Farida Merville, ‘The Girl From Amsterdam’, was born on April 4, 1967 in Surinam. She grew up in both Surinam and the Netherlands. Farida started singing at 17 as a member of the family band ‘De Vrolijke Jeugd’ of her grandfather. In the early nineties Farida started to become a session and studio singer, at first in the Netherlands and later in Europe and in the USA.

After a performance with Saskia Laroo, Farida met one of the producers of the famous Dutch house-act Quazar (Eric Putten/ Gert van Veen). Her collaboration with Quazar ensured Farida to make name for herself as a top class singer in the Amsterdam dance scene. With Farida Merville as frontlady and co- composer Quazar released two successful albums: The Seven Stars (1991) and Here and Now (1993). The Quazar single Seven Stars (1990) was already an international clubhit at that time.

Farida also worked with the producers of Atlantic Ocean. In 1994 she was frontlady for the group and co-composer of two successful singles for Atlantic Ocean: Body in Motion and Music is a Passion.

As a solo artist, Farida also released a number of singles, including I Just Wanna (1996) and Heartbeats (1997) which was produced by Edwin Evers.

Over the years Farida’s sound and influences have resulted in a unique mix of different cultures and musical styles. Her music is a mix of NeoSoul, Jazz, Funk and World Music. In 2007 Farida produced her first studio album Question Mark which she released independently in 2010.

In addition to her own work, Farida has been involved in various projects in recent years, including the theater show The Grand Ladies of Jazz, together with Graziëlla and Annemarie Hunsel. In a sold-out Bijlmer theater and in the Almere theater, songs by Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald were played, accompanied by a live band. In this period of time Farida also collaborated with well-known Ghanaian musicians Blay Ambolly (‘James Brown of Ghana’) and Atongo Zimba. With both musicians she played at various (inter)national festivals.

In 2016 Farida started to perform with Quazar again; in Paradiso (Welcome To The Future Special), in Tivoli/De Helling in Utrecht (History of House) and in 2017 in Luxor in Arnhem (25 years of Quazar).

In 2018 Farida gave a live performance at the North Sea Round Town festival in Rotterdam that was entirely devoted to a Surinamese EP titled Te Yu No, consisting of interpretations and translations into Sranang (Suriname language) of classic jazz songs and soultracks like Nina Simone’s Four Woman (Fo Uma), Don Raye & Gene de Paul’s You don’t know what love is (Yu No Sabi) and Bill Withers’ Ain’t no sunshine (Te Yu No De).

Until recently, Farida formed the jazz trio Scotch & Soda with Lilian Jarad on piano) and Thom Goosens on bass. In the period from 2017 to 2021 Farida participated in the theater show ‘The Story of Etta James’. Together with five of her best friends, including Renate Koningsbloem and Denise Jannah, she performed and brought a swinging tribute to the legendary American singer Etta James. The next performance is on December 5, 2021 in the Zuidplein theater in Rotterdam.

During her Red Light Jazz performance on Sunday afternoon 5 September in Café De Kroegtijger, Farida will be assisted by her ‘Friends’: Ruben Drenthe on keys, Louis Drenthe on bass and Yoran Vroom on drums.

Line up

  • Farida Merville
  • Vocals
  • Ruben Drenthe
  • Keys
  • Louis Drenthe
  • Bass
  • Yoran Vroom
  • Drums