Japanese by heritage, Brazilian by birth, singer of five languages, Franci's diverse background provides a unique flavor to her New Age sound.
As a young girl growing up in Brazil, Franci was drawn to classical arts and music. She trained for several years in ballet, but the demands of attending a Brazilian school, a Japanese school, plus her volunteer activities, were eating into her training. After her father was nearly killed in a car accident and was left partially paralyzed, she gave up the dream of being a prima ballerina. However, she still dances just for fun.
While studying at the University of Sao Paulo in humanities, Franci won a speech contest where she was awarded a trip to Japan that included a reception with the Emperor. This was followed by a scholarship to Osaka University where she sharpened her command of the Japanese language, lived in a Japanese home, and concentrated on appreciating the world of the arts and communication. After graduation Franci was a flight attendant for VARIG Brazilian Airlines. She was assigned to Los Angeles and worked the Sao Paulo to Tokyo route. She was featured in a commercial promoting the airline, and her work caught the eye of a Japanese producer who was in Brazil looking for a new "Teresa Teng", a famous Chinese singer who passed away in her 40s. After leaving her position as flight attendant, Franci accepted his invitation to be her mentor and teacher.
In August, 2002 she met New Age musician Kitaro at a Taiko drum circle festival at Mt. Fuji in Japan. There she presented the famed artist with a copy of her work, triggering the beginning of a wonderful partnership. As an adolescent she had fallen in love with the work of Kitaro. Since her earliest years she had been singing and expressing her emotions through music and she felt a deep connection to the compositions of the Japanese music star. Although she had to return to Brazil, Kitaro asked her if she would provide vocals for his album, "Sacred Journey of Kukai--Volume I", on the track, "The Wind". The album, released in 2003, was a collaboration by Kitaro with other artists for World Peace, and it was nominated for a Grammy Award.
From 2003 to 2004 Franci hosted radio shows in Tokyo, introducing Brazilian culture to her Japanese audience. She also began to experiment with the online community Second Life in 2007. Among her projects, she broadcast concerts streamed on her own show, "Stella Island", combining classical and Brazilian touches. In January, 2008 the Japanese travel show, "Major League Kansen Guide", invited her to be the host for their episode filmed at Disneyland in Anaheim. Musically, Kitaro's influence continued to be a part of her life and she released "Stella Sings Kitaro" in March of the same year.
Stella currently is promoting herself under her name, Franci. She has just released her first full-length album, produced by Brazilian Maestro Amilson Godoy with his Arte Viva Symphony Orchestra and American producer engineer Gary Barlough. She has written lyrics for Kitaro's songs that previously were only instrumentals, like "Symphony of Dreams", "Koi", and "Silk Road". With this project, she hopes to promote and strengthen Brazilian culture and musical arts.
Franci's sophisticated style mixes her passion with the deep influence of her home country of Brazil to give a new dimension to crossover classical music. "Symphony of My Dreams" has been released on Domo Records.