Lhasa de Sela
(September 27, 1972 – January 1, 2010), also known by the mononym Lhasa
, was an American-born singer-songwriter who was raised in Mexico and the United States and divided her adult life between Canada and France.
Lhasa was born in Big Indian, New York
, of a Mexican father, Spanish instructor Alex Sela, and a Lebanese-Jewish-American mother, photographer and actress Alexandra Karam. Her first decade was spent criss-crossing the United States and Mexico in a converted school bus with her parents and siblings, home-schooled by her mother.
She started singing in a Greek cafe
in San Francisco when she was thirteen. Aged 19, she moved to Montreal
, and sang for five years in bars, where she developed the material that eventually became her first album, La Llorona
, released in 1997. La Llorona
, which mixes traditional Latin American
songs with original songs, was strongly influenced by Mexican music
, but also Klezmer music, Eastern European gypsy music, Middle-Eastern music and alternative rock
. The album was released by the Canadian independent record label, Audiogram, in Montreal, and brought her much success, including the Quebec Félix Award
in Canada for "Artiste québécois — musique du monde" in 1997 and a Canadian Juno Award
for Best Global Artist in 1998.
After touring in Europe and North America for several years, Lhasa left her singing career in 1999 and moved to France to join her sisters in Pocheros, a... Read More