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You won't forget my name, n.2
The second edition of the sporadic selection of brilliant naming cases (people edition).
Public people often create a new name in addition to their birth name, looking for a verbal identifier more impactful, unique, and memorable. Moreover, it can also serve as a separation between their public and private life, or as the identifier of their work body and its phases. Over the years, we have collected some alter-egos that draw attention to their grammatical composition and allow us to understand a bit more about the personality behind each of them. It has been a delightful process, we hope that you can enjoy it too.
1. Maya Angelou
A rhythm like this could only belong to someone as elegant. Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson and changed her name around 1950 to perform on stage (curiously, not to sign books). This new persona seemed appealing as a calypso dancer, and would also come in hand as an author who consistently used character names as an important narrative element. While Maya comes from her brother's nickname to her, derived from the pronunciation "mya sister", Angelou was composed of her husband's surname at the time, Anastasios Angelopoulos.
Belgian singer Paul Van Haver became known between 2000 and 2001 as a rapper called Opmaestro, later changing his name to "Stromae", which is an anagram for "Maestro". According to the musician, simply calling himself maestro while composing with two fingers didn't seem right and that's why he decided to play around a little bit. This specific kind of syllable inversion is a French slang practice known as verlan (the word itself is a great example of it, since its "l'envers", which means reverse, backward).
Larissa de Macedo Machado was born in Rio de Janeiro and started singing in the church as a child. A few years later, she created her stage name inspired by the main character of the telenovela Presença de Anita (Anita's Presence) — for her, Anita from the show didn't limit herself and managed to be several women at the same time. If you know the singer, it's clear how this statement relates to her career, far to be defined by one musical genre. Between 2010 and 2013, the name had an extra "t" added, making it easier for international audiences to pronounce it.
Sala is SCHARF's newsletter, an invitation to the curious ones.