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Portugal has something to shout about: iolanda sings 'Grito' for Eurovision

22 April 2024 at 09:52 CEST
iolanda is representing Portugal at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Sebas Ferreira
Portugal’s brightest spark, iolanda, will be lighting up the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 stage when she represents her country in Malmö with the song ‘Grito’.
iolanda is representing Portugal at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Sebas Ferreira

There was fierce competition at the 60th edition of Portugal’s Festival da Canção, which is used to find the country’s Eurovision song. But after two semi-finals and a final of 12 songs, iolanda’s Grito, a slow-tempo pop song with strong Portuguese and Iberian flavours, went all the way to the end. And now, iolanda’s heading towards Malmö — that’s something worth shouting about.

After her creative spark was lit during the Covid pandemic, iolanda wrote her first EP, Cura, which she released in March 2023. It was only a year later that she won Festival da Canção, and just weeks afterwards performed at the Sónar Festival in Lisbon. After sharing her music on the Eurovision Song Contest stage, she’ll be heading back to Lisbon for a sold-out show.

This popstar started writing songs at the age of 14, and has performed in plenty of bars and talent contests in her time. But the strangest place that iolanda has ever performed is an outdoor climbing centre. One thing we haven’t seen on the Eurovision Song Contest stage yet, is rock climbing. There’s still time…

If iolanda could have three wishes, she’d ask for peace everywhere, an extra dose of empathy for everyone, and the return of Daft Punk — let’s keep our fingers crossed that she gets lucky on all three.

There’s one top Eurovision hero for iolanda, and it’s Conchita Wurst, who she says had an important role in opening up people’s minds. Drag performer Conchita won for Austria in 2014, with the song Rise Like A Phoenix, which is now firmly cemented in the Eurovision hall of fame. Just like Conchita’s song about the mythical bird reborn from the ashes, Grito is about resilience, with iolanda being the flame that still burns, still burns, still burns… or ​​"Ainda arde, ainda arde, ainda arde!"

iolanda has plenty of R&B tunes playing on shuffle, and she also takes inspiration from traditional Portuguese and Spanish melodies. She’s a big fan of ROSALÍA, particularly the song Catalina, which has a fierce flamenco sound. Also featuring on her playlist are Doja Cat’s Paint The Town Red, Hailey Knox’s Charismatic, and France’s Eurovision entry from 2012, Barbara Pravi’s Voila.

This Portuguese popstar says she associates Sweden with blonde hair, blue eyes, and smoked salmon — and that she’s looking forward to trying the smoked salmon.

While she’s waiting for her order, she’s been busy creating more versions of Grito to set Europe’s hearts ablaze, including an acoustic version recorded at Panteão Nacional.

Look out for iolanda on upcoming episodes of the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast

You can learn more about iolanda from Portugal right here.

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

Don't forget to download our app (for iOSAndroid), sign up to the official Eurovision Song Contest newsletter, and subscribe to the official podcast!