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Index – Culture – The most successful Portuguese artist sings in Vesperm

You could choose from many musical genres; Why did Fado become a musician?

I was saying I didn’t choose Fado, Fado chose me. My parents also listened to this music, and I’ve been a fan of it since I was a kid. Growing up, I tried other styles and genres, and eventually became a fado singer by chance. I was just working on a pop rock album when I was asked to sing in a traditional fado house, and I absolutely fell in love with the atmosphere. Fado is not only music, but also a way of life.

What does fado mean to you?

The soul of the Portuguese lives in the fado: this music is the best part of our personality and identity. The sea ahead, and all of Europe behind, the Portuguese make us feel nostalgic. Fado emphasizes our sensitive selves, our deep feelings, but not only sad music, but also fast-paced spirited music.

How does your music work in Portugal and how does it perform in the rest of the world?

Even though most places don’t understand the lyrics, people feel the music and the message I bring with my songs. I think they treat my music differently in every country, they succumb to melodies differently. It is interesting that they interact quite differently with the fado in Mexico than in Hungary.

Have you visited Hungary before?

I last sang at the Sziget Festival in 2015, but also in 2011. Prince also watched the concert he also gave that year. We later worked together, and we even invited me to Paisley Park, his studio.

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What kind of work do you do with other speakers?

I like to experiment, to try myself in new ways, because I always get to know another side of me.

You are the Portuguese actor who sells the most records. How do you face this?

It feels great, because at first I hardly had a chance to show myself to the world: fado music doesn’t really play on radios. I began to wander, after a while my songs reached the farthest reaches of the world. My example also shows that anyone can fulfill their dreams: I don’t play mainstream music, yet I’ve come this far.

What can the public expect in Vesperm?

I will be performing some songs from my new album coming out at the end of the summer. It will be a special record because I will be integrating my African roots with Fado for the first time. My parents are from northern Portugal, my mother is from Angola, they met in Portugal. I traveled with them a lot, so I absorbed the different musical influences that appear on this album.

(Cover photo: I’m Mora. Photo: Joseph Okpaku/WireImage/Getty Images Hungary)