What a few years it has been for Portugal at Eurovision, and 2021 was no exception. A definite dark horse entry – and the first ever fully English song for Portugal – Love Is On My Side by The Black Mamba, caught many fans off guard with a 12th place finish in the Grand Final. With this change of the norm for the Iberian nation, what do Portugal do next? How can they build on their 2021 success while continuing to push Festival da Canção (FdC) into a new era? We take a look at a selection of Portuguese artists to build a wish list for the prestigious festival that selects the Portuguese Eurovision entry.
As fans of FdC will know, the composer’s of the festival are just as important to the contests’ traditions as the artists. One composer that’s on our radar is Branko – who is no stranger to the Eurovision world, performing as part of an interval act during the final of Eurovision 2018, and has collaborated with 2019 Portuguese entrant Conan Osíris. His dance beats feature rhythms that will make you feel like you’re floating, so the Lisbon-born DJ, producer and record label owner could very much offer an alternative to the FdC audience.
Branko songs we’d recommend
- Vinte Vinte (ft. Ana Moura and Conan Osíris)
- Reserva Pra Dois
Blaya is no stranger to fans’ Eurovision wish lists, and rightly so. An artist with a dedicated fan base amongst Portuguese and Eurofans alike, her music mixes Portuguese sounds, flair and flavour with an R&B twist. Could she provide a song for FdC that hits the sweet spot between traditionally Portuguese and accessibility beyond boarders?
Blaya songs we’d recommend
- Vem na Vibe
- Faz Gostoso
If there is anything that Eurovision 2021 taught us, it’s that authenticity is king. And Angola-born artist Pongo for sure, ticks that box. Pongo blends the African musical style kuduro with modern, techno beats and extremely powerful vocals. She also sings in the Angolan language Kimbundu as well as Portuguese. Her dynamic sound and culture would be most welcome not only at FdC but of course, Eurovision. We’ve never heard anything like this on the Eurovision stage before – and hey, it’s our wish list and we can only dream, right?!
Pongo songs we’d recommend
Let’s talk about fado – one of Portugal’s biggest music exports, and the base of many classic FdC songs. In 2020, Portuguese fado musician Lina teamed up with Spanish producer Raül Refree (previously worked with Rosalía and C. Tangana) to create an intimate and beautifully dark fado record – which could very well be the foundation that projects the genre into the mainstream. Modern flamenco continues to be well an established genre, but now we think it’s time for fado to take the spotlight, and what a platform Eurovision would be for it.
Lina_Raül songs we’d recommend
- Cuidei que tinha morrido
With the huge success of bands at Eurovision 2021 who’s to say that can’t happen two years in a row? It only seems right we talk about a band – and we have Porto-based band Sunflowers on our list. The English singing psych punk band pack a huge punch in their discography, with riffs that hit you the second you press play. With the mix of their powerful sounds and potentially a further interest of more English language entries, could a band like Sunflowers provide the grit to take Portugal to the next level?
Sunflowers songs we’d recommend:
- Castle Spell
Portugal have never had an issue with staying true to themselves – but the FdC 2022 line up looks to be one of the most interesting yet, as we’ll see if they stick to their more traditional roots, take another English approach or even a mixture of both – perhaps accustomed sounds intertwined with modern elements. One thing is for sure, the festival sets to be again another brilliant few weeks celebrating Portuguese music and artists.
Who would you like to see at FdC 2022? Are there any returnees you’d love to see back? Let us know!