Rosie had the opportunity to talk to Kumpania Algazarra, who are competing in this year’s Festival da Canção with their song “A Minha Praia”. They discuss the process behind creating the song and their eclectic music, the opportunities afforded by the pandemic for making and performing music, and the impact of Salvador Sobral’s victory on the Portuguese music scene.
Your song A Minha Praia is a delightful folk-ska song, full of optimism and determination. Could you please tell us a little bit about the writing process and what inspired the song?
We created the song in a couple of jam sessions, so we could test and feel it as we were creating it. Only after I started to work on the lyrics. We are always trying to cheer up our audiences, so with all this stress around the world. We felt the need to remember who we are , and that we are all connected by good energy.
Are you able to give away any hints of what we can expect from your live performance at Festival da Canção?
We are preparing some moves around the set and some wild surprises.
You’ve been active in the Portuguese music scene for almost 20 years, but this is your first time competing in Festival da Canção. Why is now the right time for you to do so?
We got the invitation this year, and, because of the pandemic we all had a lot of free time on our hands. Usually, we don’t stop much with the gigs , but the opportunity presented itself so we embraced the challenge .
One of the things that really stands out to me looking at your past music and also interviews is just how many cultures, genres and influences inspire your music. What is your process in listening to these, experiencing them, and incorporating them into your music?
We are a group with very different cultures mixing. And each one of us brings his own life experiences to the band, making it richer. When we travel, we are always listening to all kinds of music and each one of us does his own a little DJ Set while we’re in the van, so everyone gets to know what everyone else is listening to. It’s very good to discover new and old songs.
Festival da Canção is extremely prestigious in Portugal, but is also a national selection to choose a song to compete at Eurovision. Portugal got their first victory at Eurovision in 2017; has this changed the perceptions of both Festival da Canção and Eurovision amongst the Portuguese public and music industry?
Winning in 2017 made us believe in Portuguese music again, in a world wide sense. Because, some years ago, we felt that people were losing interest, so that win at Eurovison put it and Festival da Canção under a new spotlight and we feel people are opening to new people and new ideas .
What do you like to do for fun when you have a chance to relax?
To have some quality time with my children and walk in the nature .
For a lot of people, particularly an international audience, your performance at Festival da Canção will be their first Kumpania Algazzara experience.If someone tunes in to Festival da Canção and loves A Minha Praia, and wants to listen to more of your music, which tracks should they listen to first?
We have many different styles, but I would recommend “Mariquita” and “Actuality” .
About Kumpania Algazarra
Kumpania Algazarra is a Portuguese multi-genre band, consisting of:
- Francisco Amorim (trombone)
- Diogo Andrade (drums)
- Luís Barrocas (guitar, saxophone and vocals)
- Franciscio Brito (bass)
- Mateja Dolsak (saxophone)
- Gil Goncalves (tuba)
- Paul Robert (trumpet)
- Helder Silva (percussion)
They have been active on the Portuguese music scene for almost 20 years, having formed in 2004! They describe themselves as “kaleidoscopic international party-starters”, with music crossing the boundaries of genres and borders. Major players on the international festival circuit, this is their first time performing as competitors at Festival da Canção.
They will compete at Festival da Canção with the song “A Minha Praia” in the first semi-final on 5th March 2022.
Portugal’s Eurovision Journey
Portugal debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest with António Calvário’s “Oração” in 1964. Since then, Portugal has participated in the competition 52 times – appearing the final 43 times. Their only win in the competition came in 2017 with Salvador Sobral, performing his heart-wrenching song “Amar Pelos Dois”.
Portugal’s most recent participation was with The Black Mamba with the song “Love Is On My Side” – the first song Portugal sent in the English language. The Black Mamba managed to qualify for the Grand Final finishing 12th, after receiving 153 points from the jury and the televote.
What do you think of A Minha Praia? Would you like to see Kumpania Algazarra on the Eurovision stage? As always, let us know what you think by getting in touch in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ on our social media – we are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Source: Catia Barbosa