Ayer siblings' band find success in Brazil
AYER, Mass.—Listening to the sound of water cascading from a shower head is Wendy Carvalho's favorite way of getting creative.
The stream has a beat to it when spattering around on the floor, the 9-year-old says. The flow hits her face like the rain -- a gift from above that can make you feel melancholic, calm or joyous.
Whatever the mood she may be in, she'd start singing her heart out. Then, she would dart out to jot down her feelings in music scores.
"Sometimes when she comes out of the shower, she has three different melodies," says her father, Elcenir Carvalho, laughing.
Nailing those melodies with precise finger moves on the piano is the job of Wendy's brother, Wayne.
The 16-year-old Ayer-Shirley Regional High School student, who loves science, admits he likes the challenge of doing things in different ways. For him, the more complicated the problem, the more fun it becomes.
"It's another way of singing," Wayne says about playing the piano.
And the siblings' singing -- through the microphone and on the piano -- has already bedazzled thousands of radio listeners in Brazil, causing their songs to hit the top-10 pop charts for months at a time.
"They are chasing their dream," says their mother, Cida Carvalho, about the brother-and-sister pair who will kick off their Brazilian nationwide tour in 16 months with a performance in front of 7,000 fans.
The Dabljus (pronounced "W's," the initials of Wendy and Wayne) are a growing sensation in Brazil. Coming together as a duo two years ago, Wendy and Wayne's local performances have so far been limited to school and such charity concerts as the ones organized to raise money for the American Red Cross to help Massachusetts tornado victims.
But while Boston radio stations have turned down Elcenir Carvalho's request to play their music, FM stations in his native Brazil, which he says are eager to discover talents, quickly picked up their songs and began to play them.
With 25 stations around Brazil playing their music, "Yesterday," a song in their first CD titled "Gone," climbed to the top spot in CobilAndia FM's top 10 last year and remained at the top for six months, Elcenir says. CobilAndia FM is based out of Espirito Santo in Brazil.
The Dabljus are now preparing for a show at Arena Vitoria, a 7,000-seat stadium in Espirito Santo, for their first large-scale concert on Aug. 3, 2013. That will also begin the duo's tour, which will hit each of Brazil's 27 states and which is called "Gone with a New Beginning." (The Dabljus are expected to release their second CD, A New Beginning in mid-May.)
Wendy and Wayne are expected to enroll in Brazilian schools, with their parents acting as their full-time managers while the family crisscrosses the country for a year or, possibly, two.
Their dream to be the voice to heal millions of souls all began when Wendy started singing in the shower at age 2, her father says. From Alicia Keys to Salena Jones, the little girl would memorize the lyrics of music giants from beginning to end. She'd sing along and swing her arms to the music while her father held her in his arms in the front row at Lionel Richie concerts -- so much so that Richie began recognizing her and talking to her during performances, Elcenir says.
Elcenir, a payroll staff for a salon chain who also runs a computer business with his wife, decided to let Wendy take vocal lessons. In the meantime, Wayne began taking piano lessons at age 12 and started writing songs. Wayne, who plays guitar and other instruments in addition to the piano, says he particularly loves perfecting the craft of playing the piano.
The duo have continued to brush up on their music skills after moving to Ayer from Abington two years ago.
Both Wayne and Wendy -- a student at Page Hilltop Elementary School who also takes dance lessons -- want their audience to feel the emotions they sing about.
The biggest challenge for the Brazilian tour is to stay calm in front of the audience, Wayne says. Wendy also doesn't want to "mess up," but asserts that singing is easy "if you know how to sing."
"It makes me happy," Wendy says as she flips her curly hair, smiling.
The family has hired two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer -- ranging in age from 18 to 20 -- to join the duo for the Brazilian tour. The band members come from poor families and cannot wait to perform in front of thousands of people, Elcenir says.
Cida Carvalho says the Dabljus are about making their fans realize what it is like to chase a dream, to help them "believe that they can get somewhere," Cida Carvalho says.
The tickets for the Brazilian performances will become available in August.