Elideusa Gomes Almeida was born on July 15, 1994 in the city of Boston, MA. Simply known as Déu, she was raised in the urban neighborhood of Dorchester with her three sisters, whom are all artistically inclined. Her parents emigrated from the Cape Verde islands in the 1970's during the revolution in search of opportunity, and instilled in their children the value of education, the arts and languages. Her father, a musician of the morna genre, began teaching her piano at the age of four years old. By five, she was proficient in music notation, and began constructing chord progressions shortly thereafter. Déu suffered from a diaphragmatic hernia as an infant, and was told she would not be able to sing due to the impaired diaphragm.
A graduate of the world-renowned Berklee College of Music, Déu earned her Bachelor of Music in Songwriting from the esteemed institution in 2015, after being at the college for only two years. During her tenure at Berklee, Déu primarily studied the genre of jazz in the form of vocal and piano performance, and was successful in testing out of many courses, which expedited her studies and allowed her to graduate at the age of twenty years old. In 2014, she earned her minor in music technology at the Valencia, Spain campus. In 2017, the songstress earned her Master of Business Administration in Music Business, and is the youngest graduate of the program.
In her earlier years, Déu studied private violin instruction at the Community Music Center of Boston under the tutelage of violinist and conductor Michael Korn. At the age of fifteen, she was asked by Korn to substitute for an injured musician in the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra, which would mark the beginning of her career as a professional orchestral musician. At the age of seventeen, after facing judgment due to her age, race and hair, Déu recognized the unjust politics of the classical music industry and decided to pursue a career in contemporary music. She is also an alumna of the Berklee City Music Program.
A frequent, avid performer, Déu has performed over three hundred shows to date. Locally, the songstress frequents Atlanta venues such as Apache Café, Aisle 5, Masquerade and Kat’s Café. On a larger scale, Déu has performed at venues such as the TD Garden, House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe and Symphony Hall. Additionally, Déu has competed in showcases for Warner Music in Toronto (winner) and Hollywood Records in Boston (finalist).
Discovering her ability to write lyrics at the tender age of ten, Déu has been crafting captivating stories in the form of music for well over a decade. Déu's compelling lyrics are arranged in innovative ways to tell stories about gender roles, heartbreak, societal norms, public health issues and self-exploration. She has had the honor of working with a variety of accomplished producers including M16 Beats, Smitti Boi and London On Da Track..
A true one-woman-band, Déu executes each aspect of production completely solo. She is proficient on piano, guitar, violin, viola, bass, trombone, tuba and hand percussion. Additionally, Déu is a certified Pro Tools engineer, and completes all tracking and editing in the Pro Tools 10 software. Déu intentionally releases her records with an untouched and unfinished sound as she values the importance of being able to imitate her recordings in her live performances. She typically does not perform with a band.
Déu's sound can be described as a unique fusion of the vibes of Jhené Aiko, Alicia Keys and P!nk. Her music contains elements of soul, rock, hip-hop and pop, and has been influenced by aspects of Cape Verdean music. Déu cites artists such as John Legend, Lianne La Havas, Sara Tavares and India Arie as musical idols who have inspired her to develop her craft and pursue a career in music. The term that Déu has coined to categorize her music is urban popsoul.
Charities & Causes
In 2012, Déu transitioned to the devout vegan she is today. She is committed to ending animal exploitation and cruelty, and frequently attends meetings, rallies and protests in hopes of raising awareness about the meat and dairy industries. Additionally, she is heavily involved in her local animal shelters, animal rescue leagues and fostering agencies. Déu is the proud paw parent of a six-year-old boxer/mastiff mix named Mason. Mason was rescued from the Atlanta Humane Society in 2015.
Organizations & Foundations
Déu began giving music lessons to children in 2011 as a part-time job. After realizing her talent for connecting with and educating youth, she continued teaching private music lessons on voice, piano, guitar and violin through college. Thereafter, she founded Music Mentors Atlanta, a music school and artist development agency, where she currently holds the position of Executive Director.
Déu is an advocate for arts education as has held many positions in the field over the course of the last five years. Prior to her position at Music Mentors Atlanta, Déu held multiple positions in music education and arts administration at organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Citi Performing Arts Center and Hyde Square Task Force (Music & Youth).
As a teenager, Déu was introduced to the field of pubic health by her mother, a social worker. She bagn her work as a public health educator at the Boston Public Health Commission in 2009. Since then, Déu has had the privilege of performing and speaking at countless public health symposiums and conferences nationwide including a roundtable discussion with former Attorney General Eric Holder and the Human Rights Defenders Forum with President Jimmy Carter. Déu is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the field of Public Health.
Although she does not consider herself a model, Déu has participated in both print and runway modeling since the age of ten. In 2005, she was a finalist in the Miss Massachusetts Pre-Teen Pageant. The following year, she participated in the Africana Summit as a runway model. Having suffered from extreme social anxiety as a child, she cites modeling as the outlet that allowed her to become comfortable with crowds and ultimately ridded her of her stage-fright.
Déu practices heated vinyasa yoga and is a daily runner. She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and snorkeling. She is a Bahá'i, and is involved in the faith's music community in Atlanta.