A jazz singer, a pink-haired hipster, an avant-garde performer from another planet and an emotional balladeer. The last four years of Portugal’s Festival da Canção brought mixed fortunes for the Iberian nation at Eurovision. What could 2021 have in store?

Festival da Canção 2021 Composers Revealed

On Friday 4 December, national broadcaster RTP announced the list of composers charged with creating the 20 entries for next year’s competition. The list is diverse in genres and style, something the revamped Festival da Canção has us used to by now.

Carolina Deslandes, Virgul, Neev and Karetus are among the most exciting names in the mix. And Festival da Canção 2017 act Pedro Gonçalves is back with a composition of his own.

Carolina Deslandes

Carolina Deslandes is a well known singer-songwriter in Portugal. After coming third on Portuguese Idol back in 2010, the singer went on to release three studio albums. Her last effort, “Casa” (Home) topped the Portuguese charts and her last singles — “A Vida Toda” and “Avião de Papel” — are solid hits.

Virgul

Virgul has a long career that started way back in 1995 as part of the famous group Da Weasel, opening for acts like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. After the group ended, the singer-songwriter focused on his solo career and the project NuSoulFamily, aimed to reinvent funky, house and pop styles.

He is the winner of several MTV Music Awards for Best Portuguese act, both on group and solo.

NEEV

NEEV, artistic name for Bernardo Neves, is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter. He writes and performs in English and lists Bon Iver, Nick Drake and Sufjan Steven among his inspirations.

His work reflects the sound of the new generations, mixing pop with multiple genres, creating distinctive, impactful, some even say mystical tunes. He’s featured on Seeb’s hit single “Breathe“.

Karetus

Karetus is a Portuguese group formed by two DJs and music producers. They’ve focused most of their work on a premise the group calls “Full Flavour”, or in other words, music that pays no attention to conventional genres or rhythms. Their main goal is just to create and perform good music.

Over the last several years, Karetus has worked with several known artists in Portugal. Among them is Festival da Canção 2018 act, Diogo Piçarra. In 2018, the group created a rendition of “Bella Ciao” for Netlfix’s “La Casa de Papel” (Money Heist).

Festival da Canção 2021 – Composers

  • Pedro Gonçalves (Open Submissions Call)
  • Miguel Marôco (Open Submissions Call)
  • Tainá (wiwibloggs wishlist 2021)
  • Tatanka
  • IAN
  • NEEVE
  • Hélder Moutinho
  • Anne Victorino D’Almeida
  • Carolina Deslandes
  • Stereossauro
  • Filipe Melo
  • Joana Alegre
  • Virgul
  • Irma
  • Viviane
  • João Vieira
  • Da Chick
  • Fábia Maia
  • Karetus
  • Pedro da Linha

Festival da Canção 2021 – Rules

The 50/50 voting system is back, but with different forms for the semi-finals and the grand final. A single jury and the public televote will decide which songs will advance to the final. In case of a tie, the professional jury will decide which ones advance.

In the grand final, the decision will be split by televote and seven regional juries. This time around, if we have a tie, the televote will prevail.

Note that this year, 20 songs will take part in the competition. 10 in each semi-final with 5 songs from each advancing to the Grand Final.

As in previous years, the semi-finals will take place on February 20 and 27. The final is set for March 6.

What do you think of the composers? Which name are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments.

Read more Portugal Eurovision news here

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raspadinha
raspadinha
4 months ago

Just listened to a couple of authors and loved NEEV and have never heard from him before! Hopes up for him!

Musimak
Musimak
4 months ago

Carolina deslandes !!! oMG we discovered her music through luisa sobral and we love her !! She has to win !

Loin dici
Loin dici
4 months ago

A single jury and the public televote will decide which songs will advance to the final”

this is interesting

Me!
Me!
4 months ago

I really like this national selection concept Portugal has these days, it puts the people in more light who usually are just names on the backround behind the songs.

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago

Deslandes, finally! I hope she decides to sing her entry. NEEV sounds great too. I wonder if any of those songwriters can bring something like “Movimento” from this year’s FdC. I think it’s a type of entry that could make some waves in Eurovision, though I assume it would be unusual for the Portuguese audience to vote for something like that.

