She is one of the new voices of Fado, Portugal’s traditional folk music.
Portuguese singer Cristina Branco has released her latest album ‘Idealist’, a three-CD box set of her best music plus three new tracks.
The artist, who is now in her forties, says Fado has always been a part of her life: “I want to get closer to Fado music because I have grown up emotionally and I think it takes a certain amount of… There is an intensity to Fado music which means that no matter what you do you can’t have it when you’re younger… Today, at the age of 40, I believe this more than ever before, I am closer to Fado than I have ever been in my life.”
Branco was originally drawn to jazz, blues and bossa nova. But all that changed when her grandfather introduced her to Amália Rodrigues, a famous Portuguese singer and actress known as ‘The Queen of Fado’.
“There are those who mean a lot to me. First of all Amália Rodrigues, because she was so important and had a huge impact on my personality. I mean, 20 years ago, it was almost impossible not to bump into her at some point . I’m here today because I heard her singing one day and because my grandfather made me listen to her,” she says.
In 2012, Fado was added to UNESCO’s list of World Intangible Cultural Heritage. Cristina Branco is part of a generation of Portuguese singers that has reinvented the traditional musical genre.
“I really like the studio and I love being on stage, too. They are two different moments of my working life. In the past, there were times when I prefered the stage to the studio and at other moments I prefered the studio to the stage. I think it evolves as we grow as artists. I think the time in the studio is the moment when things take shape, when you can be alone with yourself and the authors and you really understand the essence of the music and the lyrics,” says Branco.
Cristina Branco is currently on a world tour that focuses particularly on the Netherlands where she launched her career some 20 years ago.