She wrote Portugal’s Eurovision 2018 entry “O Jardim”. But since representing her country on home soil alongside Cláudia Pascoal, Isaura has been up to a lot over the past year. Perfecting her upcoming EP, the singer-songwriter has also collaborated with Luísa Sobral, the writer of Portugal’s Eurovision 2017 winning entry “Amar Pelos Dois”, and sister to singer Salvador Sobral.
The duo’s recent song “Uma Frase Não Faz A Canção”, which translates as “A Phrase doesn’t make a song”, is a simple but beautiful Portuguese ballad.
Isaura recently caught up with wiwibloggs to discuss her Eurovision experience, what she’s been up to since the contest and her exciting new collaboration with Luísa Sobral.
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Quando pensei em fazer um trabalho de canções em português comecei uma viagem de que já tinha saudades; essas canções teriam de me saber bem como as que eu fazia quando comecei a aprender a tocar guitarra e ter também a minha sonoridade nova lá dentro. Quando escrevo canções em português, talvez pela sonoridade da língua ou pelas palavras que gosto de escolher, sinto que estão mais perto de virem a ser um fado do que uma canção synth-pop-alternativo ou o-que-quer-que-seja-o-que-eu-faço. Numa primeira fase fiz essa viagem sozinha, escrevendo e compondo os meus dias – a Liga-Desliga acontece. Numa segunda fase, quis rodear-me de pessoas que me desafiassem, que me inspirassem e me dessem a conhecer mais música, mais sensibilidade. A @luisasobral aparece como um nome incontornável dos que têm o coração no sitio certo ao escrever canções. A Luisa aceitou fazer uma canção comigo para este trabalho que estava – estou – a preparar e foi bonito a rapidez e a facilidade com que conversámos e escorregou uma canção. Quando me sentei a Luisa perguntou-me em que tonalidade queria escrever, eu respondi “mi maior”; ela perguntou sobre o que eu queria escrever, eu respondi “sobre escrever canções em português, sobre escrever em inglês não ser menos verdade, sobre por muito sincera que sejas nunca conseguires contar uma história inteira, sobre dizeres tudo e só dizeres uma parte mas quem lê achar que disseste tudo” e, sendo isto confuso, a Luisa percebeu exatamente o que estava a tentar dizer. Fui para casa com uma gravação no telefone que para mim era perfeita, não era passível de alterar; “Uma Frase Não Faz A Canção” a duas vozes. Convidei a Luisa para cantar esta canção comigo porque senti que a história já não era minha, era das duas; ela disse que sim.
Hello Isaura, thank you so much for speaking to wiwibloggs! It’s now been a whole year since you were representing Portugal at Eurovision on home soil, how does it feel now looking back?
It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. It was a privilege to be part of such a huge show, and representing my country while hosts was extra challenging perhaps.
Can you tell us about what you’ve been up to since the contest?
Right after the contest I released my debut album Human; it’s a very special work for me because it’s very personal. I’m now working on my first EP in Portuguese – already released three songs: “Liga-Desliga”, “Uma Frase Não Faz A Canção” featuring Luísa Sobral, and “O Teu Nome Ainda Cabe No Meu”. The EP will probably be released in October. This is me exploring my sound now in Portuguese and kind of letting me see where it leads me. I’ve been very much enjoying the whole process.
Yes, tell us more about your partnership with (fellow Eurovision writer and 2017 winner) Luíssa Sobral! How did that happen?
I wrote a first round of songs for my EP all by myself, but after some months of doing that I felt the need to go write with other people. I wanted to be around people that inspire me but are also so different from what I sound like. I have a huge respect for Luísa Sobral as an artist and especially as a songwriter, so I asked her if she would like to make a song with me and she said yes.
We did it and we connected right away; we wrote the whole song in like 30 minutes. I went home and started producing the song and I knew this song was a duet, it was perfect like that. I invited her to sing it with me and I was so lucky she said yes!
And “Uma Frase Não Faz A Canção” was the result! Please can you tell us what it is about?
When Luísa asked me what I wanted to write about I instantaneously started telling her how I was feeling about writing in Portuguese. I was loving it, I am loving it; however that doesn’t mean that before, while writing in English, the songs were less true because they were in English. So we started chatting about that, and all we went through and learnt with Eurovision, and we ended up with this theme: you only know a side of each story; each story has multiple perspectives.
Your music video is really simple but very effective, what was the idea behind it?
I think both Luísa and me are really convinced that words and stories mean the most. I really wanted a video in which the story we wrote together was the most important thing; Luísa liked the idea too. I think it worked out pretty well, I love the music video.
What about the future? Do you have any plans for a tour? More work with Cláudia? Or perhaps a return to Eurovision?
I’m not sure; I’m finishing my EP and that is my main focus right now. It has been an enormous process for me to find my voice now in a different language from what I’ve been developing for the last (almost) five years. I know Claudia is preparing her debut album, maybe after that we will be able to collaborate somehow! When it comes to Eurovision, maybe, but further down the road; Portugal has several amazing artists that will represent us very very well in the years to come.
We couldn’t leave you without discussing Conan Osiris. “Telemóveis” was very unlucky not to make the final, what were your thoughts about the song?
I think the song was a very good representation of other music genres that are also becoming important in the Portuguese music scene and personally I liked being represented by Conan Osiris because we were never represented by such genre at Eurovision. I think it was unlucky for Portugal not to make it to the final, but I still think it was a very nice season for Portugal.
Thank you Isaura for your time and good luck!
Do you like Isaura and Luísa’s collaboration? What other two Eurovision alum’s should collaborate together to write a song? Tell us in the comments section below.