Sebastián
Sebastián
4 months ago

We are gonna see if the way taken for the FdC will work the next year. We saw that on 2018 were last, on 2019 they didn’t qualify and on 2020 the song wasn’t for qualify on finals. There are three factors that Portugal is the weakest country in Eurovision: geopolitical position, portuguese cultural background and lack show background. 1) Geopolitical position: they only share boundaries with Spain and culturally they are so different, only Galizia is the twin of Portugal. Perhaps, their diaspora is only big in France and Switzerland. So, they only guaranteed three popular votes. 2) Portugal… Read more »

Catherine
Catherine
4 months ago
Reply to  Sebastián

Oh please, “Portugal is the weakest country in Eurovision”, a country that won once with the biggest amount of points ever? At least they won while some countries have barely touched the Top 10 since they joined Eurovision. And some haven’t won in more than 50 years, like “Espain”. I think it’s your jealousy speaking.

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago
Reply to  Sebastián

You have some fair points there. I especially agree that their simplicity with staging clashes with all the glam of Eurovision.Their songs tend to get lost in translation, so compensate with visuals would be smart. Though simplicity it was a big selling point for “Amar Pelos Dois”, when the only showy thing was the fact Salvador does some adorable quirk faces. And when they tried something more extravagant with Conan, they were rejected. Then I have question: what would be the point for Portugal to “dress up” as a different country just to win the contest? Of course, it’s a… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Sabrina
Azevedo
Azevedo
4 months ago
Reply to  Sebastián

You have a point, and I agree with some, but…I give you just one main reason to be the weakest Eurovision Country: Our Broadcast, RTP. The major of the songs doens’t represent, at all, our music taste. Even the greatest and successful artists that we have…they simply don’t care about FDC. Dispite that we are one of the countries in Europe that listen more English pop songs, RTP only break the rule for the language a few years ago… They just keep and keep stuck to some cultural issues, that don’t Make sense anymore. And I am referring to RTP,… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Sebastián

Your historical assessment of their colonial activities is not accurate – they did plenty of trading, including slavery.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Also, their soccer team suggests they have plenty of competitive spirit too…

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Sebastián

Very interesting assessment. I think of Portugal as one of the countries that is in Eurovision just to be there in the party. They did win once with now iconic song and performance. A victory that was long due if only for the number of years in the contest. But it felt more like an “accident” than “trying to win”. Now they can relax and just try to include more great music for the Portuguese public and of course the international fandom. Other countries will try to win, no worries about that.

James
James
4 months ago

FdC is coming, which means their iconic theme song will be heard again. Yehey!

Jake
Jake
4 months ago

Love NEEV…but why do I have the sense there are only 1 (possibly 2 songs) that will actually be fast and full of energy…mostly because looking at composers previous track record…I am a little shocked…and it seems like they had a record number of entries but the 2 they picked from the open call seem to fall under the melancholic singer songwriter ilk…again–I am so confused with so much dance, rap and pop music filling their radio stations, Festival da Cancao sticks to this singer-songwriter selections…there’s a sameness to the genre so many of these artists hit

Unknown Melody
Unknown Melody
4 months ago
Reply to  Jake

About half of these people make mostly uptempo music, including one of the open call picks.

Tibor
Tibor
4 months ago

Okay, I’m a little disappointed that mema. from yesterday’s list didn’t make it, but NEEV definitely sounds great, too. Do you already know, when the songs will be out, Bernardo?

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

I like the increase of songs to 20. With a fewer national finals, I like that several will have over 20 songs in them (Melfest, FdC, FiK, MGP, Eesti laul, Pabandum iš naujo, probably Sanremo, perhaps more). 🙂

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago

So these composers could also be the singers right? who composed their own songs or am I wrong? so happy about a lot of these and I’m glad if we have a strong song in the second semi, which will probably lack a bit of quality.

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago

great! Really want to so Neev and Carolina on FdC as singers.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

I think it’s reasonable to expect a good portion of these entries to be singer-songwriter efforts. Almost 50% of the efforts are written by women, too. Really promising!

Nicky
Nicky
4 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

yes correct, i myself like Virgul a lot, he got such a nice feel good vibe with his music, ”Nina” ”Só Eu Sei” the latter i had in a fan contest too

Filipe
Filipe
4 months ago

OMG NEEV, Carolina Deslandes!! Love them two! Excited for Pedro Gonçalves coming back as well. Portugal is going strong for 2021! Thank god. From Brazil <3

Nicky
Nicky
4 months ago
Reply to  Filipe

well they also got a brazilian on the line up btw, singer Taina 🙂