Nadine Brás studied at the Lisbon Superior School of Music and has a degree in oboe. However, her big passion lies in fado, where she has become a familiar face in the scene over the years. She has made appearances in many Fado Houses and sang on many big stages, all over the world. RTP invited NADINE to participate in Festival da Canção 2021, where she will sing the song “Cheguei Aqui”, written by Anne Victorino d’Almeida and Tiago Torres da Silva. We got the chance to interview NADINE about her participation in Portugal’s biggest music competition.
Hello Nadine! Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions. You are a passionate and very gifted fado singer, so I would like to know:
What does fado mean to you and where does your passion for it come from?
For me, fado is a way of feeling and surrendering. It is a moment of freedom for my soul and it is extremely necessary for me as to breathe or drink water. I couldn’t live without this. Especially after discovering it and realizing the balance effect it has on me.
I sing and I have a close and inexplicable relationship with music since I was a child and on my own initiative, but I felt that something was always missing. As a teenager I started reading and writing poems and ended up discovering fado in that most sensitive moment and I realized that fado was everything I wanted to say poetically after all but in a sung way. The best of both worlds for me!
How did you feel when you got invited to take part in this year’s Festival da Canção?
I was surprised because the invitation was completely unexpected. Anne and I had lost contact since 2015. Anne, meanwhile, had just received the Song Festival invitation and did not know if she would accept it and I, without knowing it at the same time, sent her a mobile message with the answer to a solution for a project we had talked about in 2015. And there was light! It looked like the work of destiny!
According to my research, you have performed in several Fado Houses and on big stages already. What differs Festival da Canção from other stages and what was your motivation for entering?
Fado, whether in fado houses or on big stages is often (if not mostly) heard and applauded by tourists or great fans of this musical genre. Apart from some exceptions from artists who have a more commercial approach, fado mostly does not arrive and does not have the opportunity to reach the large masses.
The Festival da Canção is an event with many singers and composers from different genres that attract a wide and diverse audience and can be good for me as a fado singer and performer to be heard by a greater number of people and who knows how to get them to like it a little more than fado. Culture lives and grows from these moments of sharing.
Many of our readers do not speak Portuguese. Could you explain in a few words what your song “Cheguei Aqui” is about?
After almost a year of pandemic, Tiago Torres da Silva managed to put into words (and in a very beautiful and true way) the message that we all needed to receive. “Cheguei aqui” is a wonderful and powerful lyric on resilience and hope for a new day to come.
What personal meaning does the Festival da Canção have to you?
Festival da Canção means a lot to me because I grew up watching the festival and reviewing cassette recordings from previous festivals. I spent hours as a child imitating the artists’ performances. I never imagined that I would sing there one day!
And still having the opportunity to work with people I admire as much as Anne and Tiago is wonderful! I’ve won a lot!
Have you watched the Eurovision Song Contest in the past? Do you consider yourself a fan of it?
Of course I watched! I love Eurovision!!!
What is going to happen if the Portuguese audience selects you to represent Portugal in Rotterdam?
I’ll probably pass out! (I’m kidding! Maybe not …)
It will be a great honor to be able to represent my country, especially after such a complicated year and with such a beautiful song and so much meaning.
And that moment will certainly change my life.
Have you listened to other songs from this year’s Festival da Canção already? What do you think of them and who do you consider your biggest competitor?
I heard all the songs. I have my favorites too.
However, i don’t see the Festival as a competition. It is true that we will have a score and someone who will win, but as I mentioned, for me, it is a moment of sharing between musicians, interpreters, authors and composers.
As for the question of someone winning, I am very calm because I think the festival is very well represented in several musical styles and all of them with a lot of quality.
Of course, we have people who are already established artists and who probably make more noise on social networks, but I want to believe that the most important thing is and will always be music and what it represents.
Finally, what are your feelings when you think of the upcoming days?
I feel very blessed and lucky to have this opportunity. It has been incredible days and I have received a lot of support and affection. People have been very generous and know how to see my work recognized and valued. I look forward (in a good way) to the 20th that I can step on the stage again and let my soul be free again. I will enjoy every second!
Thank you very much and “Obrigado” for the interview! I wish you all the best for your future musical career and of course good luck for the first semi-final on February 20th.
Thank you so much for all the care and support! It really means a lot to me, Sebastian.
A big Kiss from Lisboa,
Listen to NADINE’s entry here:
If you want to support NADINE, you can vote for her in our poll of the first semi-final of Festival da Canção 2021.