The week starts with some fresh news coming from our host nation. RTP has just revealed 45 second snippets of the 13 acts competing in the first semi-final of Festival da Canção 2018. Although the broadcaster had intended to reveal the songs for the very first time on the day of their respective semi-finals, the multiple requests of the fans led to a new decision. Have a listen, and take your first conclusions.
Peu Madureira with “Só por ela”
The song was composed by Diogo Clemente and translates to english as “Just for her”. Diogo has started his career when he was just 13 years old, playing guitar at Fado houses. He has since then developed several collaborations with well known Portuguese artists. To sing his song, Diogo has chosen the Fado singer Peu Madureira. They have in common the passion for Fado, and are newcomers on what it comes to Festival da Canção.
Joana Espadinha with “Zero a Zero”
Benjamin, the composer of the song, has started to edit records as Walter Benjamin, during his time living in London. He has later returned to Portugal, when he began to write also in Portuguese. This is his second experience at Festival da Canção, after joining Lena d’Água last year on the stage as a keyboardist. The song translates to english as “Zero to Zero”, and he has chosen Joana Espadinha to be the soul and voice of his song. After obtaining her degree in Law, Joana entered the Conservatory of Amsterdam and started her degree in Jazz.
Anabela with “Para te dar abrigo”
The song translates to english as “To give you shelter”, and brings us two familiar faces. The composer of the song, Fernando Tordo, has represented Portugal at Eurovision twice: in 1973 with the song “Tourada”, and in 1977 as part of the group “Os amigos”. To sing his song he has chosen Anabela, who represented Portugal at Eurovision in 1993, with her song “A cidade (até ser dia)”. She has shared her desire to return to the competition recently, and that desire became true with this invitation.
Rui David with “Sem medo”
Jorge Palma was the responsible for the composition of the song, and his first participation at Festival da Canção goes back to 1975, when he participated with two songs. After a long and successful career in the Portuguese music industry, he accepted the invitation to return to Festival da Canção, but this time as a composer. To sing his song “Without fear”, he has chosen Rui David. Rui David began his career as a journalist, but he later decided to follow his true passion: music.
José Cid with “O som da guitarra é a alma de um povo”
José Cid isn’t a stranger on what it comes to Eurovision and Festival da Canção. During his long career he has represented Portugal twice at Eurovision, and made several other attempts to represent the country, either as a singer, either as a composer. After representing Portugal in 1980 as a solo artist, and in 1998 as part of the group Alma Lusa, the singer is trying to wave the Portuguese flag for a third time. Despite his first intentions to share the stage with his nephew and singer Gonçalo Tavares, he has now decided to go solo. The song promises some Portuguese flavours with the title “The sound of the guitar is the soul of the People”.
JP Simões with “Alvoroço”
JP Simões has studied Journalism, Communication Law, Argument Writing, Saxophone, Arabic and has a Master’s degree in Literature Theory from Lisbon’s University. However, he has worked since 1995 essentially in the music world. One of his biggest successes consists on a collaboration with Márcia, who took part in the last edition of Festival da Canção. JP Simões was invited to compete in Festival da Canção 2018 as a composer, and decided to give his voice to the project, singing his own composition, “Bustle”.
Catarina Miranda with “Para sorrir eu não preciso de nada”
Júlio Resende, the responsible for the composition, has started playing piano when he was just 4 years old. He studied at the Convervatory in Faro, where after making contact with classical music, the taste for improvisation led him to jazz. The singer of his song is Catarina Miranda. She grew up interested in arts like music, painting and photography, and began to produce her songs in her father’s studio when she was only fifteen. At Festival da Canção she will sing the song “To smile I don’t need anything”.
Beatriz Pessoa with “Te amo”
Mallu Magalhães is the author of the song, and brings a Brazilian flavour to the Portuguese national final. Despite being born in São Paulo, she lives in Lisbon since 2013, and her work is very appreciatted among the Portuguese public. Success isn’t an unknown word to Mallu, as she was nominated 10 times for the brazilian MTV Video Music awards, and twice for the prestigious Latin Grammy Awards. To sing her song she has chosen Beatriz Pessoa. The young singer started her music journey in 2016, and her register has pop and jazz influences. In Festival da Canção she will sing “I love you”. Will we fall in love with her song?
Joana Barra Vaz with “Anda estragar-me os planos”
Francisca Cortesão is the composer of the song, and has as her main project since 2006 the group “Minta & The Brook Trout”. Over the years she has developed collaborations with several Portuguese artists, as Márcia and Lena d’Água, who took part in the last edition of the Portuguese national final. The song translates to english as “Come screw up my plans”, and she has chosen Joana Barra Vaz to be the voice of her song. Joana Barra Vaz is a director, composer and screenwriter, being proficient in guitar and graduated in Classical Piano, Argument and Sound for Cinema.
Bruno Vasconcelos with “Austrália”
Nuno Rafael signs the music, and among his projects in the Portuguese music industry we should highlight his contribution for the project “Humanos”. The group recorded an album with songs originally sang by António Varações, a famous Portuguese singer who died in 1984. The title of the song doesn’t need translation, and Bruno Vasconcelos was the choice of the composer to sing the song. Bruno is a singer, composer and guitarist, and returns to Festival da Canção after being associated with the song “Gente Bestial”, that placed 4th in 2017.
Maria Amaral with “A mesma canção”
Paulo Praça is the author of the song. The singer and composer has collaborated in successful projects such as “Amália Hoje” and “The Gift” and will take part for the very first time at Festival da Canção. Maria Amaral took part in the last edition of The Voice Portugal, and was Paulo’s choice for the competition. She will also make her debut at the national final, with her song “The same song”.
Janeiro with “(sem título)”
Salvador Sobral, in the quality of the reigning champion of Festival da Canção, had the opportunity to choose a composer to take part in Festival da Canção 2018. His choice was Janeiro, who decided to sing his own composition. Janeiro studied Musicology, and is now working on his first album. In the Portuguese national final he will sing a song with a very curious title, that in english would be “(without title)”.
Rita Dias with “Com gosto amigo”
Rita Dias is the selected composer through the open contest for all the Portuguese or foreign composers living in Portugal, organized by Antena 1. The Portuguese singer, composer and poet has decided, like some other invited composers, to sing her own song. The title in english can be translated as “With pleasure, friend”, even though it could have different meanings.
Festival da Canção 2018
The 50th edition of Festival da Canção will have two semi-finals on February 18th and 25th, and the Grand Final on March 4th. In each semi-final 13 acts will perform, and seven will advance to the final that will take place in Guimarães. The seven finalists from each semi-final will be decided with a 50/50 system, being the power equally divided between the televote and a jury composed by famous faces of the Portuguese music industry. At the Grand Final, the 14 finalists will compete for the right to represent the home team, and the winner will be decided once again with a 50/50 system, but this time the jury will be divided by the 7 Portuguese Regions.
Which was your favourite snippet? Let us know below or on social media @ESCXTRA!