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Festival da Canção 2018: Meet the Portuguese artists

18 January 2018 at 13:59 CET
Pedro Fernandes, Inês Lopes Gonçalves, Tânia Ribas de Oliveira and Filomena Cautela will host Festival da Canção 2018 RTP
RTP, Host Broadcaster of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest has revealed the list of artists that will participate in 'Festival da Canção 2018' and compete for the right to represent Portugal on home ground at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Festival da Canção 2018 will feature 26 songs in total and comprise of two Semi-Finals on 18th and 25th February and a Grand Final which will be held in Guimarães Multiusos on Sunday 4th March. Visit the official website for exclusive photographs from the press launch.

Building on success

Following the same methods used in Festival da Canção 2017, which resulted in Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest, broadcaster RTP invited 22 composers to present an original song. Salvador Sobral, the winner of Festival da Canção 2017, was given the opportunity to invite one extra composer. The other three entries in the selection were chosen through preselection competitions organized by public radio station Antena 1. As in 2017, the composers decided which artists will perform their song.

Participating artists and composers

The line-up for the Portuguese national selection in 2018 RTP

First semi-final: 18th February

The first live show of Festival da Canção 2018 will be hosted by Jorge Gabriel, José Carlos Malato and Inês Lopes Gonçalves.

  • Só Por Ela - Peu Madureira with composer Diogo Clemente

Diogo Clemente is a guitarist, composer and producer and started to play guitar in fado shows at just 13 years old. 2018 marks the first time that he has participated in Festival da Canção.

  • Pra Te Dar Abrigo - Anabela with composer Fernando Tordo

Fernando Tordo has been in the music industry for more than 50 years and represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest as a soloist in 1973 and as a member of the group Os Amigos in 1977. Anabela represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993. In both 1973 and 1993 Portugal finished in 10th place.

  • Anda Estragar-Me Os Planos - Joana Barra Vaz with composer Francisca Cortesão

Francisca was born in Porto and is a multi-instrumentalist composer and singer that has worked with several Portuguese artists. In 2017, she was part of the band that joined Lena d’Água in Festival da Canção. Her singer, Joana Barra Vaz, is also a director and screenwriter and makes her debut in the competition.

  • (sem - titulo) - Janeiro (self-composition)

Janeiro is Salvador Sobral's invited composer to participate in the national contest where he will also sing his song. He started to play the guitar as a teenager and what was initially a hobby became his mean of expression as an artist. His influences are diverse, from rock to bossa nova, jazz and classical music.

  • Sem Medo - Rui David with composer Jorge Palma

Jorge Palma started to play the piano very early and then studied at the music Conservatory. He spent his teenage years travelling in Europe and playing his guitar. In 1975, he participated in Festival da Canção with two songs: Viagem, and O Pecado Capital.

  • O Som Da guitarra É A Alma De Um Povo - José Cid & Gonçalo Tavares with composer José Cid

José Cid debuted in Festival da Canção in 1968 and returned to the contest several times as composer and singer, representing Portugal in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest with Um Grande Grande Amor, finishing 7th. In 1998, he was back in Eurovision with the band Alma Lusa. His partner Gonçalo Tavares also participated in the national contest before.

  • Alvoroço - JP Simões (self-composition)

Born in Coimbra, JP Simões is a singer, composer and songwriter, with several albums released. He is also a screenwriter, and occasionally acts, and has published a book and a libretto from an opera he produced. For his Festival da Canção debut, he will sing his own song.

  • Para Sorrir Eu Não Preciso De Nada - Catarina Miranda with composer Júlio Resende

Júlio Resende attended the music Conservatory and is trained in classical music. He is currently a Jazz-Piano teacher in the University of Aveiro and in 2017 he presented the first album of his project Alexander Search. He is also part of the band that accompanies Salvador Sobral in his shows. This will be his first participation in Festival da Canção as well as for his singer, Emmy Curl.

  • Zero A Zero - Joana Espadinha with composer Luís Nunes (Benjamin)

Luís Nunes has worked in London and Portugal as either Walter Benjamin or Benjamin and released albums both in English and Portuguese. In 2017, he was part of Festival da Canção as the keyboardist of the song Nunca Me Fui Embora by Lena d’Água. This year, he invited Joana Espadinha to be his singer.

  • Eu Te Amo - Beatriz Pessoa with composer Mallu Magalhães

Mallu Magalhães learned to play the guitar, moved to banjo, piano, and then ukulele. She started writing songs, most of them in English. Her covers of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan made her an online phenomenon and she started the project Banda do Mar, with Marcelo Camelo and the Fred Pinto Ferreira. It is the first time in Festival da Canção for both Mallu and her singer, Beatriz.

  • Austrália - Bruno Vasconcelos with composer Nuno Rafael

Nuno Rafael started his career as a professional musician in the 1990s and in 1997 he started a prolific collaboration with Portuguese artist Sérgio Godinho, a relationship that is still active. In 2014, he created the popular show Deixem o Pimba em Paz with comedian Bruno Nogueira. This is his first experience as a composer for Festival da Canção.

  • A Mesma Canção - Maria Amaral with composer Paulo Praça

Paulo Praça has already a long musical career. He is one of the guitarists that plays on stage with the band The Gift and worked in the recording of the last two albums of the band. He is in Festival da Canção for the first time and he invited Maria Amaral, contestant of The Voice Portugal, to sing his song.

