After his classical guitar studies, the African singer-songwriter Neco Novela toured Europe and ended up in the Netherlands to continue his studies at the Rotterdam Conservatory. Born Anselmo João Johanhane, the artist distinguishes himself from most of his colleagues in world music due to his classical western education. "The music I make with my band goes beyond what people call world music nowadays," he says. "We rather call it universal music or Novellas' Music for the World." Novela, who prefers to be called by his nickname Neco, keeps saying 'we' because he is not a solo artist. He is part of a whole band that includes his two brothers and his sisters, who are the vocalists. The music on his new album New Dawn Ku Khata is an inventive, lively mix of world, classical and jazz music.