Sāo Paulo, Brazil

NIWA, aka Claudia Nishiwaki Dantas, is a Brazilian singer-songwriter of Japanese and Indigenous descent based in São Paulo. An avid explorer of the voice as her main instrument, she is member of outstanding all-female new MPB/experimental acapella quartet Gole Seco, with whom she has been creating vocal arrangements of original songs – often themed around the break of femininity paradigms – based on textures created from collective improvisation, use of extended techniques, mouth and lip gestures, polyphony and experimentation with drastic variations of dynamics and timbre. She was also the frontwoman of the band Carcaju, whose work mixed diverse influences from Brazilian folk genres with urban music and rock. NIWA is fully certified in Somatic Voicework and has been working since 2014 as a vocal teacher. She has offered various low-cost and free community workshops on vocal education and is committed to deconstructing colonial standards on music teaching. NIWA is currently working on her debut solo album Araponga, inspired by manifestations of Brazilian popular culture and contemporary pop music. Her research process involves exploring the limits and possibilities of the voice, utilizing vocal experiments that explore rhythms, registers, tessitura, harmonies and timbres. A passionate collaborator and actively engaged with music education efforts, NIWA is a rising star in São Paulo’s new music scene.