  • Com Gosto Amigo - Rita Dias (self-composition)

Rita Dias is a composer and singer born in Coimbra. In 2013, she collaborated with four Portuguese musicians, called Os Malabaristas, and released her first album. She has continued to work and presenting new songs. This is her first time participating in the national contest.

Second semi-final: 25th February

The second live show of Festival da Canção 2018 will be hosted by Sónia Araújo, Tânia Ribas de Oliveira and Inês Lopes Gonçalves.

  • Susana Travassos with composer Aline Frazão

Singer, composer, guitarist and producer, Aline Frazão was born in Angola, where she still lives. Her discography includes three albums and she is currently working on the fourth. Her career has a great international dimension and she already performed in stages all over the world. It is the first time in Festival da Canção, as well as for her singer.

  • Lili with composer Armando Teixeira

Born in Lisbon, Armando Teixeira has worked as a composer, singer and producer, in a career associated with several bands and projects as Da Weasel. His work is frequently related to electronic music and he also works as a producer for some national artists. Festival da Canção is not new to him: in 2012, he wrote the song O Mundo Passa.

  • Sequin with composer: Bruno Cardoso (Xinobi)

Inspired by music and cinema, the work of Bruno Cardoso goes from disco to house, electro and techno, and other references he evokes, both on studio and on stage. He has been releasing his work under the name Xinobi, working also as a DJ and editor at the label Discotexas. This invitation lead him to the first participation in Festival da Canção as well for his singer, Sequin.

  • TAMIN with composer Capicua

Capicua is the artistic name of Ana Fernandes, natural from Porto. She studied Sociology but hip-hop would win her heart. In 2008, she released the mixtape Capicua Goes Preemo which was the first of her solo career which already includes more albums and a record/book for children. In 2017, she participated in the project Língua Franca, a project that gathers artists from Portugal and Brazil.

  • Daniela Onís (self-composition)

Actress and singer born in Lisbon, she is dedicated to acting, music and singing. With a special taste for writing, she already wrote for musical theater and likes to write for other singers. Recently, she started to create her own songs and participated in the contest MasterClass, promoted by Antena 1. By winning this contest, she earned a spot in Festival da Canção where she will sing her own song.

  • Diogo Piçarra with composer Diogo Piçarra

Singer, composer, musician and producer, Diogo Piçarra started to play the guitar in 2006 and shortly after that started his own band. In 2012, he won the contest Idols and won a course at London Music School. He released two albums and has worked with several artists. His career led him to perform in international stages, not only all over Europe but also in Brazil and Macau. This year, he participates for the first time in Festival da Canção.

  • David Pessoa with composer Francisco Rebelo

Francisco Rebelo has musical training in Jazz by Hot Club Portugal and has worked as a sound technician and producer. He created the bands Cool Hipnoise and Spaceboys, and participated, as bass player, in concerts and recordings for other artists. He is a teacher in the area of sound and also a producer for bands as Orelha Negra, Cais Sodré Funk Connection e Fogo-Fogo. In 2017, he was the musical director of the medleys presented in the intermission of Festival da Canção.

  • Cláudia Pascoal with composer Isaura

Isaura made her debut in 2014 with Useless a song that was an absolute hit on YouTube. After that, in 2016, she performed in several music festivals, like Rock in Rio Lisboa and NOS Alive. That year, she was also nominated for the “Revelation” award at the Portugal Festival Awards. In 2018, she will participate for the first time in Festival da Canção and invited the singer Cláudia Pascoal.

  • Rita Marques with composer João Afonso

Singer and Composer, João Afonso was born in 1965 in Mozambique. He first gained recognition when he presented the project “Maio Maduro Maio”, with covers from his uncle, iconic Portuguese artist José Afonso. He has already released several albums and worked with different national and international artists. This is his premiere in Festival da Canção, and he invited Rita Marques to sing his song.

  • Dora Fidalgo with composer Miguel Ângelo

At only 18 years old he founded the band Delfins. After 25 years with Delfins and other projects such as Resistência and Movimento, he launched his solo career in 2012 and released two albums. His latest album includes a duet with Eduardo Nascimento, who represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967 (video below). Miguel Ângelo was part of Festival da Canção in 1985, when he presented A Casa da Praia with Delfins.

  • Paulo Flores (self-composition)

Singer and songwriter, Paulo Flores is a reference for Angolan music. He has more than ten titles in his career, released since 1989. Paulo Flores places his work in an artistic language based on the valorization of Angolan music patrimony, while creating space for it to be influenced by other musical genres. This is his first participation in the national contest.

  • Peter Serrado (self-composition)

Peter Serrado is a Portuguese-Canadian singer and songwriter. He started to sing from a very early age, but only later he started to consider a professional music career, after winning a musical contest in Canada. After that, he started to write his own songs and won other contests. His song was selected through a contest promoted by Antena1, which gave him the opportunity to participate in Festival da Canção.

  • Maria Inês Paris with composer Tito Paris

Born in Cabo Verde, Tito Paris grew up in a family of musicians. He started to play several instruments, before starting to compose his own songs. At 19, he was invited to be part of the band A Voz de Cabo Verde. He has played with several musicians but affirmed himself as a composer. In 2012, celebrating the 30 years of his career, he edited a photo biography and released a documentary. This is his first time in Festival da Canção.

The winner of Festival da Canção 2018 will be the 50th artist to represent Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest, and will perform in the Grand Final in Lisbon on the 12th May thanks to Salvador Sobral's victory last year.