Back in October, Portuguese broadcaster RTP announced that the 2021 edition of Festival da Canção would go ahead. And yesterday they revealed on social media that we are going to have an update on the competition on December 4. That’s tomorrow! 

It seems like the perfect time to dive into Portugal’s music industry in the hopes of finding ten exciting names that we would like to see at Festival da Canção. We put our personal tastes aside and came up with a diverse list of genres and voices.

Festival da Canção 2021: 10 dream acts for Portugal

1. Marta Carvalho and Elisa

Marta Carvalho and Elisa had to be on this list. They won Festival da Canção 2020 with the endearing ballad “Medo de Sentir”, so should not only be invited back out of courtesy but mostly because of how talented they are. Both are signed to major record labels and actively working on new music.

Since the national final, Elisa has released her first single, “Coração”. It has since clocked up more than 200,000 views on YouTube.

2. mema.

mema. — yes, her name comes with punctuation — is a newcomer in the Portuguese music industry and ticks all the boxes to make the list for Festival da Canção. She is a producer, artist and songwriter who takes folk music to another level, mixing up electronic indie, pop and traditional Portuguese sounds.

Her first EP Cidade de Sal was released in October.

3. Tyoz

Tyoz is one of the names Portuguese Eurofans have been buzzing about for the 2021 season. While his singing career only recently started with “Don’t Need You”, the 22-year-old has an extensive catalogue as a songwriter for production house RedMojo.

From Portuguese stars Fernando Daniel, Blaya and April Ivy to Spanish Operación Triunfo royalty  Lola Indigo, Alba Reche, Natalia Lacunza and international icons Anitta and Madonna, Tyoz’s lyrics have been doing the rounds. Maybe Festival da Canção is next on his bucket list?

4. Bárbara Bandeira

Bárbara Bandeira is undoubtedly one of the best known female pop artists in Portugal among teens and young adults. Her father, Rui Bandeira, even represented Portugal at Eurovision in 1999. But our girl has achievements of her own. The 19-year-old singer’s repertoire boasts consecutive singles above the million mark on YouTube. One of them is “Como Eu”.

5. Branko

A music producer and composer for the new generation. Branko performed as the interval act at Eurovision 2018 and has several albums and EPs under his belt — both as a solo artist and as part of the popular group Buraka Som Sistema.

His style can be described as electronic and dance but he’s known for mixing different genres to create innovative and contemporary sounds.

6. Cristóvam

Cristóvam is a folk singer-songwriter born and raised in the Azores. Winner of multiple songwriting competitions, both on the national and international level, this newcomer has more than thirty concerts in 5 different countries under his belt.

“Setting Sun” is his latest single. Released in October, it has close to half a million views. Cristóvam released his first album back in 2018.

7. Pedro Mafama

Remember Conan Osiris? You can’t put his music genre in a box. Want to know Pedro Mafama? He shares a similar recipe in concept but it’s different in execution. Mixing the sounds of everyday Lisbon is his motto. Stanning him is ours. The music speaks for itself.

8. Slow J

Slow J, stage name for João Coelho, is a singer-songwriter, rapper, and music producer. You name it. As with most Portuguese artists, his genre is difficult to place — so don’t even try! His style drinks from rock, fado, R&B and others. And gurl: we got that thirst.

His creations define the conventional and for that he won Best Male Artist at the PLAY – Portuguese Music Awards in 2020.

9. Tainá

Tainá was born in Brazil but now lives in Portugal — and what a blessing that is. It’s true music doesn’t have borders but the Iberian nation is lucky to have her.

The feel-good and gentle tracks from the Brazilian newcomer are the beginning of a long journey that already has a PLAY – Portuguese Music Award for Best Artist of the Lusophone Countries as an accolade.

10. SYRO 

Last but not least is SYRO. The 25-year-old is a singer, author and drummer. He began his music journey in the Pop-Rock band Caelum but operates solo now. His most recent work can be defined as pop or alternative-pop, depending on the songs.

His biggest hit, “Perto de Mim”, has clocked more than 6 million views on YouTube and has earned national exposure both on television and radio. He won the “Most Wanted” prize, awarded by MTV Portugal.

Honorable Mentions

While our list is limited to only 10 artists, we decided to bring back Fernando Daniel (Festival da Canção 2017) and Murta from last year’s wishlist. These artists continue to make waves in the Portuguese music industry and seem like a good fit with both the Festival da Canção and Eurovision brands.

Festival da Canção 2020 – The Format

RTP have confirmed that they will be using the same songwriter-focused format for the national final. This year 20 songs will compete in the contest — up from 16 in 2019 and 2020.

The broadcaster will internally select 18 composers, and pick the final two entries from public submissions.

The show itself will consist of two semi-finals made up of ten songs each. Five songs from each semi will qualify for the grand final.

That’s it. These are our 10 names. What do you think? Would you like to see any of them at Festival da Canção 2021? What other names would you like to see on the list of composers? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Read more Portugal Eurovision news here

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Shakeba
Shakeba
10 months ago

I WANT SUZY

Jake
Jake
10 months ago

I love some of the choices that have been made lately with FdC, but wish there was variety in terms of more BPMs. I think because there is a relatively sameness in the tempo of songs that they have a harder time standing out from each other. I also wish RTP would invest in staging for FdC like they do with their edition of The Voice which always seems like one of the best in the world in terms of finding good voices and changing up arrangements from the original songs. With that said I would recommend a few more… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
10 months ago

Portugal’s music scene is a delight for someone that likes alternative music like myself. It’s impressive how artists there are able to do their own thing and sound accessible at the same time. I hope your list keeps being an annual tradition here, Bernardo. Because I always add new people to my playlists when you publish your wishlist for the next FdC.

Bernardo Pereira
Bernardo Pereira
10 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Thank you very much for your words. I try to run away from the conventional. I feel the stereotype that only a couple of styles are suitable for Eurovision needs top be deconstructed. 🙂

Last edited 10 months ago by Bernardo Pereira
Sabrina
Sabrina
10 months ago

I totally agree with you! And it seems people involved with FdC also thinks the same, which is great.

ESC Commentaror
ESC Commentaror
10 months ago

It would be great to hear Diogo Piçarra, Amor Electro, Aurea or duo Anjos! Great artists. Also fado artists like Ana Moura or Carminho are very welcome:)

Bernardo Pereira
Bernardo Pereira
10 months ago

Great names!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 months ago

You always do a great job of covering the FdC, Bernardo! Keep up the good work. Really looking forward to the announcement.

Vasco
Vasco
10 months ago

Great article, Bernardo! Thanks!

Una
Una
10 months ago

Felipe Sambado without a doubt. His Gerbera amarela of 2020 showed musical and lyrical skill as well as theatrical interpretation. The lyrics were so clever. He made best use of the backing vocals as part of the whole thing. Everything came together. He also won the juty vote this year. I wish he comes back to FdC and wins it!

Jayy R
Jayy R
10 months ago

Wow, very nice list, all enjoyable to listen to!
Just from listening to the songs here, my favourites would be mema. and SYRO, both got me feeling something different, and I think both would be a great addition to Festival da Canção! 🙂

Grft
Grft
10 months ago

Interesting list. Are you gonna do the same for France? I think they are gonna announce the competing artists really soon since the show is in January. For DE it was during the first week of December.

Erasmus
Erasmus
10 months ago

great list! Portugal has such great and interesting artists.