has added yet another wrinkle to Newfoundland and Labrador’s already robust music landscape.
“(Our music) fits very well because I think it’s different enough to be considered, I don’t know, somewhat exotic or at least interesting, but it’s not that different for it to be a cultural shock,” shared Escudero, a native of São Paulo.
“We met a lot of people that were quite interested in what we were doing. We would play a concert and people just say, oh, we heard there would be Brazilian music and we are in need of something different. It’s interesting because although there is a strong Irish folk scene, there is enough people that want to see like the variations of that or something completely different. So the reception has been very good. People are very supportive.”
Supportive indeed! Ana & Eric have quickly become a local favourite, signing with The Citadel House for the release their debut EP in late 2020, with new material on the way, the pair shares.
‘Natural for us’
But talent and the masterful blending of styles and genres can only go so far.
Chemistry, like in any marriage, is the true crux of a long-lasting artistic partnership, a riddle Ramos and Escudero have seemingly solved. “I think it’s so natural for us,” shares Ramos. “We’ve been playing together for almost a decade now. For me, it’s really easy. I have nothing to complain about (laughs).”
A world away from the hustle and bustle of one of South America’s largest cities, St. John’s – and Newfoundland and Labrador in general – has provided this gifted couple with a new lease on their lives and careers, and more than enough opportunity to mature as artists.
“I think that the community here in St John’s, where we are living now, it’s an amazing community,” Ramos says. “We have some dear friends and we have so many opportunities to play. I think that we are really lucky to be here and to have the possibility of releasing the EP through Citadel House. Dean and Stevie are amazing. I think that the whole community, they are really supportive.”
‘A place to discover’
“For me, I think it’s very interesting. I studied Ethnomusicology, but I’m very interested in folklore as well. Newfoundland for us is very much a place to discover still,” Escudero adds.
“When you go to these communities, it’s very interesting because everything is very different from what we are used to. The ocean is everywhere. So as you drive you see the ocean everywhere and then there’s some scattered houses and it’s so beautiful. But it’s funny because also, the accents change so much too (laughs).”
All you need is love
And while the weeks and months ahead carry a hefty weight of uncertainty, one thing is clear for Ramos and Escudero. That a love for each other, and their newfound home away from home, has helped strengthen bonds through the tests and trials of COVID-19.
“I think there’s more room to develop,” Escudero explains. “We haven’t had the opportunity to play many festivals. We would like to play in Atlantic Canada and maybe the other provinces as well. So this is something that we still intend to do. And since we have the deal with Citadel House, we intend to release a few more EPs or albums.”
“Our plan is for us to stay here in Newfoundland, in St. John’s for at least a few years,” Ramos adds.
“We really like living here and we have been enjoying a lot of our time here. I really like the way that we can have time, – and at the same time – the quality of our life here.”
For more on Ana & Eric visit anaericmusic.com and their official artist social medias.