2022 marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of Portugal’s broadcaster, RTP, who are once again organising Festival da Canção in order to select their Eurovision entry. As in recent years, the competition consists of 2 semi-finals, this year of 10 songs each, leading to a grand final, also of 10 songs. This article previews the 10 artists taking part in the first semi-final, in their pre-determined running order. After finishing 12th in Rotterdam last year, will Portugal achieve another successful result?
Os Quatro e Meia – Amanhã
Os Quatro e Meia (loosely translated to English as “The Four and An Half”) consist of 6 members, and were formed in 2013. They quickly went viral after a performance af a dance academy fundraiser. Since then, they have released 2 albums, both of which reached number one on the Portugese Album charts. They were one of four acts selected for FdC after an open call for participants. All 6 members also have occupations over and above this band – 3 are doctors, 2 are computer engineers, while 1 is a music teacher. They compete with “Amanhã” (“Tomorrow”).
TheMisterDriver – Calisun
TheMisterDriver competes in FdC having also been selected via the open call. It rather seems that he is a relative newcomer to the music scene, as there is not much information about him online, other than a few recently-uploaded videos to a YouTube channel. He competes in FdC with an English language song called Calisun.
Diana Castro – Ginger Ale
Diana Castro was invited directly to compete by RTP. In 2018, she finished 2nd on Portugal’s version of The Voice, under the coaching of Marisa Liz. A few years on from that, she now turns her hand to FdC, and despite the title (“Ginger Ale”), Diana’s song is in her native Portuguese language.
FF – Como é bom esperar alguém
It appears FF has also released some singles, and has also competed on Portugal’s version of Your Face Sounds familiar, covering songs such as “Grace Kelly” by Mika, and Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights”. FF was also directly invited to compete in FdC with the song “Como é bom esperar alguém” (“How nice to expect someone”)
Norton – Hope
Norton are another band, however are far more established, having released their first EP in 2003. Described as an indie rock band, they have so far released 5 albums, including Heavy Light in 2020, and have toured extensively around Europe and as far afield as Japan. Directly invited to compete by RTP, their song for this particular competition is called Hope.
Aurea – Why?
Aurea also appears to be one of the more established acts in FdC this year, having released her first Portuguese chart-topping single in 2008. Aurea actually sings mostly in English, however she has released some songs in her native Portuguese, one of which was the theme tune to the Portuguese TV show, “A Impostora”. She also won MTV Europe’s Award for best Portuguese act twice consecutively, in 2011 and 2012. It remains to be seen if this past success translate into a good result here, with a song called “Why?”.
Kumpania Algazarra – A minha praia
Kumpania Algazarra have also been established for a while, starting in 2004 and releasing their first album in 2008. They are described as a folk band influenced by various different styles. Currently they consist of 8 members, so if they win FdC with “A minha praia” (“My Beach”), they will have to make the difficult decision of which 6 will appear on the Eurovision stage in May.
Maro – Saudade, saudade
Maro was born Mariana Secca in Lisbon and in 2018 alone, she released no less than 6 self-written and produced projects. She has gained attention from several well-known artists such as Justin Timberlake, and toured with Jacob Collier in 2019. Will she be able to find even more success when she competes in FdC with “Saudade, Saudade”?
Valos e Os Astronautas – Odisseia
Sadly, there appears to be little information about Valos e os Astronautas online, but from the promo video for their song, they appear to be a group. Both the name of the group and the lyrics to their song “Odisseia” (“Odyssey”) allude to a theme of outer space – we will have to wait and see whether such a theme will impress enough to rocket into the final.
Fado Bicha – Povo pequenino
The potential advantage of closing this semi final goes to Fado Bicha (roughly translated as “Queer Fado”), a duo consisting of Tiago Lila (under the stage name Lila Fadista) and João Caçador. They first rose to prominence in 2019, after re-writing a famous Portuguese Fado song off the back of several notable incidents of violence. According to their YouTube channel, they wanted to create a place where, amongst other things, they could create new narratives within the normally traditional Fado genre. The duo are competing in FdC with “Povo pequenino” (“Little People”)
The first semi-final of Festival da Canção airs on Saturday night at 10pm CET, where the top 5 songs based on a combination of jury and televoting will qualify for the final next weekend! You can watch the show live on RTP1 (Direto RTP1 – RTP Play – RTP) or on RTP Internacional (Direto RTP Internacional – RTP Play – RTP). Make sure to follow EuroBuzz on all our social media platforms for all of the latest Portuguese Eurovision news as the National Final season continues!